Interview With Milt Bearden (CIA Consultant)
Interview With Matt Damon (Edward Wilson)
Interview With Robert De Niro (Bill Sullivan, Director, Producer)
Interview With Angelina Jolie (Clover Russell)
Interview With Eric Roth (Screenwriter)
Interview With John Turturro (Ray Brocco)
Widely touted as the most beautiful woman in the world, Angelina Jolie is in fact a fine actress, whose broad range of roles are often overlooked by journalists and paparazzi obsessed with her private life. Onscreen, she is a risk-taker, and is seen by many as the spiritual sister of the likes of Meryl Streep, Michelle Pfeiffer and Jessica Lange. She scooped an Oscar® for an early performance in Girl, Interrupted and conjures another startling performance in The Good Shepherd, playing Clover, wife to Matt Damon’s Edward Wilson. Clover is a character with a personality far removed from Jolie’s, and her ability to mine such deep emotion proves that she still has much to offer other her status as Hollywood’s most sought-after celebrity.
The spies in this film are a little different from Mr & Mrs Smith?
Yes, sadly I don’t get to be one in this film – I’m the sad housewife. It was different and it was hard not playing with the boys. And it was hard to be that kind f a woman. There was a certain repression at that time, and playing a woman like that was hard for me.
Did your character seem a bit proper to you at first?
I’ve done period stuff, and she’s a bit proper, but she’s not the perfect cookie-cutter housewife and she’s quite fiery at the beginning. Also, she speaks up more than anyone else in the movie; she’s a bit wild. She’s stopped by her time, and held back from what she’d like to do. If I were trapped by the CIA I’m sure personally I’d fight more, and in a different way!
Did you get sense of the strain this puts on CIA operatives and their families?
Yeah, certainly the families of the CIA and all different levels of service. Whether you’re a policeman or a member of government, your country has to come first. You live with that. The CIA’s probably worse because they really can’t talk to you about anything. It’s a real sacrifice they make.
There’s a stigma around the CIA now and a sinister connation. Why?
I think you should be suspicious – you should question elements of your government. They are the ones who hold the secrets and information, and sometimes they get it right, and sometimes they don’t. I think it’s important to remember that.
The first time you worked with De Niro was on a Shark Tale.
Yeah, we were fish. This was as a dram job – I love the writer, Eric Roth, and Matt, and to do anything with De Niro is a dream come true.
But not all actors make great directors.
That’s true. But Bob sees the bigger picture. As an actor, in his films he’s not just thought about his character, he’s thought about the whole story, and how his character fits into it. So he sees this film and it’s not just a study in behavior and characters – it’s the whole story, the history and the people, the detail. And he’s very passionate about film. He’s obsessive about detail and research and works really hard.
He had to cut the film quite a lot. Did you expect to be in it more?
No, pretty much everything I shot is in there. I would have done a day’s work on this film. As an actor it should never be about the size of the role. It should be about the character and really believing in the whole story. I support this movie and would do so in any small way.
Did you know Matt from All the Pretty Horses?
No. We met but we didn’t hang out together. We’d met through the years casually but this was the first time we’d really worked together. And since then, he’s friendly with Brad and our kids are friends. He’s very serious in the film and it’s a good job we’d met, otherwise it’d have been pretty uncomfortable on the first day on set. Instead we laughed a lot. It was a relief because it was pretty intense in that house.
You’re playing Mariane Pearl next, and that’s a story buried in intrigue.
There are so many different layers to that story. We’ve shot it already, I think we have an extra day to shoot, and it’s a very heavy story but it deals with faith. All kinds of faith, and faiths coming together and the friendships of the people, the team that was trying to find him. Pearl embarks on a search to locate her journalist husband, Daniel, when he goes missing in Pakistan. It deals with the darkness of that situation – the loss, and the fact that Mariane was pregnant at the time. There are many, many things.