Sitting on the set of David O. Russell’s latest movie, The Last Of The Famous International Playboys, actor Robert Pattinson felt relieved. Not only was the shoot going well – his scenes had even been covered by several magazines – but he also felt comfortable enough to joke around with the crew. Despite his hectic filming schedule, the 28-year-old Englishman has spent a lot of time in America these past few months. The Last Of The Famous International Playboys is the star-studded biopic of Bono, and it is the first time that the actor has ever gone on a prolonged stay in the States. His stay was also punctuated by several press junkets and an appearance at the 2018 Tony Awards. That kind of media blitz can’t help but bring out the best in an actor, and it’s made Robert Pattinson one of the busiest men in Hollywood.
While The Last Of The Famous International Playboys was being shot, director Russell had asked his actors to record a few lines of pillowtalk for the movie. In other words, the director wanted to see if he could get a sense of their individual personalities in the few short minutes that they would have before falling asleep. Having to spend a little bit of time in bed with a celebrity can be a great way to get some free sleep and to let your hair down, so to speak. The result is a series of short monologues that appear in the movie: one on one interviews where the famous person talks to you in the form of a question-and-answer session about anything and everything. These interviews are colloquially known as “pillowtalk.”
Now, film directors can get very tricky when it comes to getting their movies made. Russell was famously difficult to work with, and he made it clear in a 2013 interview that he didn’t want to collaborate with the press at all. “I don’t want to answer any questions. I don’t want anyone to interview me. I want to do the movie and then disappear,” he said. That desire to be clandestine is one of the reasons why a lot of the pillowtalk went into the scene with Robert Pattinson and Bono. In the scene, Bono asks the actor a series of questions about himself, his family, his career, and even the band U2. Not only does it give us a good look at Robert Pattinson’s charming yet somewhat vulnerable side, but it also provides a nice contrast to the steely resolve that Bono had as a result of the band’s phenomenal success. The fact that these two very private individuals were able to share a bed for a night – which is something that the public rarely has the chance to do – gives the scene a dreamlike quality that is both magical and kind of haunting.
Band Work and Solo Work
Another thing that made the whole experience of making The Last Of The Famous International Playboys so interesting was the contrast between the glamorous image that Russell wanted to project and the behind-the-scenes reality of how much hard work went into creating this image. While the actors were enjoying their time on set, the band members were working flat out to ensure that there were no musical gaffes during the recording sessions. Director Russell even went so far as to say that he didn’t want to edit out any of the songs that the band had written for the movie; he wanted it to feel as immersive as possible. It was clear that the whole process of making a rock n’ roll movie was a labor of love for everyone involved.
And it was clear from the outset that David O. Russell was going all-in on this. He had seen the potential in Bono’s story, and he wanted to make the most of the opportunity. Having attended the expensive New England boarding school, Choate Rosemary Hall, the director wasn’t about to pass up on the chance to work with some of the biggest names in the music business. Choate’s curriculum includes not just academics but also music, theatre, and even martial arts. With so much focus on his education, it was no surprise when David O. Russell chose to go to Harvard for his MFA. Even more impressive is that while at art school, he managed to complete a short film, titled Wonderstruck, that was nominated for an Oscar in the short categories!
Harvard also gave him a taste of what working in media was like, and it was a revelation. After graduating with an MFA, the director got a job working as a producer on Six Degrees, a scripted social media show for Apple TV+. He then went on to serve as creative director of the online magazine The Cut, and he worked as a consulting editor at Vogue. It was during this time that he became acquainted with the work of Bono, and the rest, as they say, is history.
In the end, it’s not only the behind-the-scenes experiences that make a movie interesting, it’s also the things that the movie doesn’t show you. The Last Of The Famous International Playboys is a vivid reminder of just how immersive some cinema can be. Forget about the popcorn and the cheese board – instead, get your mind prepared for a mini-vacation to Dublin! The trailer for the movie clearly shows that the director went all-out with the visuals, and the costumes and sets give the whole scene a dreamlike quality that was both magical and kind of haunting.