TR Interview: Quentin Dupieux Is the Right Man for Wrong

By Luke Y. Thompson in Movies
Friday, February 1, 2013 at 8:00 am

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LYT: The character of Master Chang: how did you guys come up with that particular accent for him? That was a very interesting choice by William Fichtner.

QD: That's totally Bill. We offered him the part, and he said yes, then I had a meeting with him, and he just came and told me, "Look, I have this accent." So he took a book and he read some random text with this accent, and he said "You like it?" And I said, "Yeah, it's funny!" He said, "That's good, because that's all I have." Like, "That's all I see for Master Chang, and that's why I want to do it. When I was reading the script, I had this stupid accent in mind, I guess because the guy is named Master Chang, but he's not Asian."

So that was the way that he understood the script, so he decided to come up with this German-Indian mixed accent. It was great! In my mind, the guy was just a weird dude. Everything was written except this great accent, and that's Bill's idea.

LYT: What are some of the things that have inspired your interest in absurdist comedy? Are you a fan of Bertolt Brecht, Tom Stoppard and stuff like that? What are some of your influences?

QD: I have many, many influences, but randomly I'd say there's a French guy named Bertrand Blier. Bertrand Blier is still alive and he made amazing movies in the '70s and '80s in France, but I think he's only known in France. He was a really big influence for me. I like Monty Python a lot. I like to watch random, mainstream things, even when it's bad. I guess I'm just like everyone, and influenced by everything.

LYT: Has there been any talk about making your first movie, Steak, more widely available over here? Has Drafthouse, for instance, been interested in that one?

QD: I don't know. Since it is shot entirely in French, I think nobody cares here. I understand why - it's really about - I guess this movie might be a little too French.

LYT: I think once people start discovering your movies they're going to want to see that one.

QD: Cool! I have two new movies ready - I'm in the editing process, but we shot Wrong Cops just after Wrong, which is about the cop character, the one you see at the start. I wrote a movie for him, and we have a lot of cops in it; it's really funny! Then I shot Réalité; Reality, if you prefer. It's my oldest script; something I've been work on for three or four years. So yeah, I have two new movies coming very soon, so I hope my audience will grow.

LYT: Is Réalité a comedy also?

QD: Yes, Réalité is...it's hard to describe. Yes, it's supposed to be funny at some points, but it's about the brain of the artist, in a way.

LYT: With Wrong Cops, you've got some bigger names, like Marilyn Manson and Eric Wareheim. Is it different working with people who have these established personas? I guess you've worked with [French comedic duo] Eric & Ramzy already, and they were known quantities. Is it different with people who bring these larger-than-life personalities?

QD: Not particularly, because they come for a good reason. They come on my set because they like my stuff, so they are super relaxed and they come exactly like a no-name actor. They just want to have fun, and they trust me. Since we are super-low budget, everybody is treated the same. It's the same for Réalité; I worked with a very famous French actor named Alain Chabat, and he is probably the biggest in France, and he was just exactly like all the others on the set. Just having fun because it's a great experience, and my shootings are smooth, and we are not waiting, we are just shooting all day long, and it's all about having fun. So I guess no, there's no difference.

Working with Manson was really interesting, because I didn't know the guy first, and he approached me because he was a Rubber fan, and I have to say, he blew my mind, because I wrote this stupid part for him of a teenager, and he was so into it. He was really focused and super smart about it. So no, basically, no. And the same for Wareheim, he came for the good reasons, so he was super sweet to work with.

LYT: When you shot all those office scenes indoors where it's raining inside, did anybody catch cold?

QD: No, but the funny story is since we had a budget, like I said, we had warm water for like 15 minutes, then it was cold. But I think no, we were all super excited, and everybody was saying it was an incredible experience to be in this space it showered for minutes, pretending to work; they all enjoyed doing it. And being out there with the camera, of course, I have to say yes, it was a weird, interesting experience, because the sound was weird, and the water is the master of everything. It was funny!

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Wrong is available on-demand starting today, and will open in U.S. theaters March 29th.

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