Interview: Terry George & Angela Sarafyan

Wednesday, May 3rd

Listen to Gavin's interview with the director and one of the stars from the new movie, The Promise...
00:21:42

Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

I'll bet there'll be bloodless. Agreement that is that's movies he'd seen a couple it is actually watched the few times and television system. At the and it feels different every time you're watching it though you're cute zone in tone different chunk of it really bad. That announcement passed on so it's it's yeah and idealists in the gap in grades movies and we were just talking about Daniel Day-Lewis and a writer director producer Terry George's here. Who's worked with. Daniel Day-Lewis many times that's how we got into the conversation but also Angela seraw the end is here and you're one of the stars and you're the director. But the promise which is in theaters now. And I watched it I watched it the other day and it is beautiful. And it is. It's a story that needed to be told I think. Mr. area and that the backdrop of it is again idea. The first were war on the eastern front and neo Ottoman Empire and particularly the army into an aside via. Attempt to wait on two million Armenians. But. We've we've told a love story. Yeah the center of that. Particularly in it's a classic form by a that the producers wanted love story that this and I you know that the great films from me Doctor Zhivago. More MB these grants. Three mango is The English Patient. You know he would leans grants to owner that's a form. That's produced some of the most powerful movies and Sonoma and it was great whom I have the opportunity to to. That sort of structure of film and at the same time tell the story. It seems like it makes a very difficult subject matter easier to digest. And and but this person it this way the army in genocide is still. Denied. Why tonight by the Turks and that's one and they've been very east and as and suppressed and then they've been enormously successful it's one of the great. Unknown catastrophes of the twentieth century. And because of that this film feels. Absolutely relevant right now. Well what's what's that mean you look at some of the stories about what's going on in the world and and it is not difficult to draw parallels between. Current events and and what this film is about. Well it was it was particularly poignant for us and that we were shooting. A story set in a location. That today move the location via and the Turkey Syria border and around the level. And we were shooting people fleeing across the desert Iraq army is being trapped open mind and Webb was the he is EG population world on perceived by crisis and people drowning in the Mediterranean we were. It was like we were filming news rather than historical event yeah. Yeah and that's kind of how it felt like well this is. This is happening this is still happening today and and Angela you army means correct. So did you see this film out or or did Terry come TU. What was not a coincidence. Actually it was very serendipity it's my man. Agents other client had a general meeting in London. And missed the script just happened to come across her and she read my each Iraq script in such. You have to pay yourself on tape in two days men and men are and then I did and and then it just. They're casting directors are out of town but somehow eventually it came back around and I was able to go into going for Terry and and Oscar Isaac reed actually tested for an a different role. And I was very lucky because I got to play. A traditional Armenian woman in the film and at the same time I was shooting last world itself. Barack Clementine Clementine our work and HBO final they'd bail me out her did a few weeks. All of us that was great I was very lucky in now way. And so I got to be part of this and piecing found. Wow that's so as sheer pleasure performing through this and and watching it back at some of you know. The tougher scenes are well I don't wanna I know I try to give many spoilers in the movie but. As you're watching the film back knowing you know your lineage is it is it really difficult to watch. You know the the barbaric myths of. That history is it actually there's this one scene. This weren't scene in the film where where outsized character Macau finds his family his village and what's happened to them. And the day that we were shooting that I just thought. Of course I thought oh my goodness first of all it was so beautiful lair but then you have all these dead dummies around and is it their dummies you know they're not real. But the next day I was talking to someone. And I can't tell me itself it's a real and I started to cry while subconsciously. And I've worked on sites where there have been dead bodies but. It was very moving and very kind of if it moved me on so many levels to be there and now wow it via. They're did you did you. Use that that you kind of you used that emotion that real emotion to manipulate. Yeah well yes that was that difficult thing for. A lot of people on the cruise. The army we have several Armenians and a lot of people from the area persians. And they've really become intuit and but it if a mostly for the lead actors and so forth it's it's very draining and I had a similar situation with hotel Rwanda warrior. Recreating. The effect of the genocide but at the same time with this. And summary with hotel room on the its move was really important that we get a PG thirteen rating and that we don't hit people. In the face with the horror of what went on because I believe you can't recreate that. It fictional lawyer mark echo on the feature film that you. The audience you have to. How deal is some in my gym what to do this rather than. Through to the gore ovitz because we want it. PG thirteen really we wanted to the teenagers to see this film is an educational thing absolutely we wanna people who were. And or did you know voted the army in tennis there weren't particularly. And justice and that's news story to be caught openness love story and realize. They are not going to some sort of harm version of this. Yeah and that's actually really glad that you did that because. My high schools one of the schools that that kind of resisted showing Schindler's List that kids because of the and and that some of these I mean you need film. To show. You know. That the brutal mix of what happens you know it's it's almost like a safer. Screeners sometimes. You know that you can show it and in a raw emotional way but no it's not real what you're what you're shower. You know as representing real and and you seem to be drawn to this we were talking about in the name of the father who lives we you know one of my all time favorite movies and hotel or Wanda what is this about the end. These these tough political stories. Well they are drawn to. I've but having done three films have put the NORTHERN IRELAND troubles and the impact they have in terms of telling the story of what was going on I learned the film. Is probably the most effective way of kick people inside an event that they know nothing upon written and expanding it not just expand it to them. But finding heroic characters within ordinary people. Who try on sand the catastrophic event or that. Momentous event Iran and coma or better people for a mind their humanity so this is this is a great form from me and when you look back at the films that had the greatest impact are certainly on me. Even you know growing up and at that David leaned films and then. Schindler's List the killing feelings missing yeah hotel these horror films. Become part of educational history and how vital role in Sonoma and Sutley European diminished in the loss today so. We're in the market position of continue in the great tradition. What do you think that is why why you think Angela you're shaking your head to what do you think that that. They are kind of becoming endangered species. Surely a financial consideration by the studios you know if you spend. 250 million on phase of the furious and about 500 I don't know weekend. And then goes on to make a billion yeah then you divide that in but what we're losing you know. You can't just how the emotion of oh that's a great explosion no that's of that's a bullet right joke that. There has to be all their emotions tapped into you know empathy. Gap sorrow and joy it's you peoples is. Fulfillment I mean I hope we make films that. People remember long enough to they leave the cinema. And that's more important than having submarine chase sports cars and Pittsburgh back to lose you know I've never seen any of those movies but it sure makes me almost go like. I see how they get to that scenario right the I I'm. SP account that your marriage in the casting and stuff like that the the casting for the promise. You know Oscar Isaac Egan Christian Bale as well. You know 22 very powerful. Men in Hollywood and and actually get to I don't remember did you do anything with Christian Bale. Was I off you know mostly so you're you're cast opposite Oscar a lot of your scenes. Does that immediately make you nervous he studies that you tested wet them. Like did you know before hand that like oh you're going to be testing my thoughts ethic and he's rapidly becoming the biggest. Leading man in Hollywood. Yeah I was I was very nervous that I think both carrying an Oscar who were there very generous in the way that they approached. Mean for example and it just. They were really really kind of it's just a sudden were gonna do this scene together and so you live from one moment to the next and and see what happens and and Terry really gave us the room to kind of do that so I felt very kind of at home did that they made that. How they are ball as. Now imagine you're an audience member McCain in her warming your lodging Oscar Isaac. That and he's patrols to one woman right and he's going after another whose with somebody else. How would you feel about that that guy. I mean I guess I yeah I guess Fiat. Complicated love story it isn't complicated looks very good they're different kinds of loans I think yeah so so. It doesn't make one less. Invaluable than the other I think I think they're both. They're both. Forms of life and and so. You just kind of see. A much layered character than kind of a one note person that's true. Yeah yeah I think you mean that was the design for army and initially. Oscars character Mikhail is put rules in order for him to get money to go to medical school so I didn't really know. Morrow. Onto this character but you're I was dealing with about what I call. Practical low of sources passionate love. In that it even in the relationship between Christian deals carry current chart in the Vaughn's character it's more practical she relied on him and then. As many people do in real life they meet someone that they fall passionately in the within their lives in this dilemma so it's over rayo modern day. Predicament fat and widen its it was definitely the it's complicated. Relationship status on FaceBook. And then you put it into. It suddenly zero funds than than the guy terrible catastrophe. And I'm humble hard that. Changes those relationships and by the end up so I think that's and that emulates real life you know over you know so many people in that situation. And umps and that's the glue that holds them all together I want people you know. Women on men who'd who'd like aggrieved. Most Oreo you know we beat traditional. Took column this film and feel that they have sat through piece of entertainment. Yeah my favorite things about it was that like in it dictate yeah. The historical genocide and you know story out of it completely it's a really compelling. Just human relationships story about relationships and stuff like that than you you know you've said in the backdrop of the Armenian Genocide and its. I snake which actually reminds me. That everything about the promise it feels like the kind of thing that Oscar pays attention tale. But typically they're released in late September October November. But you guys are coming out now is that is that to like kind of do like a slow ramp up or do you not have Oscar aspirations are well. I you know I know haven't been done that roads that there's an the period. September through Christmas. Where everything is crammed in but it was important for us the call marred. On April 21 which is really close to April 24 with the anniversary. Or will genocide we wanted to coincided with that. And and you know and let anything else take its course this was particularly directed towards. Genocide awareness. Also rallying the army in the community along with you know the greater audience yeah the date was really important for us we actually started the movie. The first reading of the script was on April 24. 2015. Which was on the anniversary of so so it's a very symbolic released it for us. Do you know if if there is going to be resistance. Showing it in Turkey. I would there's I think we've resistance is the small where I don't think we get to a took you know don't get resistance like like from people who want it shown that I have to fight to get it shown. Like his I don't they are gonna succeed on the horizon that they've added this is. This is a subject that the Turks. To this kind tip their hand era they've they've been denying that it was a tennis from a hundred years now yeah. And they have actively suppressed movies that we're trying to beat me in the us. So it's a very immortal and angry subject I mean we had that situation and in. Toronto where we screened twice through I think the maximum audience with 3000. And then by the end of the week on I am deeply we had 86000. Votes. Fifty those who was correct one out of ten on and 20000 word. Candidate has ever sponsor of of this I think what happened was. As soon as it was released someone on the Turkish says of the argument switch to organize the pod system. I continually voted in and postpone spoke to his rating and then we had a reaction from the Armenian community voting. And it's sort of is that it messed felt the whole. I am DB vote system two is that non and so on we've there are strange things happen. Yeah exactly and I did notice that it it none of those are are warranted at all it's it's a lovely film it is. Very well made and it's and it's noble to release the film. You know hit further historical. Symbolism and and I really hope that that Oscar pays attention to it when that season gets closer. But it does have that mean it has an effect if you go on. We will meet progress. People to look at these web sites Noah and if you go through. If you you know video undermine the Oreo on Netflix and use the three years of 10 and I am deeply. One and so it's effective spoke we're conquering with. Word of month when people are either film they say. This is it you know really enjoyable on could film to see. Actually it's it's a good idea to I'm glad you mentioned that because when you tell me that there there is there's a movement out there. To try to suppress viewers of of a certain film had four especially political purposes. That makes me wanna see it more yet to come up on my own my own opinions in Allen and just and it and it feels like not your underdog and I got to fight for which the rules of real. And we have everything we had a weird situation like three weeks ago were a film that looks. Lagos. Has its implied but as the Turkish. This point if you're a film called when lieutenant appeared or are and it's a twenty million in about that I didn't. They are Angela. Well yeah I mean this is our there's a pin Kingsley and Joyce Hardin and it's so yeah. The don't really like Hollywood I was so Hollywood produced movie book coming out of with a background of a Turkish produced. I entity and it turns out like Syria. A reporter to the an exposed area on and on purely based last week and it turns out that the funding was coming from. The verdict and found the connection while I literally made. That the of them mirror opposite though most of it was like supermodel would be the scripted the war. Is oral promise that's. So we've got I mean they need to go to that extent. Do you think it was done in response to the behind it could not that they rushed it. Well I think they they must have heard of Austin and goes the feeling of the script or something like. Oh but. Lo and behold it appeared I mean it disappeared it. You know at these 260000. Dollars an hour ago but it must have cost that in my estimation I'm gonna put two cents at twenty million. Wow Lindsay did the the it wants to this of course I was. Well it was not good but it I don't. I had a love triangle it. Someone -- two runs and hit it had some wall I mean it looked. Do you think they got all your script and I think we got a hold of some story or something only know how to save what does that mean disarm these. There's a bit if anyone wants to know more about it think we're the Daily Beast than we've we've majors and he's article. Well I had read it and so as far as our media and the need to know that this is still like an active campaign. Like against the army Indians against to that our median genocide how does that make you feel. This is been something that. The Armenian Genocide has been something that I've been hearing my family telling stories all my life and finally heard this movie to be made this is kind of a miracle because. It's been so controversial it's been so difficult and it's been a dream back Kirk Kerkorian has had for so so long. And so for hand to be able to kind of be that hero that's actually made it happen America's brilliant and Terry jurors that have brought it to fruition he is. It's it's I think it brings every army knew that watches the trailer alone to tears because. They've kind of been waiting for this story to be told because it is an. Because it's filled another way to derives it is this complicated for. 'cause you've got the auto middle lieutenant or whatever value at all still come out and I was with the death via the Turkish argument is that oh. There was an insurrection by the army unions and we've basically had to move them all right a war zone. Now what they don't say is that what they meant by movement is marks them across the desert land and basically. Stars and to death and have them done in the desert and and so and and if it has a bigger even scope than and the denial of tennis it. Whether it be in our media are in Iraq or whatever. Between it diminishes this law were. For a couple. The European Court of Human Rights rather. An international court of human rights was he with a punish the people in Bosnia and Serbia you know to two. Milosevic and Mladic who knows you can bring people to court but if the very. Event that the word came from. Is denied by people and for political reasons that the United States doesn't recognize that it was a genocide right. Because of Turkey's strategic importance the British. And this is. I mean it did diminishes the whole. Purpose of halving a law that pence try to stop this well so it's it they're Campion is a media rather than some sort of historical thing yes well. It's it it is it is a powerful element it's it's. Way more important than even I realized though thank you for making it thanks for making the drive up because I know how to I don't know I enjoy coming into the match yeah. Spread it hurts so people preschoolers on and see the film absolutely thank you guys very much and thanks thank you thank you payments.
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