Actor Cliff Curtis will get candid about working with Hugh Jackman once more, taking part in a tortured character in sci-fi thriller ‘Reminiscence’, and why he chooses to work with sure administrators
If you watched the trailer for Reminiscence and thought the idea was vaguely just like Darren Aronofsky’s The Fountain (2006), you aren’t fallacious. Cliff Curtis who stars in each movies alongside Hugh Jackman confirms this. The New Zealander says over a video name with MetroPlus, “They have some esoteric elements in common, including a man going into an alternate reality for the love of a woman who is not present for him.”
Reminiscence follows scientist Nick Bannister (Jackman) and his infatuation with a singer Mae (Rebecca Ferguson) who out of the blue goes lacking. With the assistance of his assistant, Watts, (Thandiwe Newton), he leverages know-how, which he makes use of to assist folks recreate their recollections, to search out her. His determined endeavours lead him to satisfy Saint Joe (Daniel Wu) and Cyrus Boothe, performed by Curtis.
In a making-of featurette launched by Warner Bros, Curtis is seen hurling punches at Jackman on a rooftop in a gritty fistfight. He credit the stunt workforce and director Lisa Joy for the motion. “It is incredibly humbling and a pleasure to work with someone like Hugh Jackman; he is such a consummate professional and fantastic with stunts.”
Joy makes her directorial debut with Reminiscence for which she has additionally written the screenplay. Curtis agrees that he struck gold in collaborating with Joy, whom he calls a grasp filmmaker. “She does not work like a first-time filmmaker!”
Describing the movie as advanced and complex, the 53-year-old actor lauds Joy’s storytelling. “Lisa has drawn in and woven all of the different timelines and dimensions together. She is poetic and philosophical in her approacheto filmmaking. A writer-director knows the material inside out. With something as complex as this, there is no doubt that what is on the page is going to be on the screen.”
Portraying the sophisticated Cyrus Boothe, Curtis loved summoning somewhat darkness and enigma. “I don’t find him relatable but if you do, there is something very dark about you (laughs). I’m just joking! There is a poetry to how Lisa presents this tortured character, that represents a transition from the normal world to the newly-devastated one, and how humanity, under pressure can become brutal.”
That is what makes Boothe relatable, in line with Curtis. “We do not know what we are capable of unless someone takes away our home, livelihood and everything we think we know about life. He covets this affection that Mae has for Nick, and feels like an unacceptable, broken human being.”
The worlds offered in Reminiscence proved to be a visible help for the actors who continually pivot between outdated and new worlds. “‘Rich’ is a good word for these environments, as they feel very visceral and grounded. If this world goes through World War Three and a natural disaster it would look like this. You can almost smell it, that is how good the teams working on the production were,” feedback Curtis, crediting manufacturing designer Howard Cummings and artwork administrators Scott Plauche and Matthew Gatlin.
Speaking of the apocalyptic overtones, Curtis says, “the film offers a peek into our worst fears.” He would, nonetheless, be joyful if audiences didn’t get caught on the nihilism, including, “There is a sea of hope in this film, even under the worst of circumstances, humanity is designed to rise above and find a way to connect.”
The VFX know-how in Reminiscence is a conduit for the storytelling. “When I first met Lisa, she was showing me one of the action sequences and how she developed the technology with a team to shoot these scenes to make them visceral and real. She did not want to make a VFX movie, she wanted to make a combination where the actors are in real environments and the technology is woven into them. That is how you know you are working with a serious craftsman.”
On being a tradesman
It is honest to say Curtis is drawn to movies that experiment with alternate realities and magical realism. He is at the moment in post-production for Avatar 2, 3, 4 and 5 in addition to an indie movie, True Spirit. He has starred in various initiatives similar to Doctor Sleep (2019), Fear The Walking Dead collection, and The Meg (2018).
Given the similarities between The Fountain and Reminiscence, what drew him to engaged on the latter? He cuts straight to the chase, “It is part-artistry, part-survivalism, as part of the business of what we do to stay relevant in this industry. I consider myself a tradesman in my approach to my career. I just try to keep it mixed up so I do not get stuck.”
Revealing his ‘pull-factor’, Curtis says, “I concentrate on the administrators. With James Cameron, he says ‘a good film is one that fulfils its intention’, the place if it units out to be a small indie art-house movie on the lookout for a particular viewers and does that it’s a good movie. If it’s a popcorn film that caters to a particular age group of, say, males aged 25 to 45 and it does its job, that could be a good movie. He is beneficiant along with his estimation of fine movie-making.
“It is all about whether the filmmaker and the team set it up with the clear intention. I look for directors that are commanding in their genre. M. Night Shyamalan, Martin Scorcese, Danny Boyle, Darren Aronofsky… and you have Lisa Joy where if you read that script, you think ‘whoever wrote that is not your average storyteller-filmmaker’. I have worked with enough great filmmakers to realise, you may not always get it right, but when you know, you know.”