Joshua Marston (director of Complete Unknown)
The Referee got a chance to interview Joshua Marston, director and co-writer of the just-released “Complete Unknown,” which features a great cast, including Rachel Weisz, Michael Shannon, Kathy Bates, and Danny Glover. In 2004, Marston burst onto the scene with his debut feature film, “Maria Full of Grace” (Oscar Nominee for Best Actress). He also directed “The Forgiveness of Blood.” In addition, he has lots of experience as a director of numerous episodes from some of the best TV shows. (Chances are, if you’ve watched most of the TV shows we’ve recommended, Joshua has directed them!) Take a listen to this engaging interview with one of Hollywood’s most intriguing directors!
About “Complete Unknown”
(To listen to our review of the film, click here!)
Amazon Studios and IFC Films released COMPLETE UNKNOWN in theaters August 26th.
This shape-shifting tale of the perils and pleasures of self-reinvention begins at a dinner party, when Tom’s (Michael Shannon) co-worker arrives with an intriguing date named Alice (Rachel Weisz). Tom is convinced he knows her, but she refuses to acknowledge their history. And when Alice makes a hasty exit, Tom sets off after her. What follows is an all-night odyssey shared by two people, one needing to change his life, the other questioning how to stop changing.
Directed by (our guest) Joshua Marston
Written by Joshua Marston and Julian Sheppard
Starring Rachel Weisz, Michael Shannon, Kathy Bates, Danny Glover, Michael Chernus and Azita Ghanizada
- COMPLETE UNKNOWN is the type of film that you’re going to really think about and talk about. One of the reasons is that it uniquely explores a wide range of themes — such as identity, honesty, and change — and how those themes play out in relationships. Tell me, what (or who) inspired you and Julian Sheppard to write the film, and what did that writing process look like?
- This cast: I mean, you really have a dream team of actors, here, many of whom are major award winners, namely Rachel Weisz, Michael Shannon, Kathy Bates, and Danny Glover. How did each of those actors become attached to the film?
- Rachel Weisz plays the ever-changing, ever-complicated, Alice Manning, while Michael Shannon’s character, Tom, is deeply affected and sometimes influenced by her choices. How did you collaborate with the two of them to draw out their performances? And did their input influence the original script?
- Some of the characters in the movie are repelled by Rachel’s [Weisz’s] character’s ability to frequently shift identities, almost seeing her as having an illness, while others see it as a gift. Where do you stand with that?
- In 2004, you burst onto the scene with the exceptional MARIA FULL OF GRACE, which got an Oscar nomination for best actress. Now, 12 years later: How has your directing changed since then, and how has it stayed the same?
- You’ve directed a lot of episodes for some stellar TV shows, (SIX FEET UNDER, LAW & ORDER, THE NEWSROOM, THE GOOD WIFE, AMERICAN CRIME, and the upcoming BERLIN STATION). How do you decide which TV shows you want to direct? Are you drawn to certain attributes?
- We, here on Why Watch That, always close our interviews asking what movies or TV shows our guests are currently watching. So, Joshua, what are you watching?