#SUNDANCE18: NICOLAS CAGE, LINUS ROACHE + PANOS COSMATOS ON “MANDY”
By Amanda Gilmore for Mr. Will Wong
Mandy is one of the Films in the Midnight cateogory at Sundance this year. Its directed by Panos Cosmatos and stars Nicolas Cage, Andrea Riseborough and Linus Roache. It follows outsiders Red Miller (Cage) and Mandy Bloom (Riseborough) who live a loving and peaceful life. But when their haven gets savagely destroyed by cult leader Jeremiah Sand (Roache), Red seeks bloody vengeance. Director Cosmatos and both stars Cage and Roache were on hand at the Sundance Film Festival today for their junket. The three joke privately amongst each other and with journalists while speaking passionately about Mandy.
Q: Nicolas and Linus could you talk about how you got attached to this project and why you wanted to be apart of it? And Panos can you speak about why you wanted to make this Film?
A: Cage: I wanted to work with Panos I saw Behind The Black Rainbow I thought it was powerfully unique, a world unto itself, visionary, artistic, hallucinogenic. And I felt that to be able to play a man with the pathos of Red Miller in that kind of world would give me something that I had never done before.
Roache: I saw Black Rainbow after I read the script and saw the character that Panos had created it was an opportunity to kind of explore the outer limits of the male ego in all its grandiosity and pompous and outrageous violence. It was a gift of a role to be given. And to get to work with Nick was a Bucket List dream come true. So it couldn’t have been a better opportunity for me.
Cosmatos: I stated writing Mandy at the same time that I was writing Black Rainbow which was after the death of my father. Which was compounded on top of the death of my mother which I had suppressed and not dealt with. So I realized I had to face these things or I was going to be eaten alive. So I started writing Black Rainbow and Mandy at the same time and it wasn’t on purpose, but I realized in retrospect that they are both articulating two separate parts of the same thing. Black Rainbow deals a lot with control and I think I was a representation of me pushing in my emotions and feeling trapped. And Mandy is the opposite of that which is releasing all these emotions, its a very outward expression of those feelings. I’ve said that Black Rainbow is like an inhale and Mandy and exhale. But because of the feelings I was working through I became very obsessed with the theme of revenge at that time. Because it can be a very cathartic genre. I wanted to make a revenge movie that centered around the person that was being avenged as much as the avenger. I feel in the Film Mandy is ritually-killed because of the male ego and in the Film she is sort of reborn as an extension of her inner world. She is almost reborn as a Goddess and Red becomes like the Demigod.
Q: How was working with Andrea Riseborough?
A: Roache: Oh my God she’s amazing.
Cosmatos: I think Andrea is one of the greatest actresses of her generation, she’s a chameleon. I have been having people come up to me and telling me that they didn’t realize it was Andrea playing Mandy until about three-quarters of the way through.
Roache: I just had this one very intense scene with her and it was wonderful to do. But last night seeing the movie it kind of blew my mind that she represents all the different facets of the feminine. She’s like the mothers, the sisters, the daughters, she the lover. And it’s great.
Cosmatos: There are certain things in this film that are rooted way back in my past. Mandy to me is, when I was a kid there was a shitty fair in our town called the JC Fair, there was this stall that was selling ZZ Top wallets. There was this lady that was selling all the wallets and she was like a metal head who wore glasses. And for some reason I just fell in love with her. When I walked away I forgot the wallet and she called after me and my heart leaped. And I turned around and she said “you forgot your f***ing wallet.” I had an idea of Mandy in my head and I don’t think that Mandy was complete until Andrea come along.
Roache: But also as a woman though she brought the brokenness of her, the scar of the face, and that this woman was so warm and vulnerable. And almost otherworldly, like living in a fantasy world. Andrea really caught the, she sort of, she just did it unashamedly, there was no vanity in it. There was no “look at me.”
Cosmatos: Mandy is like the outsider looking out, I like characters like that.
There is no set release date yet for Mandy but more information can be found here.