Heart Of Stone’s Tom Harper & Matthias Schweighöfer Explore The Technology – Or Lack Of It
Tom, how did you direct the film’s quieter moments, and Matthias, how did you act in those when you didn’t have the computer system to keep things moving?
Harper: We touched about the big scale of the action and how great it was to do that, but actually, the things that excite me most about filmmaking are those intimate moments, are the character beats, and working with a camera and with actors to tell the character journeys and the story. It was great working with Matthias. We were in this, they called Charter HQ, and there was a little family of actors within that of Gal Gadot, Sophie Okonedo, and Matthias Schweighöfer, all there and bouncing off each other.
Every day, it was a pleasure to have fun on set and interact, and that’s where the magic comes from. You have the script, but the script is just a piece of paper, and that’s the template you go from, but it comes to life in the hands of the actors. You get all these little things that weren’t quite as you saw it, or little moments between the actors, or a look. Sometimes, it’s those small intimate moments that make a movie, or the combination of them.
Schweighöfer: What we recognized as I speak to the other actors, Sophia and Gal, Tom was building us a stage. We’re all coming from stage acting and theater, and that was great, because on a stage in a theater, you only have your partners, and the rhythm, and a great scene. That was fantastic to do every day.
Harper: It’s funny you say that about theater. Actually, you have that quite a lot in theater. You were there in this space, imagining the world around you and the life of the computer around you, but that’s actually not so different from, as you say, being on stage. You can be in a black box and you can create anything around you and if you believe it, the audience is going to come with you, or hopefully they will. That is even more reliant upon you when you are doing that, because you’re selling it. If we don’t buy you selling it, I’m certainly not going to buy any of the visual effects that are surrounding you.
“Heart of Stone” will stream on netflix starting August 11.
This interview has been edited for clarity.