Nicolas Winding Refn on ‘The Neon Demon’, Social Media, ‘Drive’ and Keanu Reeves

     June 27, 2016

Doing an interview with Nicolas Winding Refn is a lot like watching some of his movies. Sometimes you get a straight answer structured like a conventional story, but other times he might say something short and mysterious, leaving you wondering exactly what he meant. But that’s one of the reasons I appreciate his work. As you watch his movies unfold, they usually take some weird left and right turns and you never know exactly where the story might take you.

the-neon-demon-posterIn his latest film, The Neon Demon, the story follows Jesse (Elle Fanning), an aspiring model entering the ravenous modeling world of Los Angeles, who meets a group of beauty-obsessed women who will take any means necessary to get what she has. The Neon Demon also stars Christina Hendricks, Jena Malone, Bella Heathcote, Abbey Lee and Keanu Reeves.

I recently sat down with Nicolas Winding Refn for an exclusive video interview. He talked about making Neon Demon, if he feels pressure to conform to a conventional narrative structure, working with Keanu Reeves, VR, discovering the antagonist/protagonist relationship in the film, his collaborations with composer Cliff Martinez, social media, Drive, and a lot more. Check out what he had to say in the video above and the list of what we talked about is listed below.

Nicolas Winding Refn:

  • How much pressure does he feel to conform to a conventional narrative?
  • How much is The Neon Demon a product of his original vision and how much was it a product of what he found on set?
  • Talks about discovering the antagonist/protagonist relationship was the heart of the film.
  • Talks about why he doesn’t shoot alts because of time constrictions.
  • How long was the first cut compared to the final cut?
  • Talks about finding a role for Keanu Reeves.
  • How much does he preplan his shots and how much does he find it while filming?
  • the-neon-demon-keanu-reeves

    Image via Gaumont and Wild Bunch

    Film or digital, and why?

  • Talks about experimenting with lenses on digital cameras.
  • What does he think of VR technology?
  • Talks back to how all mediums of picture making all tend to lead back to a similar place.
  • Is there any appeal to doing a sequel to something like Drive?
  • Talks about why sequels work in Hollywood, but not for him.
  • Talks about his collaboration with composer Cliff Martinez.
  • How different is the theatrical film from the Cannes cut, and will people be able to see it some point?
  • Talks about trying to keep his social media interesting instead of annoying.
  • Talks about how he likes to pick his next project.
  • Will he be getting behind the camera again this year?

Image via Gaumont and Wild Bunch


Image via Gaumont and Wild Bunch

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