Brandon Cronenberg interview

This week AJ got to speak with Brandon Cronenberg for his new film Possessor Uncut which comes out Friday.



AJ Friar:
So Brandon, how did Possessor: Uncut come about? Because this is really one of the more mindfucks of horror or science fiction films I have seen in a long time. So how did that story come about?

Brandon Cronenberg:
Oh well, thank you. I started writing Possessor during a bit of a strange period where a lot was in flux for me. And so I was in a sense having difficulty seeing myself in my own life. I was waking up in the morning and feeling like I was sitting up into someone else's life and having to scramble to construct some kind of character who would be able to function in that context.

Brandon Cronenberg:
And so I wanted to write a script about a character who may or may not be an imposter in their own life. And therefore the seeds of the film are really in those kinds of personal moments, like the relationship stuff and the family stuff, that kind of straight drama. And actually, the Sci-Fi and horror elements really built out from there once that was in place.

AJ Friar:
And what were some of the inspiration... Well, you talked about how you were dealing with something at the time. But were there any prior like movie inspirations to this? Because this is one of those films that require [inaudible 00:01:18] for viewings like I said and Stetson requires [inaudible 00:01:23] like, so were there any like science fiction movies or previous horror movies that kind of helped develop the filmmaking ambiance when you were kind of really making Possessor: Uncut?

Brandon Cronenberg:
To a certain degree? I mean I try and watch a lot of movies with some of my close collaborators, like Karim Hussain and Rob Codrole, and just kind of mash them together somewhere in the back of my mind into a kind of loaf that I can on while I'm working.

Brandon Cronenberg:
So there isn't really one film or a handful of films that stand out as necessarily the influences conceptually. But we did look at films as we were working. For instance, we looked at a lot of Argento, Opera, in particular, was a reference for the kind of stylized elements of the violence.

AJ Friar:
And how was it like going through the casting process of this? Because you had Andrea and Chad who were, or Chris... I'm sorry, Andrea and Chris. And you had Jennifer Jason Leigh and Vincent in this. And how was it like getting all of those people on set together cause they were just all band to aspect in this?



Brandon Cronenberg:
I mean, it was great. I feel incredibly lucky to have been able to work with them. Especially for a film like this, where so much of it isn't the acting and the nuance. I don't think it would have come off nearly as well with lesser actors. But all of them were fantastic. I mean, Chris and Andrea were incredible to work with and so collaborative and talented and surprising in a good way.

Brandon Cronenberg:
They really brought their own ideas to the characters in a way that I wanted because I'd been running it for a long time. And at a certain point, it can go, like the story and the characters can start to feel stale because you've been developing it for so long. And so there's nothing better than having actors come into those roles who have their own ideas who are injecting it with this new energy.

AJ Friar:
And Andrea's name has been getting big ever since Mandy came out. So she was in Mandy and then she was in the Grudge reboot. So what was it like getting that name out in Possessor at this time? Cause right now it seems like if there was Scream Queens at this moment, she wouldn't probably be at the top of the list right now.

Brandon Cronenberg:
It's interesting because she's done such a huge variety of work and she's such a great dramatic actor. But she has sort of tapped into this vein of genre films as well recently, which is great. I think it's excellent to be able to bring someone with that level of talent into the horrors on road. So we're lucky to have her.

AJ Friar:
And Brandon what were some of the early films that got them, got you inspired to be a filmmaker. If there was any set of films that got you inspired to be a filmmaker.

Brandon Cronenberg:
There weren't really, I kind of came into it late in life, to be honest. I wanted to do anything except be a filmmaker. But it seemed like a good way to pursue by, a weird assortment of interests. I liked writing and visual art and music and thought film was a good way to collect those into one thing that I could focus on.

AJ Friar:
And in this year when we have a pandemic going on, how has it been like doing virtual press days or just any virtual like promotion for this film and having it play in drive-ins in this year. Because of course with the visuals in this film, you want to see it on the biggest screen and the loudest screen that you can. So how is it like dealing with all of that and this year?

Brandon Cronenberg:
Well, I'm kind of tickled by the fact that it's playing in drive-ins because drive-ins used to be are such a kind of classic retro venue. And the fact that they're having this new life in the pandemic is kind of great on a certain level. But it's true, it's a very visual film. I don't finish it as the utricle in the same way that some directors do.

Brandon Cronenberg:
So I don't mind that people will be watching it at home. I think a lot of people have good home setups. So I'm not bothered by that, to be honest. The main interesting thing is that it feels different as I would normally be traveling around and we would be in a room together talking, which I prefer because it has like a certain kind of energy to it. But this way I can also sit here in my sweat pants and we can talk that way.

AJ Friar:
Brandon, thank you so much for joining us at Infamous Horrors. It's been really fun talking to you and congratulations on Possessor. I hope a lot of people enjoy it at the drive-in and at home.





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