By Mr. Will Wong
The incredibly star-studded DON’T LOOK UP comes to us from acclaimed Director/Writer Adam McKay (Vice, The Big Short). The Dark Comedy centers on two Astronomers, Randy Mindy (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Kate Dibiasky (Jennifer Lawrence) who embark on a Media Tour to warn the world that a comet is approaching, potentially destroying our planet.
We are incredibly-honoured to be among the group of Journalists selected to attend the global press conference for DON’T LOOK UP, and joining us were an impressive bunch
Leonardo DiCaprio tells us about working with McKay and also comments on the marred public perception of Scientists.
DiCaprio: “Adam created this Film, which was about the Climate Crisis, but made it with a sense of urgency by making it about a comet that is about to hit earth within eight months. And it’s about how Science has become politicized and there’s alternative facts. I was just thinking to play a character who’s solely based on so many people I’ve met from the scientific community, in particular Climate Scientists who have been trying to communicate the urgency of this issue and feeling like they’re subjected to the last page on the newspaper. There’s too many other things we’re inundated with. I love the way he portrayed these two different characters, one that is incredibly-outspoken, this Greta Thunberg-type of character in Jen‘s and mine who is trying to play within the system.”.
“I also love the way he was incredibly truthful about how we’re so immensely distracted from the whole truth nowadays and of course Covid hit and there was a whole new scientific argument going on there. It’s such an important Film to be a part of at this particular time.”.
Lawrence: “It’s just so sad and frustrating to watch people who’ve dedicated their lives to learning the truth and be turned away because people don’t like what the truth has to say.”.
Adam McKay talks about his use of Comedy in delivering this very serious real-life message.
McKay: “We were talking about the idea of dealing with Climate Crisis which is so overwhelming and arguably the greatest threat to life in the history of mankind. It almost can feel like an animal attacking you, but if you’re able to laugh, that means you have some distance. I actually think that’s really important and you can feel urgency and sadness, and feel lost, while also having a sense of humour. And that was the intention of the Movie after the crazy last five, ten years we’ve all had. Wouldn’t it be funny to just laugh at this? So that was kinda the approach.”.
DiCaprio talks about the necessity of some of the blockbuster names in the Film to get the message out about Climate Change.
DiCaprio: “I’ve been looking for a movie about the subject for decades now. This is an issue where everyone feels ultimately like, ‘What kind of difference can we make?’ and what can we contribute to this cause. Adam really cracked the code with so many comparisons that we can make to the Climate Change crisis with this story line. As a whole, it’s the most important topic we all can be talking about on a regular basis. It takes Artists like this to change the narrative, to create conversation.”.
In DON’T LOOK UP, the central comet is named after Lawrence‘s character. She is asked about how her character feels about this.
Lawrence: “I think at first it’s very exciting until it becomes a catastrophe, and you’re named something people are not happy about. There was an evolution where at first she was very proud of this and then resentment built.”.
Kid Cudi talks about his experience on this Film as DJ Chello, while also contributing to the Film’s theme song “Just Look Up” with Ariana Grande, who plays Riley Bina.
Cudi: “It was nerve-wrecking. It felt like even though I was there for three days, it felt like a family setting and everybody embraced me. It was my first time meeting Tyler Perry, and he’s so cool and I didn’t realize he was so tall! I learned sometimes you’ve just gotta relax and go with the flow and be within your space and comfortable. I talk to Kathryn Hahn, whom I’m friends with, and she told me about Adam. She said, ‘Just be ready for him to throw anything!’ and that made me even more scared.”.
“When Nicholas Britell (Song Producer) played the song for me, I said, ‘Holy shit! Where do I fit? How do I approach this?’. He had something written for me and we tried that, but it just wasn’t working. Maybe it would be better if I approach it with my own flavour and take that approach. This is not me writing a song from a Kid Cudi perspective, this is from DJ‘s perspective and they’ve (DJ and Riley) just linked back up, and he’s pretty much confessing and expressing his love to her, and he’s just kinda forgetting about the importance of the song. I’m just happy to be with my baby. I took this approach. You’re on-stage with this girl making this song with the love of your life. You just had a huge fallout and everyone around the world knew about it. So it was this reunion moment. It was intense at first because Ariana is such an incredible Artist. Her vocal performance is just stellar. I’m just really happy we were happy to figure it out and it worked.”.
“Just Look Up” can be heard here:
Lawrence also talks about her experience working with Grande, being a huge fan of hers.
Lawrence: “It was shocking, she’s so tiny. I’m a huge fan of her music. It was overwhelming. Our worlds don’t normally collide. I felt like a radio contest winner. I didn’t know how to talk to her. I just did my best.”.
Jonah Hill and DiCaprio each talk about their mutual admiration for one another, working together this a third time. Hill plays the President’s son Jason Orlean.
Hill: “Honestly, I’ve always been a fan of Leo and have had mad respect for how much he puts his money and time where his mouth is in regards to this issue, so not only as a friend, but someone who is out there talking a big game, and actually walks the walk.”.
DiCaprio: “He is an absolute genius, this friend of mine. He has this ability to improvise, take control of a scene and have the narrative be shifted in amazing, colourful ways. It is a sight to witness and truly remarkable to experience. He’s absolutely a genius. I would love to work on a hundred more films.”.
Lawrence: “Amen, really fun.”.
Hill: “I agree with what he said (laughs). Real talk, I’ve worked with now pretty much all the best Actors in the world, a lot who are up here right now, and there’s been no more loyal friend in show business. Aside from that, put all those feelings aside. What you see when they yell “action!’ and what he does, no disrespect, is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Hands down. Just kidding! Duh! (looking at Meryl Streep) I’ll text you how I feel!”.
Tyler Perry talks about playing TV Host Jack Bremner, opposite Cate Blanchett who plays Brie Evantee.
Perry: “I actually made a couple phone calls to people who are on morning shows right now that I admire, I sent them part of the Script. I said, ‘Why don’t you read this and send it back to me on your iPhone?’. And they did, so I got some bits here and there. Those guys are professional Journalists. They were very helpful helping me pull that off.”.
McKay: “Tyler is being very humble, by the way. The big trick between him and Cate Blanchett is that they really had to have a chemistry. It was so remarkable within five minutes, it was as if they’d been on a show together for ten years!”.
Perry: “That happens when there’s sexual chemistry! That was obvious. I said, ‘Okay, I just have to flirt, I get it!’. She’s gonna kill me!”.
Meryl Streep talks about her character President Orlean and where she pulled inspiration and the sacrifices of being a public servant.
Streep: “There were so many places to take things from because there’s so many preposterous people who put themselves in public places shamelessly. It was kinda fun to put together this character who was about amassing power and money, more power and more money. And nice hair and nails to top it all off. And unfortunately, that’s what the cost of what being a public servant is. You really have to make a big sacrifice. Your family makes a sacrifice and you have to be willing to do that. It’s amazing we ever get good people to do it. We need them right now. It’s a high cost in public service, that’s for sure.”.
DiCaprio talks about a compelling moment in DON’T LOOK UP where he delivers an impassioned speech.
DiCaprio: “Adam and I worked on that speech probably 50 times together. What I really wanted to do was try to articulate the frustration of the scientific community, how one is sitting on a pulpit trying to tell the truth and all these other noises are drowning out the main message. So we worked a lot together trying to understand the frustration of the scientific community and how one would be in a situation like that. How do you put on this professional jacket to cut through straight to the truth of the situation?”.
The Cast is asked about moments in the Film they found chilling.
Streep: “There is a scene in a bar with Tyler and Cate and everything’s going to shit outside. She says, ‘I just wanna get drunk and talk shit about people’. I know a lot of people like that. It’s not an unusual reaction but it chilled my bones.”.
“I don’t want to give any spoilers, but there’s also when they’re in the car with Timothée Chalamet and he proposes an idea to Jen and she goes ‘Yeah’. And it’s so clear it’s no way it’s ever gonna happen. The human dream is you hope something good will happen even though we know something bad is. That’s the kernel of truth, that we push this information away because it’s too painful.”.
DON’T LOOK UP is in select theatres December 10, 2021 and on Netflix December 24, 2021.
Our Review will be up shortly.
(Photo/video credit: Netflix)
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