Daniel Espinosa at the 2013 Guldbagge Award
|Born||Jorge Daniel Espinosa
23 March 1977
|Occupation||Film director, screenwriter, producer|
That's the place we're in right now: we think we have the capability to get every piece of information, and we don't. We don't know what's going on behind the closed curtain. If we want to say we live in a free democratic society, we should be able to find out whatever we want to.
I think the movie industry is a hard industry, but it is not that hard to be allowed to do what you want if you work hard.
Chileans have this rumor that they're great soccer players, but I stunk as a soccer player. I always had to hide my nationality when they were picking teams because, just by the look of me, they would think that I was a great soccer player.
Academically, I was never that interested. I skipped classes. My biggest dream was to have a coffee shop, but I had no idea how to get the money to do that.
When I was sixteen years old, I was sentenced to two years in prison; the Swedish government changed it, so I could go to a boarding school as part of a social programme. I was in this boarding school with some of the richest kids in Sweden.
When I was asked to come over to the States, I thought to myself, 'What the Americans are very good at doing is creating stories with strong movement and plots that carry the movie as it goes along.'
I have severe claustrophobia, and I panic if I'm more than six feet above ground.
I looked at early movies with Robert Redford, and I like how Robert, even though he had that automatic charisma and was a very verbal person, he always played those more silent characters and played within the scene and never overacted.
For me, it's important that the script is good. Then a good director will want to make it.
Gangster movies are the inheritor of the Greek tragedy: it's the only genre where the audience will be disappointed if there's not a tragic ending.
When we think back at our youth, we always remember the feeling of freedom… that you actually believe in the world. Even if it goes well for you in life, you can never attain that freedom in your imagination of what you think life could be. We are tainted.
Creating stuff is hard. But, if that terrifies you, you will just be numb, and you better just stay at home and watch TV and do something else. Move into the woods and live with the trees.
It must have been fascinating for Bono to have Johnny Cash do a cover of his song, and hear how he translates the words that he has used. And it would be fascinating to see a great director do his take on my work.
I think it's always interesting to make sensational stories where, if these people don't make the right choice, it actually puts marks not just on their souls but also their bodies. That means that you can visualize existential questions.
I did two movies that were arthouse movies; they were critically successful but made no money at all… but after making those movies, I thought, 'I wouldn't watch my own movies when I was 16, and my buddies where I came from wouldn't watch my movies, because they were boring.'
Think about Medusa, with the snakes. If you shoot a movie in Europe, the financiers are three snakes, and they all have opinions. In Hollywood there are, like, 20 snakes.
It's really hard to get a coffee with someone. I have to call my agent, my agent calls their agent, their agent calls their manager, the manager calls back, the actor sends someone to the manager… then you get, 'Yeah, yeah, I'd love to have dinner at six,' and all I wanted was coffee! It can take, like, six days to get coffee.
I grew up in different parts of Africa. I grew up in Mozambique and places like that. I've been in South Africa many times.
I run a fast pace on my sets, man. I like the energy of the scene to be the energy on the set. I think it affects the actors, and I think it affects the crew. There's that sensation like you're really shooting it for real, like in a documentary.
I made this Swedish movie called 'Snabba Cash,' or 'Easy Money,' and it was shown at the Berlin Film Festival. A lot of American studios, agents, and people like that saw it there and liked it.
Almost always, when we have fights in movies, they're done in these strange rooms where nothing gets broken. It's almost like they're in padded cells.
If the crew is hit by the situation that we're trying to portray, I think we get a real and a stronger moment with the camerawork and the actors.
Do we have the right to understand the world we live in? The right to all the information regarding why our governments are making the decisions that they are?
I come from the working-class area of Stockholm, and I grew up with Serbian and Chilean people.
If you just storyboard something, you've already planned it, and you're stuck in the limitations of your imagination.
We've all done actions in our lives where we compromise what we believe in. And if we keep doing it, there's no way back, no pride to hold on to.
I always loved when James Stewart did roles that were not so dialogue-based, like 'Vertigo.'
If you create a movie that is only character driven, with a weak plot, then you – as a director, you have to make sure you keep pushing the tempo.
All our forms are unique – movies, music and literature – and you have to leave the person who is doing it to do their best.