Goldblum (Jurassic Park, The Big Chill), in rapid-fire fashion, told a story about Schrader motivating the actor to not only eat a flower, which was in the script,
but to “grab some dirt and eat it.” After questioning the sanitary value in doing so, Goldblum said Schrader got down and dirty. “Jeff, look at me, I’m eating the dirt; I’m eating the dirt. You eat it,” Schrader was quoted as saying. “So I ate the dirt,” Goldblum said.
Asked if he had any similar stories of motivation, Kinnear dropped his head down in mock disgust, saying, “You’re not gonna make me follow that.”
Kinnear did turn serious when asked to describe the difference between independent films and Hollywood films, saying it’s time — or the lack of it — that causes the biggest disparity between both worlds and that he “likes the process of moving forward and not getting stuck” when a director doesn’t rely on too many takes. On the other hand, he used James Brooks (As Good As It Gets) as an example of one who is "not afraid to get a few takes in," calling that "a luxury."
Goldblum, who has had his share of directing and teaching jobs, called Schrader “brilliant,” and said he spent a year preparing for the role of a clown turned concentration camp survivor turned mental asylum inmate. He and Schrader had “a very playful and creative time of it” during the preparation that took him on research missions to Israel, Poland, and Romania.
But finding the right person for a role doesn't always require so much work, said Fincher, who earlier in the day showed about 20 minutes of his you’ve-seen-nothing-like-it-before epic The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
Fincher, who also is here with a director’s cut of his gritty 2007 thriller Zodiac, recalled discussing who could play the role of Paul Avery, the hard-drinking reporter involved in tracking down the serial killer. Simple, he said.