Graphic of an exploding head from Scanners

The Science of Cronenberg: Transcript 09

JEREMY IRONS: He did once say to me, “I can’t wait...” - as far as being intellectual - "I can’t wait to see what the critics say about this film so we can learn what it’s about." So I think he knows that for all… You know, when you talk about David talking intellectually about his films, that’s when it’s finished, when it’s come out. And we all make patterns. We can all sort of talk about something that exists. But actually, in the moment of creation, you don’t really know. You’re following your nose, you’re following your instincts, if you’re working right. In a very relaxed state, at its best, you are just seeing where a scene will take you. What images suggest themselves, you know, to Peter Sus, to David, to what the actor comes up with. You are - you should be - working in a really sensitive, delicate place.

Now, then you cut that, and it’s all set, and it’s fixed to length, and there it is, and then you can sit, and talk about it intellectually. And indeed that will fill interviews and copy. I’m not sure how much it has to do with the actual experience that an audience gets. I think that’s really hard to pinpoint. You know when somebody says to you, “Do you like that film?”

You say, “Yes I did like it.”

“Why did you like it?”


And then your brain starts, sort of, working out things which could be reasons why you like it. In fact why you like it is because something hits your gut with it. It makes you laugh, or makes you think, or... . And language doesn’t really - even deeply intellectual gloss - doesn’t really hit it, I don’t think. It fills copy. Actor Jeremy Irons is interviewed for the Cronenberg Project.