Swift’s team has pushed back against Pattinson’s activities. Pattinson provided the following letter to Broadly sent by Swift’s lawyer, J. Douglas Baldridge:
The association of Ms. Swift with Adolf Hitler undisputedly is ‘harmful,’ ‘abusive,’ ‘ethnically offensive,’ 'humiliating to other people,’ 'libelous,’ and no doubt 'otherwise objectionable.’ It is of no import that Ms. Swift may be a public figure or that Pinterest conveniently now argues that the Offending Material is mere satire or parody. Public figures have rights. And, there are certain historical figures, such as Adolf Hitler, Charles Manson and the like, who are universally identified in the case law and popular culture as lightning rods for emotional and negative reaction.
For anyone thinking Taylor supports Nazi’s or white supremacists, read this.
One hell of a ride. I love how super tight the script is, I love the frenetic pace, Robert Pattinson’s intensity (impressive how his character thinks so quickly on his feet only to make one monumentally bad decision after another, and with such aplomb and bravado!), I love the colours, I love the oppressive & overpowering score… Exciting cinema, a jolt to the system.
(Pattinson) did discuss his feelings about the outrageous online abuse — much of it racist — she received from some of the crazy corners of Pattinson’s intense fan base.
“I was talking to my dad about this and I bet him that if he looked up Nelson Mandela’s funeral on YouTube, the first comment would be a racist one,” Pattinson said about Internet culture. “And it was, with like a million upvotes. What I don’t get is why. I think it’s because most normal people are not commenters — I’ve never met anyone who’s left a comment on anything. It’s just demons who live in basements. You have this weird thing where you end up trying to fight against this faceless blob, where the more you hate it, the bigger it gets, because it’s all in your head.”
Robert Pattinson’s Artistic Touch for Dior HommeThe British actor for his fourth apparel ad campaign for Dior Homme, lensed by Karl Lagerfeld, is captured in a Parisian artist’s studio.
THE ARTIST: Robert Pattinson plays a dapper artist for his fourth apparel ad campaign for Dior Homme, lensed by Karl Lagerfeld. Clad in a series of modern looks from the house’s spring 2018 collection, including a fitted black suit and sneakers, the British actor in the black-and-white photo series can be seen posing against the rough walls of a Parisian artist’s studio, its open windows giving onto the city’s rooftops, including the Louvre. Pattinson is also the face of the Dior Homme fragrance. The juxtaposition of youthful silhouettes with a classic, timeless, Parisian panorama, said the house in a statement, is meant to evoke a combined sense of past, present and future. The campaign will break on Dior’s social media platforms on Friday before rolling out in a range of titles and on billboards internationally on Sept. 26.
Austrialia’s Channel 9 Today’s Show with Robert Pattinson
#Transcript of narrative & Rob’s quotes in bold.
He’s one of Hollywood’s most talented and bankable actors having starred in two of the world’s most successful franchises. Making his debut at Hogwarts then starring in the five Twilight firms which grossed around 4 billion dollars at the global box office. And he’s got plenty more to come, including his new movie “Good Time”. Let’s check in with Robert Pattinson.
He’s english born and best known for his acting. But he started out as a model. Robert’s first big break came when he was cast as Cedric Diggory in “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”. Then he became an overnight superstar, cast in the “Twilight” series playing the world’s favourite vampire, Edward Cullen. Perhaps determined to prove that he’s more than just a “cold one”, he since starred in a variety of far more intense movies; Bel Ami, Cosmopolis, and the australian drama The Rover. He’s got a true story adventure “The Lost City of Z” out very soon, and now what could be his most challenging role yet, the american crime drama “Good Time”.
Rob plays Connie, a bank robber trying to get his brother out of jail after a heist goes wrong. It’s written and directed by Josh Safdie. Rob: “Me and Josh just loved the TV show “Cops” and it was pretty much my favourite TV show for ages. And when I did the first meeting (with Josh), we just wanna do basically a really extended episode of Cops.”
And he enjoyed roughing out for the role. Rob: “I think one of the main reasons because we were shooting on the street so much, that you realised that, if you are shooting a movie, most people would be curious of what a movie looks like. But if you all look like a bunch of mess the entire time; every single person in the crew was not only absolutely exhausted from spending 20 hours a day filming all the time, we were just covered in red dye and just looking complete degenerate… No one wants to be involved in that. Even if you’ve got a camera there, they’re like “oh…yeah I am not going to stop and look””
Robert reckoned that he doesn’t mind dressing down a little with his own personal style.“We didn’t have any expectations to start with,”And he’s also not set high expectations in his career, despite his phenomenal success.
“Because I wasn’t aiming for some kind of global mono-maniacal domination whatever at any point in my life, it’s easy. I have seen all the Twilight movies, and all the movies that I’ve done, they’re just all movies to me that I am trying to learn something out of …trying to get better. They’re just part of the same journey for me. Yeah, my life hasn’t really changed so much at all. I am only doing any of these stuff to make movies. And THAT’S IT”
Good Time hits the big screen in Australia on Oct 12 2017.
Starring Robert Pattinson Rating: ★★★ After a botched bank robbery, Connie’s (Pattinson) mentally impaired brother is arrested and thrown into a dangerous prison, while Connie escapes the police. Although a most wanted man, Connie attempts to break his brother out of prison anyway he can.
The independent feature goes against the status quo of what most big blockbusters do with this plot. By providing plenty of good twists, some unique cinematography, a funky soundtrack, and Pattinson’s electric performance, this is beyond good.
With this kind of plot, we can see the path and ending from a mile away if it were in the hands of a big studio. It would not be surprising to see The Rock kick some skulls, jack a huge truck, ram the car right through the prison walls, and save his inmate son. However, Good Time takes this concept and turns it on its head with a character who keeps screwing up, but means well. Connie is tired of seeing his brother being tossed around from doctors who tell him how to live his life through classes and training. Instead of putting his mentally impaired brother in the hands of these doctors, Connie wishes a normal life for him, where he can live as independently as possible. The intentions of the bank robbery are in the right place, for Connie wishes to use that money to purchase a secluded spot of land in Virginia where the two brothers can live peacefully. Unfortunately, his plan is poorly constructed, for his brother gets thrown into jail. Despite running away from the cops, Connie chooses to break his brother out because he cares for him so much. Connie does not want to see his brother hurt, or back in the hands of doctors, so it is amazing to see how much he goes through to get his brother out of jail.
Every time we think Connie is making progress on getting his brother out, he faces setback after setback. It is exciting to see Connie continuously digging his hole deeper, and develop alternative plans on the spot. Connie’s lack of success goes against the usual crucks of this plot, where the characters are supposed to make progress. The twists along the way make this a thrill ride.
To emphasize how little time he has to break his brother out of jail, the director chooses to capture every scene with tight shots. All shots of the characters are really up close, with hardly any wides. The only wide shots come from a drone flying over a car. Other than those moments, we feel pressed for time as Connie deals with obstacle after obstacle.
Even the music makes this feel like we are in an Atari video game where the main player is against time. There is a strong techno feeling as the synths dominate the score.
Above all, the most important factor of this film is Robert Pattinson’s electric performance. Pattinson pours so much effort into the character of Connie, who tries every possible way of getting his brother out of jail. Pattinson makes Connie feel like someone on edge, and hysterical when stuff really hits the fan. When the camera is tightly focused on Pattinson, we can see the despair in his eyes. Take a step back, then here is a guy who will grill someone over anything Connie wants really bad. Additionally, Pattinson’s delivery is in a speedy New York accent. Although it may sound hard to follow, Pattinson makes his dialogue clear and coherent.
This is a welcomed feature among all the noise that would be generated with a similar story. The bare bones way of storytelling gives this an authentic feeling, like we are on the streets with Connie. The intentions of Connie are in the right place, and it is truly entertaining to see him continuously dig his own grave. Also, its cinematography makes Connie feel like he his pressed for time, while the synth driven score keeps pace. Most importantly, Robert Pattinson is captivating as the main character, who gives a very on edge performance. This is definitely a Good Time.
Three years since he last met Esquire, Robert Pattinson remains dedicated to redefining himself as an expressive actor beyond the teen-hero hysteria of his early career. In his new film, gritty heist thriller Good Time, he finds redemption as a cold-hearted criminal and achieves the almost supernaturally impossible — walking around New York unrecognised
When he was shooting his latest movie, Good Time, in Queens last year, Robert Pattinson would start the day with a run. And he’d be recognised, as always. Such is life for the 31-year-old actor formerly known as Edward Cullen, the broody vampire in the Twilight movies. Over five years and five films, he inspired such a vast and hysterical following that more than any star of his generation he became a prisoner of his own celebrity. He was forced to sell his home in Griffith Park, Los Angeles, because of paparazzi at the gates. They trailed him everywhere, entailing all kinds of Jason Bourneism, like swapping clothes with friends and assistants in restaurant bathrooms, sending them off in decoy cars, up to five at a time. And if he failed, if just one tweet went out with his location, then armies of paps and Twi-hards, crazed and shrieking, would come galloping over the horizon like the Dothraki hordes.
But after each run, something extraordinary happened. He got into costume as his character in Good Time, Connie Nikas, a Greek-American criminal from Queens, and just like that, the staring stopped. He could walk down the street unmolested. This latest film is his best performance by some distance, an electric, adrenalin shot of a movie that will establish him as one of the most vital actors of the day, so there’s that. But this gift of anonymity may be equally precious. Good Time will put Pattinson’s name in lights while simultaneously helping him blend into the background. Shooting it gave him his life back. It’s handed the prisoner a set of keys, because as Nikas, Pattinson could move through the world again. He was free.
“It was amazing. Invisibility cloak,” he says. “I’ve always wondered what can you do, just a simple thing to your face so you can just… exist in the world. And now I know. Darken your beard and put on these acne scar things and people will look directly into your face, and not even a glimmer. It’s fascinating. Also earrings, there’s something about fake diamond earrings.”
He looks a bit Connie Nikas today, actually. We’re in a booth at a private member’s club in West Hollywood, and he’s wearing a sports jacket on top of a hoodie, never mind that this is the height of summer. The jacket’s Lacoste; very hipster I tell him. And he laughs.
“Is anyone not a hipster now? I think it’s just normal culture,” he says. “Anyway, I found this on eBay so, you know… I’d be cool if I had it from school, like, ‘I’ve had this for aaages. I still dress exactly like I did when I was 12.’ Ha ha ha!”
He looks happy, energised, garrulous. The hands move around, the Lacoste rustles, he’s chewing on a toothpick and tipping his head back to laugh and laugh. He looks like a guy who made a bet on himself and won, which he did. And this is what he’s here to tell us: chase what you want in life, take the risk, who cares what people think in the end. This is your life, not theirs.
The last time I saw Pattinson for Esquire, three years ago, he’d only just made that bet. He came over to my house for lunch, and we got the barbecue going, there were beers — things celebrities never do — and we talked about The Rover, a film he made with director David Michôd (Animal Kingdom). It was his first major step on the route away from Twilight and towards Good Time, a life that he actually wanted. He’d made a pact with himself to only pick roles that were unlike anything he’d done before, that would broaden him as an actor and human being, and to work only with film-makers he loved, with no compromise. So post-Twilight, his CV is just one auteur after the next, in a string of movies that don’t make money but are always compelling. Besides The Rover, there’s his second film with David Cronenberg, 2014’s Maps to the Stars; The Childhood of a Leader directed by his friend Brady Corbet; The Lost City of Z with the film-maker’s film-maker, James Gray, not to mention the Safdie brothers, Josh and Benny, who made Good Time.
Back in 2014, he was living next to rap impresario Suge Knight in a gated community on Mulholland Drive, still in hiding from Twilight fans. It was a secluded life, with just an inflatable boat and an assistant for company. “Aww, I miss my assistant,” he says. “He’s now a real estate agent in Phoenix. Couldn’t take it any more. ‘All you do is play video games!’” Most of Pattinson’s time was spent in one room, watching films and reading books, much as it is today.
“Probably my fondest memory from that house is watching the first three seasons of Game of Thrones over four days.” He laughs. “So lame that’s my fondest memory!”
He dreamed of escape. #Vanlife on Instagram became an obsession, posts celebrating the nouveau hippy world of attractive young surfer types living the free-spirit life in camper vans, free of all material possessions beyond a hammock, a book of poetry and a mobile phone to upload selfies to madden people in cubicle offices.
“I nearly did it,” Pattinson says. “I was 100 per cent going to live in a van, but not just any van — a stealth van! It’s a special niche, not like living in a trailer. Stealth vans looks like a normal Transit van, so you can park on the street, put signs on saying you’re a plumber or whatever and no one would notice.”
Van life promised anonymity, freedom, mobility: all the things he missed and wanted.
“It’s that thing, where you can just leave in the middle of the night and, like, drive to Nebraska,” he says. “And with solar power, you’re totally off the grid. I’d love that so much. And I was like, I’m still young, this is my chance…”
So he looked into it. The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter looked tidy; it had a toilet and shower in the back. But no.
“The Sprinter’s too fancy. It draws attention. So I visited different companies to retro- fit Transit vans but it’s complicated,” he says. “Once you build [in] a toilet and shower yourself, you can’t get it insured and blah blah blah.”
Still, he hasn’t ruled it out. One day, maybe. For now, though, instead of Nebraska, he moved five minutes down the road, to another secluded mansion in the hills. Only this time it’s not quite such a Spartan existence. He lives with “Twigs”, aka FKA Twigs, the British singer, and their little dog Solo. He won’t talk about her, though they may be engaged after three years together. And one can’t blame him; the Twi-hard fanbase has already subjected her to a torrent of racist abuse. Which is partly why they spend half their time in London, out east near Hackney Downs (hipster level: high). Pattinson gets hassled much less back home. “I go around on my bike,” he says, “so I’m basically a ghost.”
He was deep into #vanlife when he saw a still from the Safdie brothers’ movie of 2014, Heaven Knows What. It was just a close-up of the actress Arielle Holmes in a pink/blue light, her eyes sunken and strung out as if on heroin; she was playing a homeless junkie, a life she’d led until Josh Safdie approached her in a Manhattan subway and asked to make a film about her. The realism was palpable. And Pattinson was hooked at once: he had to work with these people.
“It was so cool, this photo, it had an amazing vibe, but also they’re American. Normally with an image like that, the director turns out to be Czech or something,” he says. “And my agents hadn’t heard of them either, so I knew I’d found something before anybody else.” This is what Pattinson loves more than anything — making discoveries.
Without even seeing the movie, he wrote the Safdies an email rich with compliments, a tried and tested ploy. “I basically say, 'Look, I’m not playing. I like very little and I like this thing you did, I think you’re good, and I just… know!’ And after that I call repeatedly.”
He’s done this with James Gray, with acclaimed French film director Claire Denis (who’s writing and directing his next film High Life). It’s a winning strategy. “I realised about four years ago, this is the best way to do it. I don’t even tell my agents.”
At first, Josh Safdie was hesitant. He was working on a movie about New York’s diamond district and Pattinson just wasn’t right for it. But they clicked, and once they met up, Josh saw something: “He has a wounded war veteran vibe to him, like there’s a major trauma in his life and he’s constantly trying to hover, trying not to be seen. I thought that was perfect for a guy on the run.” So the Safdies created a project for Pattinson, essentially writing him a movie.
“The thing about Josh and Benny,” Pattinson says, “is their energy and drive. It’s astonishing. And that’s how their movies feel, like there’s too much fuel in the car! I wanted that energy, something superkinetic. A lot of the stuff I’d done before was reactive, so I wanted to be forced into a situation. That’s their tone: runaway train. Their genre is literally panic. And that’s kind of who I am as well. So I said, 'Just push push push, be as audacious as possible.’”
The story centres around Connie, a sociopathic street criminal who can’t stand the thought of his mentally challenged brother Nick — played brilliantly by Benny Safdie — being institutionalised. So Connie takes him on a bank robbery, the first of several terrible decisions, each one cascading chaotically into the next. It’s a film that seizes you by the lapels and doesn’t let go for 100 minutes.
Unlike anything else he’s done, Pattinson was involved throughout the writing process. He was in the jungle in Colombia at the time, making The Lost City of Z, a gnarly experience by all accounts: he has stories of picking maggots out of his beard, and crew members being bitten by snakes. But at the day’s end, he’d find a volley of emails (there’s wi-fi in the Amazon, apparently) from the Safdies about Connie Nikas, about criminals, about the world of their movie.
They worked together painstakingly on Connie’s backstory, and Robert read all the books the brothers were inspired by, The Executioner’s Song by Norman Mailer and In the Belly of the Beast by Jack Henry Abbott. He watched the documentaries they sent over, notably One Year in a Life of Crime (1989) by John Alpert, and episodes of Cops, the Nineties reality TV that featured police chasing down and arresting a whole menagerie of street criminals. Josh calls it “America’s greatest TV series”. There would often be dialogue or behaviour that would be useful in building Connie Nikas. By the time Pattinson was ready to move to Queens, he was already halfway there.
Pattinson doesn’t do method; he’s more or less untrained, apart from a short stint in the Barnes Theatre Company aged 15. The Safdies introduced him to a new level of improvisation and research. They had Robert as Connie writing Nick letters as though from prison. Then they went on a tour of the Manhattan Detention Complex.
“Rob came as Connie, but he didn’t have the accent yet so he just looked around and kept to himself,” says Josh Safdie. They met people that Connie might be friends with. “My friends at Lucky’s Automotive Repair in Yonkers, basically. We started bringing Benny in as Nick then.” And from there, Rob and Benny took their characters out into the world, going to Dunkin’ Donuts, even working at a car wash together for a week.
“We had Nick drive the cars off after they went through,” says Benny. “But Nick has issues. He can’t do what Connie wants him to, so there was tension between them, it almost got violent. And that’s what we wanted. We wanted to give Rob a history of the emotions he would feel in certain moments.”
Critically, though, no one clocked Pattinson through all this. The car wash manager knew who he was, but no one else did, and they didn’t ask. It was a revelation. As Connie — with the clothing, hair and makeup — Pattinson could go unrecognised to such a degree that when they shot a scene toward the end in an apartment block, local residents didn’t even see him as an actor. They knew a movie star was in their midst but had heard it was Bradley Cooper.
“So, I was in this packed elevator and people were like, 'Yo, you like Bradley Cooper’s security guard?’ It was amazing,” Pattinson says.
One of the joys of Good Time is remembering just how different Robert and his character Connie actually are. Pattinson is from south-west London, where he went to The Harrodian, a nice public school in Barnes. The son of a vintage-car salesman father and a model-booker mother, he grew up middle class and comfortable, an artistic type who set out after a music career (his band’s name: Bad Girls) before acting won out. He never came across characters like Connie Nikas in real life, so he imagined them; they were “fantasy figures”, as he calls them. And as such, no less influential.
“Growing up, you see Pacino and you want to be that,” he says, and then laughs. “I sound like a dick already, comparing myself to Pacino!”
But the point is sound; to Pattinson, Connie falls into the tradition of Pacino’s Sonny in Dog Day Afternoon, or Robert De Niro’s Johnny Boy in Mean Streets, the very characters who inspire people like Pattinson to become actors in the first place. Like all middle-class kids, he craved Connie’s authenticity.
“Everyone wants to say, 'I’ve gone through hardships’ or whatever. And some kids at school got so obsessed with looking tough that eventually they just were. They were mugging people. It’s like, 'Why are you mugging people? You live in Wimbledon!’ But you could see the progression,” he says. “It was born out of desire, not necessity. It’s fascinating.”
As for Pattinson, he just lied.
“I decided the best way to be real is to fake it! I used to lie all the time when I was younger. Like even though I had a London accent, I’d tell people I grew up on a farm in Yorkshire. That was about as gritty as I could pull off.”
His own life of crime was limited to stealing porn mags, aged 11, a story he told US shock jock Howard Stern. Eventually, he was caught, of course, the moment of humiliation seared into his memory as, in front of a line of old ladies collecting their pensions, the shop owner reached into his bag and pulled out one jazz mag after another.
“I turned on the tears and everything. I was desperate!” he says. “And when my mum heard, I totally threw one of my friends under the bus: 'Dan did it!’ It’s pretty terrifying when you’re backed against the wall. When people ask how would you behave in an emergency, now I know. I’m a wimp! I guess that’s pretty obvious!”
He says wimp, but there’s a quiet strength behind that self-effacing, affable front. Not everyone would confess to being a cowardly kid, or lying about their background, as insecure people don’t admit their flaws so freely. One of the reasons he was so drawn to the role of Connie, for instance, was the character’s lack of fear or shame. “I’m the opposite. Shame is the most crippling thing. I don’t even know what it is, it’s not connected to any other emotion. So I choose work to directly combat elements of my own personality.”
Josh Safdie spotted Pattinson’s ambition early on. “There’s a mania to him,” he says. “A manic desire to conquer the world. I was very happy to see it.”
And for all his self-deprecation, there’s a pride there in what he’s achieved post-Twilight. None of his subsequent film choices are obviously commercial, which suits him perfectly: low-budget indies, he says, have a lower bar to break even and with his international stardom, courtesy of Twilight in no small part, he can usually rest easy. Sometimes, his involvement is what makes these projects actually happen.
But artistically — and this is where he’s definitely not a wimp — every project is a risk, a test, a leap, yet another opportunity to fail and land very publicly on his arse. But that’s just how he likes it. The nerves, the threat of failure keep him interested.
“I like a big mountain to climb,” he says. “Some parts no one would think of me for, and I don’t blame them.”
Why go for those roles though, if they’re so against type? He shrugs.
“Probably just to prove I can, really.”
As the bill arrives for our meal, Pattinson chomps merrily through another round of toothpicks. It seems he’s been entirely sensible this time around. Not even one beer. “If I drink I’ll sound like a cock,” he says. “Actually, I probably sound like a cock already!” Anyway, he’s saving room for a cognac tasting later tonight with the Good Time producers. Not the kind of thing he does that often but these are heady times, what with the excitement around the movie, the critical acclaim. It’s such a buzz that even the press tour isn’t so painful. There’s room for some mischief at any rate.
On Jimmy Kimmel Live!, he tried to make fun of Josh Safdie but it came out wrong. He told Kimmel that Safdie had asked him to jerk off a dog. “It got [animal charity] Peta angry… everyone. It was like a whole American uproar for a day-and-a-half,” Josh says. “He’s a little shit, I promise you. But I love that about him.”
For the most part, though, Pattinson leads a fairly quiet life. It’s just him, Twigs and Solo kicking around at home. When he’s not working, he says, he’s looking for work.
“I’m basically flicking through the pages of Loot every day. I live the life of an unemployed person.” And for him that means watching art house movies, trawling film-geek websites and — so long as Game of Thrones isn’t on — cold-calling directors.
In a couple of weeks, he’s off to Germany for cosmonaut training for the movie he’s making with Claire Denis. It’s about another ex-con, this time in space as part of a human reproduction experiment. He mentioned it in a Q&A session in LA after a screening of Good Time, and no one in the audience had heard of Denis. Such is Pattinson’s particular taste.
“I don’t think Claire has made a bad movie in, like, 20, but I don’t know if any have been commercially successful!” he laughs. “That’s what it’s like in France. There’s a market there for less conventionally commercial movies, and that’s the world I want to be a part of. I just want to do stuff that people are only making for themselves, because it ends up being, by definition, more singular.”
The project that has him excited comes at the end of the year: The Devil All the Time, by Antonio Campos, who made Christine last year, a brilliant drama about a depressive Seventies news anchor in Florida. (For the record, Pattinson cold-called him too.) “There’s this line in it — and sometimes that’s all you need. And it’s like, 'Ooh… that’s scary to say’. Because it’ll go down in posterity and I’ll be the one saying it. You literally cannot get darker. It’s fucking dark. This character is an evangelical preacher in the South in the Fifties, but he’s gleefully bad and kind of funny and charismatic too. I know, it’s irresistible.”
Like, sexually repulsive, violent?
“Mmm… yes, all that. But you know when actors say, 'I refuse to play someone who does something bad.’ I’m, like, why? That’s fucking crazy. You can’t do anything bad in your real life. I think if someone needs to play a hero all the time, it’s probably because they’re doing really gross stuff in their real life.”
So you’re telling me, this is the only chance you get to be bad?
He laughs, and gets up to put on his Lacoste jacket, his camouflage, and flips up the hoodie underneath. Now he’s safe to leave our meeting without causing an incident. But it’s impossible now not to see shades of Connie, the sociopath bank robber from Queens.
“Yeah,” he grins. “The rest of the time, I’m an angel!”
Interview: Good Time Filmmakers Josh, Benny Safdie And Robert Pattinson
#Rob’s responses in bold.
Benny, you play this character who’s sort of mentally challenged, believably. I hadn’t seen you in other things and I didn’t know that was you until I had to look up other interviews. Was there someone who was the inspiration for that character?
Benny Safdie: Myself. I mean that in the most honest way. I feel I can relate to … If I were to take certain aspects of my personality and heighten them, I could really feel that. I can feel certain emotional insecurities, emotional detachment, wanting to just kind of close in. If I ratchet that to 11, I would be that person.
Clinically speaking, did you have a diagnosis in your mind when you’re writing that character?
Benny: He’s hard of hearing, he has deep emotional and social anxiety, and he has definite certain IQ deficiencies…
Josh Safdie: LD.
Benny: …so you kind of add that all together, and you get this guy who is uncomfortable a lot, because he’s comfortable only within what he wants. And now you have this guy, Connie, telling him, “You can do whatever you want, when you want,” and that is beautiful. That’s Nick’s paradise. But then it quickly becomes his nightmare, because he doesn’t know certain limitations to that.
Josh: Weirdly, we never had a clinical categorization, because Nick has never been clinically categorized. The first scene is him talking to a doctor [trying to determine that]. You could argue that he’s someone on the spectrum. You can argue that because he doesn’t have the social awareness that he doesn’t understand… Like that scene in the bank, in the middle of the bank robbery, that Connie turns to Nick and says, “What are you thinking about?” And Nick says, “Nothing.” The fact that Nick says nothing in that moment is so heroic to Connie, because anyone in their right mind, in the middle of robbing a bank, would be feeling everything but nothing. In that regards, he’s disassociated from society in a way. We’ve talked about that there’s a lot of LDs involved, learning disabilities. He’s very low IQ, and I think that had he gone through the system, probably he would be diagnosed with autism, but I don’t think that he’s an autistic guy. It’s more nuanced and tricky than that.