Chloe is an erotic thriller about Catherine Stewart (Julianne Moore) who becomes suspicious that her husband, David (Liam Neeson) is unfaithful so she hires Chloe (Amanda Seyfried), a high priced “escort” to talk to her husband, and test how far he will go. Unfortunately Catherine gets a lot more that she bargained for as the two become entangled in a very intense and intimate relationship.
I had the pleasure of sitting down and chatting with Amanda Seyfried and director Atom Egoyan of Chloe about the script, art direction, and the controversial sex scene.
What do you see as Chloe’s underlying motivation for inserting herself into Catherine’s life?
Atom Egoyan: The ability to tell her [Chloe’s] story to someone who would listen. I think that all the things that she is describing that are happening are actually things that did happen in her life. I think that she has had these encounters with other people… and she feels pretty lost about that all, and suddenly she gets to tell her life to someone who is so attentive for her own reasons and that becomes intoxicating to her. She get to share that and as long as she keeps telling that story she gets to have that relationship. She kind of forgets what the ground plan is. She allows herself to believe that the story she is telling is her life and it is to someone who cares about it. That is why she falls for Catherine in such a profound way. She is just in love with the idea of Catherine listening to her.
This is the first film that you [Egoyan] have done that you haven’t written. Are you interested in directing more of other people’s scripts?
Atom Egoyan: I’m open. I’ve never resisted that, it just hasn’t worked out. I started out my career doing The Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchcock Presents and these scripts for TV that weren’t mine, obviously. I actually did a film version of Krapp’s Last Tape, which was written by a relatively unknown writer named Samuel Beckett, but this is the first feature. I read a ton [of scripts], so yeah I’m open.
The Stewart family live in a very beautiful, modernist house that is all windows and glass, which almost plays a character in the film. Was that in the script?
Atom Egoyan: No. Not specifically. It is actually characteristic, a lot of architectural details, which are very particular to Toronto [where the film was shot]. The notion of glass is certainly in the script. I remember the first day that [the writer] came on set and [she] saw Catherine’s office, which is totally white and glass and she was so excited.
Amanda, do you feel like this is going to be viewed as the film where you “get naked?”
Amanda Seyfried: Yeah.
Do you think that is exploitative at all?
Amanda Seyfried: There is always a part of it that feels wrong, but because it is done the best it can be done, and because people under seventeen years of age cannot see it… I just don’t like to think about that actually. I really prefer to think about the hardcore Egoyan fans that will definitely be going to see it, and I hope they are as proud of it as they were of the last one. I’m feeling insecure because it is something that I really love.
With images of the nudity and the sex scenes already appearing online do you think that will help sell this picture?
Atom Egoyan: There is already so much sex available online, it’s not as well photographed as this maybe, but no one is going to go see a movie because it has sex in it. They’ll go and see a movie because it’s a good film, because it is a drama. It is erotic because it is rare that you see performers going that far to convey the dramatic sense of what their characters are doing. I think the danger is when you see it online you think that’s what the movie is, and it’s not. It is out of context. We are living in a time where I think people with their attention span, [the movie] is reduced to just a clip, and you just kind of imagine what the rest of it is. Which is kind of unfortunate because the premise of a drama is that there is a commitment, and people are going to partake in an exceptional story performed by amazing actors. I just hope it doesn’t distract people from seeing the film. And seeing it projected. It is just a richly photographed film. It is gratifying because these are people who I have been working with for over twenty years and it is some of their best work. I hope that the film isn’t taken out of context because of the way that people are going to see clips online. It just crushes me when the clips are from Handy Cams that people sneak in the theaters. The quality is so awful.
You would prefer that the nude scenes that were stolen and leaked online where at least of DVD quality?
Atom Egoyan: Authorized at least.
Official Chloe Site: www.sonyclassics.com/chloe/
Interview by: Paul Myers (a.k.a. El Luchador)