Nicholas Winding Refn: Interview




Nicolas Winding Refn; one of the most unique and interesting directors in the game. He is known for his obscure and quirky vision, his vibrant use of colour, and fearless approach to his directing that keeps audiences intrigued, and sometimes confused. His style creates impact. It makes people talk – whether it is positive or negative feedback, people are still talking about him and his films. I had the opportunity to speak to him for a few minutes; a mysterious man of few words (well, in our short time talking anyway) who was almost as challenging to work out as his most recent piece, Only God Forgives.




TMB: Hey Nicolas, how are you doing?


NWR: Copenhagen is always nice.


TMB: Cool, London is very windy right now.




TMB: If there was one word you could choose that you would want your audiences to describe Only God Forgives as, immediately after seeing it, what would it be?


NWR: Wow!




TMB: With the upcoming DVD release of Only God Forgives, how do you take the mixed reactions from critics and audiences?


NWR: Well, you know you’ve made a difference, which is pretty cool. It’s always the best start [getting people talking about something.]




TMB: When shooting, how far do you immerse yourself into a culture when you’re telling a story in a particular place – how deep did you go with Bangkok?


NWR: Not a lot. But the tours [around Bangkok at night] were good!



TMB: How much of yourself, if any, is reflected in Julian’s character?


NWR: The thing is, everything you make is a part of you.




TMB: Any particular part of his character that was more you than any other part of it?


NWR: I can’t tell you that! (In a smiling tone)




TMB: He’s a pretty complex character, right…






TMB: Ryan Gosling is one of the most incredible silent actors – he holds so much presence without saying much. Did he ever surprise you during filming and shout boo in a particularly quiet scene?


NWR: Um, no, he’s just always good, and he can do no wrong. He is a super cool guy and I very much enjoy making movies with him.




TMB: When filming, you ask your cast for input. You have also recently chosen a design by an Empire magazine reader for the Only God Forgives DVD cover. Would you ever involve a fan a bit deeper with the film with input in a film on future projects?


NWR: Sure, absolutely! What they did over there in the UK with the Empire competition was wonderful.




TMB: I Walk With The Dead – one of your upcoming projects…its been said that it will either be set in LA, Miami or Tokyo, and I was wondering if you had chosen your next location to dive into?


NWR: No, I haven’t really chosen one of them yet. I’ve been spending more time on Barbarella. (His new TV series) I’m really into it, it’s going very well, I’m currently writing it, still trying to figure out what to do with it.




TMB: Any talks with Jane Fonda about it?


NWR: Oh no, God please.




TMB: Oh no, God please…how come?


NWR: Well, she’s like cool you know. I’ve never met her but we would definitely have something to talk about!




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About Andrea Lestrange

I love to write about different types of film - from blockbusters, to indies, and documentaries. I enjoy exploring and discussing different themes and angles, with a light-hearted edge to keep things fun. I am based in London, and currently looking to pursue a career in the film industry.

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