6. There’s one main difference between Tom Tykwer’s directing style and that of the Wachowkis.
According to Halle Berry, working with three directors was surprisingly seamless, but there was only one big difference in their styles. “Tom Tykwer talked before we shot and Lana and Andy had you shoot first and then they talked about what they saw you did. They added their opinion and you did it again,” she said. “It was different but they had one cohesive vision. They were very clear about the movie they were making.”
7. The three directors were only together on set for one day.
To direct six separate stories, Tom Tykwer and the Wachowski’s broke the film in half. Tykwer did 1936, 1973 and 2012 while the Wachowskis did 1849, 2144 and 2321. It was the only way to get the film done on schedule and budget. Because of that, Hugo Weaving revealed they were only on set together one day during the entire shoot. The reason? One of Tykwer’s actors got sick so he had to cancel the day.
8. Halle Berry thought she was going to be fired on the second day of filming.
Two days into shooting, Halle Berry broke five bones in her foot. “I did think I was going to be recast,” she said. “I sat there in my bed, foot up in the air and I got a call that Tom, Andy and Lana want to come talk to you. I thought ‘They’re going to give me my walking papers’ and say ‘Love you but too many people are involved, too many scheudles have been made, so we’re bringing in Angela Bassett or somebody. But they said we love you and we want you to stay and we’re gonna work this out.”
9. While all the actors wanted to appear in all of the stories, it had to make sense. Or, the explanation of “how Jim Sturgess got into his sixth story.”
“The challenge for most of the actors was everyone wanted to at least be present in each of the six stories, which wasn’t possible for some of the actors,” Jim Sturgess said. “I’d gotten myself into five and I was like, ‘Come on, there must be a way you can get me into the sixth story.’ Finally Lana said ‘We’ve got it, we’ve found it, you’re going to play a poor painter [in 1936] who walks down the stairs and he’s gonna get thrown out of the hotel by Tom Hanks.’ And this is the amazing thing about the whole process. Lana and Andy or Tom wouldn’t let you be in it for the sake of being in it, there had to be some thing that they could connect to. And it was genius. I literally walk past Ben Whishaw on the steps as I walk out of the hotel and the minute I turn the corner, Tom Hanks‘ character says ‘Ah Mr. Ewing,’ to Robert Frobisher, who is under the alias ‘Adam Ewing’ as he’s checking into the hotel. Just as I sort of disappear around the corner.” Of course, Sturgess plays Ewing, a writer who inspires Frobisher.
10. Some roles were large, some were incredibly small. AKA, “how Tom Hanks played one character for only 90 minutes.”
Like Sturgess, Tom Hanks appears in all six stories. His smallest role is of an actor portraying Timothy Cavendish [played by Jim Broadbent in the 2012-set story) in a TV movie seen in 2144. He only played the role for 90 minutes. “We had so much fun for about 90 minutes,” Hanks said. “We talk about ‘Is he a good actor, is this a good movie, is it a bad movie, how good or bad do you want this to be?’”
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