I didnt call you a narcissist.
No, but thats what is said all the time and thats whats meant when people ask me why I need the sex scene. I dont need the sex scene in the film, because I didnt need to make the film. But that film includes that sex scene. That film as a whole includes that sex scene. Its not a separate part. Its not a choice. Does Robert Redford wear the mustache in Butch Cassidy, or doesnt he? Thats a choice. This film exists as a whole. I dont compartmentalize the movie like that.
The whole scene involves hyper-intimacy, hyper-focus. You can barely hear them talk sometimes. Theyre barely whispering. Youre constantly left feeling that youre left watching something that you shouldnt be watching, because youre not supposed to watch sexuality, really, in a sense. Because youre supposed to fill your mind with sexuality when youre having sex. My character in The Brown Bunny cannot fill his mind with sexuality. He cannot because hes filled with fear, grief, anger, and resentment, and thats a very unusual portrayal of male sexuality. Ive never seen it before. Its not influenced by Two Lane Blacktop or some other stupid movie because it had a car in it. Its insight that I felt that I had into pathological behavior that I think is common now.
People are extremely compulsive-addictive in the way that they get together. They act out in these ways in grief that I think are extreme. My character seems like a sociopath in this film but hes very ordinary, and his experience is very ordinary. And Im sorry that theres so much focus at arriving at this scene. It was not my intention. I didnt think that people would go see the movie and be so enthusiastic to see a blow job that they would ignore a whole film. I didnt want the film ever to be presented that way because I thought we would just release it in another quieter way. Once it blew up
I made that billboard on Sunset Blvd. I thought that billboard was the most beautiful billboard Id ever seen in my life. I thought it was unique billboard in the fact that it wasnt done in the conventional protocol of advertising where a whole bunch of people come in and put their name, and you have to make everybody happy in the film. It was just nice to see something where one person was able to create a more stark, bold billboard. Im disappointed that I never actually got to see it in person. Very disappointed because they f***ing took it down before I got here.
You never saw it?
No. I was in New York when the billboard went up.
Who took it down?
Regency. The people at Regency, without saying anything. And the publicist had said to me that the controversy had started coming around the billboard. I thought people would freak out at the billboard I didnt see it as a smut thing I thought they would freak out by the style. Im always in my own Im thinking, Wow, this is so beautiful. I mean, look it. No company names, just this big thing. I hope other actors and directors get off this billing block and this crap. Its so great to see graphic design without all these things that you have to pander to.
And then, you know, the publicist calls me, The New York Times saw the billboard and they want to talk to you about it. Im like, Oh no. And I said to her, I said, Listen. Lets not talk to anybody because theyre going to wind up taking it down. Oh no, they cant take it down because you have a contract. I said, Im just afraid theyre going to take it down. Please, I want to get to LA. I want to see my billboard. I want to see my billboard before it gets taken down. Then when I was in Chicago, going from Chicago to Minneapolis, somebody calls me and says, Your billboards down. I found out the billboard had been taken down without any explanation. There [were] no riots. You couldnt see anything.
Look at advertisements now. Look at CK, look at Gucci, I mean, please! People like porn and eroticism. They dont like black and white duotones. They want to see clean, healthy, young flesh. Do you think if you were a porno connoisseur that billboard would have turned you on? There wasnt enough there. It looked like a romance novel cover more than anything else. There was clear hints of sexuality. The postures were clearly dramatic and clearly intimate. It was suggestive that the film was sophisticated in another way. And thats all. That was the point.
The people who responded to it the most, the people who called me up who have the most evolved taste of my friends, liked that more than anything that Ive ever done. But they didnt like it in that way. They liked the boldness of it. They liked the whole odd nature.