Edward Norton on his new movie and his cat co-star
TV and Movies
Frank Mena, private eye.
Frank, Frank-ly, Frank-ity, Frank-o.
He's the one who taught how to use my head, turn it into a strength.
He gave me a place in this crappy world until I screwed up.
You've been working on Motherless Brooklyn.
And by the way, I am from Brooklyn, [UNKNOWN].
And for 20 years to make this story come to life on film.
So tell us about why this was a passion project for you and where you took it.
On page 1 or in the first 2 minutes of a movie, that's what we all shoot for and I was very hooked by this hot mess of a character.
He's funny, he's smart.
He is dysfunctional, he is lonely.
It's just, he is all these great things and underneath this very chaotic condition that he is got, he is very human.
And the film in a lot of ways is, it's a marsh up of the things I love, it's sort of half rain man and half LA Confidential.
The best things come from the things you love and I love underdog films.
I do think films like Forrest Gump and Rain Man, and a Beautiful Mind, where you have a character who's an underdog.
We empathize with them in a way they take us through on a journey that's really as much about remembering that we wanna be on the side of the underdog, and root for them.
That's part of why those films feel good.
Why does your Lionel have a cat?
[LAUGH] Why, does he have a cat?
He doesn't have one in the book.
He didn't get along with cats.
It didn't work out.
That's the only reference.
And look, the old rule that don't work with children, animals, or on water.
These are tried and true maxims of filmmaking.
[LAUGH] That you violate at your peril.
And you did.
Yeah, and that cat was named Lester.
And he actually, we worked it out between
We came to an agreement.
I needed him we needed him in one key scene you remember to stay on the bed when Lionel is actually suffering we're seeing not the part of his condition.
That's funny, but the part that's really painful where his physical convulsions are taking him any stress his physical components are are hitting him so hard that it's like he's gonna snap his own neck with his like twitching and.
He's coming into his own apartment and we wanted to have like just that moment of I in my.
What I wanted was a moment where it's like his only friend is only person is there.
In comfort but then twitching is so bad that even the cat runs away.
You know what I mean?
But the problem is the cat blessed him like obviously if someone he doesn't know walks in and is yelping and twitching he aint hanging for the pat on the head, right?
But what we realised was we did it four times.
I realized that to mind it Mime it until the one where we want him to run away, then do a real one.
And then we layered in the sounds later.
I realized we needed to respect Lester's need for a certain method kind.
He was a method-kind actor.
[LAUGH] I've read a lot of interviews that you've done over the past few weeks and you've talked about your cast which is amazing, but, I just thought the cat needed.
You have talked about that there is a lot of oppurtunity to get films out, even though it was a challenge.
Challenge to bring motherless Brooklyn out.
And part of that was talking about streaming services like Netflix.
What is your take on that tech?
I mean, I think nobody who's in the business of storytelling, let's say, generally speaking, could ever argue that there's more opportunity There's more opportunity for creative people to tell stories in dynamic and original ways than there has ever been in the history of filmed entertainment.
People thought TV would kill movies and people thought VCR would kill them even more and they think streaming will kill.
But it's just not the case because people like to get together.
Around the fire in a way and tell a story and it's nice, it's fun, I see nothing but opportunity and dynamism in in you know...
More platforms and more forms.
It's all great.
She doesn't know.
She doesn't know.
What don't I know?
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