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Joel and Ethan Coen Discuss Burn After Reading


Joel and Ethan Coen Discuss Burn After Reading

Joel and Ethan Coen at the Hollywood Premiere of No Country for Old Men.

© Richard Chavez

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Up Next – Burn After Reading: The Coens just finished shooting Burn After Reading. “The new film is about the culture of the Central Intelligence Agency and the culture of physical fitness in Washington DC and what happens when those two worlds collide,” said Joel Coen. “It’s also about Internet dating.”

Shooting in New York: Ethan Coen said the experience was something new for the filmmaking brothers. “We live there and we had never shot and gone home at night to bed," said Ethan Coen. "So it was strange by virtue of that.”

Joel Coen admitted they faced a few challenges filming in NY. “It’s a little bit different working in New York. It’s sort of hard figuring out what was what, especially given the fact that we were working with some pretty big movie stars so you are in a big urban environment with high profile people. We’d worked with high profile people before, but not in a big urban environment like that so much. That was a little bit different. Sort of logistically shooting in the city is a little bit different. And then as Ethan was saying, in the past when we’ve made a movie we sort of go away from home and you are able, to a certain extent, to sort of divorce your working life from your home life for a discreet period of time. It’s a little bit different in terms of maintaining focus, a little bit easier in a way. So all in all it was an interesting experience. It was really the opposite side of the coin from [No Country for Old Men].”

On Their Working Relationship with George Clooney: Joel Coen joked, “George loves to play idiots for us.” Ethan Coen added, “The day we wrapped, just a few days ago, we called wrap on George’s last shot and he said, ‘All right, that’s it. I’ve played my last idiot.’ So we told him it was sad that he wouldn’t be working with us anymore.”

“We always have a really good time with him and we had a great time with Brad [Pitt] too,” said Joel Coen. “It was very interesting. They are both very, very funny in the movie, I think.” But Pitt didn’t escape Clooney’s ‘idiot’ fate. “I think that’s pretty safe to say, yeah, it’s a dueling idiots movie,” revealed Joel Coen.

Planning for the Future: The Coens already have their next project set to go. “We are doing another project in April, in Minnesota. It’s called A Serious Man,” said Joel Coen. “It’s a movie about a Jewish community in the Midwest in 1967, a family, basically.”

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