Video:Across the Universe - Director Julie Taymor Interviewwith Rebecca Murray
Director Julie Taymor brings the music of The Beatles and the world of the '60s alive on screen in a real magical mystery tour of a movie, Across the Universe. The lyrics of 33 classic Beatles move the film along narratively.See Transcript
Transcript:Across the Universe - Director Julie Taymor InterviewRebecca Murray from About.com Hollywood Movies at the Special Hollywood Screening of Across the Universe.
Director Julie Taymor
Is it true you'd actually wake up in the middle of the night with these visions in your head of these different dance sequences?
Julie Taymor: "Well I have a very good choreographer who actually works out those dance sequences. No, my ideas come, yes at four in the morning, five in the morning, in that time of what is it? REM or pre-REM or whatever. But I work from talking to people, from getting inspired by the music, the magazines, the language. Words inspire me a lot to my visual imagery. And wild dreams, yes."
The wild dreams are definitely on the screen. You know, when I was watching it there were some of the songs where I was like, 'I wish they'd just finish singing it.' Are there extended cuts of those?
Julie Taymor: "Yes, there will be. We always knew we couldn't do the whole songs because what happens is the momentum of the story stops and it becomes about performance. But we were very conscious of this and we shot the whole thing I love your T-shirt (I'm wearing a Beatles shirt that says Let It Be). And on the DVD extras there will full-length songs. Not absolutely full length, but almost full length."
I wanted to sit through it one more time, but I wanted those extra things in there.
Julie Taymor: "You get them on the album, but no, we couldn't. It really slowed the pacing and I just don't think a movie can just stop."
Your Lucy (played by Evan Rachel Wood) and Jude (played by Jim Sturgess) are just fantastic and that chemistry is there. Did you know that going in?
Julie Taymor: "No, you don't know until you hire them. But we spent about six weeks in rehearsals and another month in pre-records. And all of these young people bonded together. It was Beatles camp, as they called it, in New York City. They lived together, some of them. They played. They went to karaoke. They're a very close group."
Were you able to do all of the dance sequences that you wanted to do? Did you actually get everything done, in the can?
Julie Taymor: "Yes I did. I really had the good fortune of being well-supported for this movie. I was able to shoot what I wanted to and finish what I wanted to shoot. I'm very, very pleased with it. Because it is absolutely not normal, this musical. Wouldn't you say that? And it's big. It's not a little art movie. It's got art in it, but at the expense of entertainment. Since The Lion King where I was able to cross those two things together art and entertainment I really believe that movies can do that as well, more than they do."
And this isn't one that needed to be on the stage first. You never felt that this had to be there first?
Julie Taymor: "No. In fact I think its advantage is that it's a cinema first. That it was created. Otherwise why would we have 70 locations? You know, you start limiting and it all becomes so claustrophobic. This is expansive. It's got riots and bombings and wild dancing and buses and circuses. I can do it on the stage but it really takes a really serious re-thinking."
It definitely would. Are you going to head to the stage with it?
Julie Taymor: "I don't know."
But Spider-Man's next, right?
Julie Taymor: "Yes, and that's enough for me to do in the next year and a half."
You really dedicate yourself to these projects, one project at a time.
Julie Taymor: "I do. But I have to slightly overlap. I have to do one at a time almost. I did an opera though. I'd already, when I was directing this I told Joe Roth the producer that I would have to stop for three months in post to direct Elliot's opera who was also doing the music for this, rearranging and doing the score. But that was 10 years in the planning so "
You had to do it.
Julie Taymor: "Yeah, yeah."