Ahoy, squirts! Quint here. These junket interviews are always pretty tight, but they're almost impossibly so when you have three people to talk to. I did my best to jam in as much to this 5 minute 3:1 as I could.
The talk was with Danny McBride, Billy Crudup and Demian Bichir. Poor Demian got the short end of the stick, I'm sorry to say, but he does get a chance to talk a bit about the bonding experience on the set. We cover Alien, shooting in New Zealand and I even get a chance to thank Billy Crudup for participating in Almost Famous (one of my favorite movies) and grill Danny McBride a bit about his upcoming Halloween movie.
Enjoy this short, but fun, chat!
Quint: Hey, guys.
Danny McBride: I like that shirt a lot. (Quint note: I was wearing a Clockwork Orange tee-shirt)
Quint: When in London, right? Better than going and beating up a homeless person underneath a bridge somewhere.
Billy Crudup: That's a good call. Very classy. Diplomatic for America, actually.
Danny McBride: (laughs)
Quint: Billy, I was 14 years old when I did my first interview. I was writing for my high school newspaper and I ended up landing an interview with George Carlin. I started writing for Ain't It Cool when I was still in high school...
Billy Crudup: You're Cameron Crowe!
Quint: As you can imagine, Almost Famous hit me on a pretty deep level, so I wanted to say thanks for helping make that movie what it is.
Billy Crudup: Hey, thank you. I appreciate that. It was a hard movie to write and direct and conceive of...
Danny McBride: And then have to give the credit to someone else.
Billy Crudup: Well, that part was easy. I'm a very generous person... But what must have that been like? At 14 to talk to George Carlin?
Quint: It was a trip. I listened back to the original microcassette tape recently and it's super embarrassing. It was a phone interview and when I picked up he was like “Hi, this is George Carlin, how are ya'?” And then there's 10 seconds of silence and then 14 year old me going “Hi!” But it turned out well. He gave me some really good advice when I told him I was nervous about talking to him. He said “Don't be. I found if you go through life and you don't give a fuck you'll find yourself a happier person.”
Billy Crudup: That's great. Good advice.
Quint: But we should talk about Alien because I think I've already wasted half our time!
Billy Crudup: Naw.
Danny McBride: We're already done!
Billy Crudup: Take George's advice and say “I don't give a fuck if we talk about it!”
Quint: Since I have the three of you here, I'd like to talk a little about the group dynamic that developed in the movie. Billy, I loved that your character is a leader who's not really ready to be a leader, I liked what you were doing with Tennessee, Danny, and I thought it was really cool how they layered in detail to your character, Demian. It was cool that they didn't make a big deal that he was married to a man. The dynamic of the group is so crucial in a movie like this, so could you guys maybe talk a little bit about developing that?
Billy Crudup: Ridley has done that for his entire career. He creates these enormous spectacles, but at the heart of them are people that are really easy to relate to. He doesn't hit you over the head with cliches with who they are. He just lets them behave in space... Literally in space, but figuratively as well. That's a hard trick to pull off, actually.
Danny McBride: That's the trick to why you actually invest in these movies so much. Even though you're in outer space he's given you characters that you can identify with, that you can almost see yourself in this position and I think that's pretty smart.
Demian Bichir: It was really easy to create that behind the camera, in our daily lives, because we spent a lot of time together and it was great. It was a lot of fun. These guys are amazing and wonderful peers. My squad and I had a really intense training for the film, so we had that chance to connect.
Billy Crudup: And also the entire company was in New Zealand for about 3 weeks.
Quint: What part?
Billy Crudup: Milford Sound, it was called. It's in the fiordlands in the southeastern part. Everybody who was there became a real company of close, tightly-knit compassionate artists.
Danny McBride: Then I showed up.
Billy Crudup: You weren't there. I'm sorry. Not everybody was there, but those of who were in New Zealand...
Danny McBride: That's where the real bonding happened. I felt it for the rest of the film.
Quint: Did you protest? I mean, you didn't get to go to New Zealand...
Danny McBride: Me, Callie (Hernandez) and Jussie (Smollett) were like, “You know what? We know where the real party is and it's on the Covenant, miles above the planet.”
Quint: They're wrapping me, but before I go I wanted tell you, Danny, how excited I am that you and David Gordon Green are tackling Halloween.
Danny McBride: We're really thrilled to be a part of it and we got to pitch to John Carpenter to get his seal of approval, which was very important to David and I. We wouldn't even want to step into the ring if it wasn't something he thought was good. I love the simplicity of that first Halloween and that's what David and I are trying to get back to. He's not this indestructible Frankenstein, but the man who's just standing in the shadows when you take your trash out. That's way more horrifying.
Quint: He was the faceless boogeyman and that's what kind of got lost in a lot of the sequels and the Rob Zombie movies. Sounds like that's what you're going back to on this one, so I'm super onboard and can't wait to see what you guys do with it.
Danny McBride: Great, thank you.
There you have it. Keep your eye out for my other Alien: Covenant chats with Katherine Waterston, Michael Fassbender and Sir Ridley Scott!