David Fincher is a famously demanding director, but he gets results, dammit.
“Fincher is meticulous,” actor John Carroll Lynch once said about working with him on Zodiac. “He’s after something. And it takes him 50 takes to get it.” Fifty is low, actually. Fincher shot a nine-minute scene for Mindhunter 75 times, and Amanda Seyfried recalls doing 200 takes for a single scene in his new film, Mank.
The black-and-white Netflix biographical drama, starring Gary Oldman as Citizen Kane co-writer Herman J. Mankiewicz, is a “splendid” movie, but the rest of Fincher’s cast, along with Seyfried, did not always have a splendid time making it.
“We did take after take after take after take,” actor Charles Dance, who plays William Randolph Hearst, told Total Film about shooting a dinner party scene in Mank. “And [Oldman] said to David at one point, ‘David, I’ve done this scene a hundred f*cking times.’ And Fincher said, ‘Yeah, I know, but this is 101. Reset!’” Fincher admits that filming Mank was “exhausting” for Oldman, “because I’m fairly didactic about, ‘These are the things that the scene needs to accomplish for me, and we will continue to play, to look for ways to underline these ideas that are as subtle as we can make them.’”
Fincher usually gets his way, too, unless it involves a Yankees hat.
(Via Total Film)