Examiner.com was on the red carpet for the New York premiere of Warner Bros. space thriller "Gravity" at AMC Lincoln Square this week on Oct 1. Writer Jonas Cuaron, stars George Clooney and Sandra Bullock, director Alfonso Cuaron and producer David Heyman have been out and about in New York this week to promote the film, which hits theaters today, Oct. 4.
On Wednesday, Oct. 2 there was a Screen Actor's Guild screening of the film at Regal E-Walk Cinemas and George and Sandra participated in a special Q&A after. On the same evening, The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences hosted an official Academy members screening of the film at the Academy Theater at Lighthouse International. This week, Peggy Siegal also hosted an intimate lunch at the Explorers Club on the Upper East Side and on Thursday Oct. 3, Clooney was honored at Steven Spielberg's USC Shoah Foundation Institute 2013 Ambassadors For Humanity Gala at the Museum of Natural History. Sandra Bullock was in attendance to show her support.
Check out our exclusive interview with "Gravity" writer Jonas Cuaron.
Q: So tell me, what inspired the screenplay?
Cuaron: The screenplay started when I was with my dad in London and I had actually shown him another script that I had written that I’m about to direct early next year and I gave it to him, so I could get notes and feedback from him and when he read it he told me, ‘Well right now I don’t have that many notes, but I’d like to do something in a similar vein.’ Basically the idea was to create a movie that on one hand was a roller coaster, that was a non-stop, nail biting experience, but on the other hand, it would engage the audience on a deeper, emotional level. The idea was to be able to juggle themes and talk about things, but without relying only on that, to use visual metaphors and use the action itself to talk about those ideas.
Q: How long was the writing process for you?
Cuaron: The writing process...the main chunk of it was very fast cause we really had it clear, the movie we wanted to make so in a month we sat down and the whole movie was written. After that, obviously, I was very grateful to the rest of the process cause we started talking to astronauts...we wanted to be very realistic and factual, so that’s when they started telling us things that would or would not happen, so we had to rework that a little bit and...once George and Sandra got involved...we already knew the journey of the characters, but George and Sandra really gave flesh to those characters and for me it was a great learning experience as a writer because they’re very intuitive people and they really helped me bring those characters to life on the script.
Q: Can you tell me about your immersion into the space world and what surprised you about it?
Cuaron: I already was a big space fan. Since I was little I loved space. But after writing this movie I kind of had to become a space geek, I really did a lot of research. What surprised me a lot about this space exploration...you know how awesome astronauts are, I already knew it as a kid, but when you start to talk to them you really realize that they’re people that get a birds eye view of the world, they have a different understanding of life than we do.
David Heyman produced "Gravity."
Q: Tell me what was it like collaborating with Alfonso again?
Heyman: It was challenging, it was impossible and it was heavenly. Alfonso pushes the limits with everything, so it’s never easy because he’s relentless in his pursuit of excellence and perfection, so you’ll always go to places that you never thought you’d go to. But he brings out the best and he’s one of the greatest filmmakers working today so it’s a privilege.
Q: What did you love about the script?
Heyman: Well what I loved about it was it works on many levels. On the one hand it’s a thrilling ride, you’re on the edge of your seats. It’s so tense and exciting. But it’s also thematically rich and a deeply moving story, especially in Sandra Bullock’s hands. It really is, for all the thrills and all the adventures, it’s an emotional and moving story.
We also spoke with director Paul Feig on the red carpet.
Q: What brings you here?
Feig: Oh a little lady called Sandra Bullock. I hear she’s kind of cool. I love Sandra, I worked with her on "The Heat" and I just love to support her and I’m dying to see the movie, so it’s slightly selfish, too. And I’m a huge fan of Alfonso Cuaron’s. And that George Clooney’s not bad either.
Q: Not too shabby.
Feig: No, he’s easy on the eyes.
Q: You collaborated with Sandra on "The Heat," what do you admire about her?
Feig: Just everything. It’s her way of working, it’s her loveliness when she’s working. You hear about movie stars that can be tough, as a director it’s always like, ‘Oh get ready this person’s terrible,’ and she showed up and she was so wonderful that it just made it so much fun and it was so easy. It was like getting this giant star, but having this experience with a new excited actress.
Q: What upcoming project do you have?
Feig: I’m making another movie with Melissa McCarthy this upcoming spring. It’s like a female James Bond film. Melissa’s going to be a comedy-action hero.
Q: Well that seems to be right up her alley. Are you excited to work with her again?
Feig: Yeah I love her to death. She’s one of my favorite people on the planet and we’ve done two projects together and I’m excited to do "The Hat Trick" with her.
"Gravity" is now playing.