Something you may not know about me: I’m really into anything involving cults, save actually being in one. I can’t get enough of books, internet chat rooms where former members meet to discuss their stories, and, of course, movies and documentaries about cults, real or made up. Frankly, I wish there were more movies about cults, but consider this an essential list of the best ones out there. If there’s one I missed that you think is worthy of being on the top 10, please weigh in! Together, we can form a cult of cult obsessives.
“Paul Thomas Anderson was getting ready to make ‘The Master’ and he called me and we met … When he started talking about the role he said ‘Do you feel like you can do this?’ And I said ‘Yeah, totally. Look, I think you’re like the best American director. I feel confident. I know I can do this.’ And he said to me ‘But I want this to scare you. I want this role, going on this journey to scare you.’ And I was like ‘Scare?! I know I can do it.’ And so, incredible movie, needless to say I didn’t get the part. I guess I wasn’t scared enough or something, or whatever reason I didn’t get it.”
– James Fucking Franco, talking about how he was just, you know, too confident for “The Master.” Just keep telling yourself that, James. You’re a terrible jackal. [NYMag.com]
“Paul called me Bubbles on the set. Bubbles was Michael Jackson’s pet monkey, and I was Paul’s pet monkey. The key to Freddie is an animal, just pure id. For the scene where he’s arrested and put in jail and all that, I just watched videos of wild animals that get into suburbia. If you’ve seen video of a deer or a bear that finds its way into suburbia and the cops have to tranquilize it, it seems as if the brain stops working. If they’re cornered, they’ll slam into walls, or one leg tries to go left while the other is going right. It’s complete fear and chaos. They can’t control themselves at all. That was the key to Freddie. And Paul certainly called me his pet monkey.”
– Joaquin Phoenix on preparing for the role of Freddie in “The Master.” I’m so excited to see this film. I’m also excited that JP is over and Joaquin is back. He’s a transformative actor. [Time]
Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest film stars a stunning Philip Seymour Hoffman as a 1950s cult leader who offers followers therapy to cure their demons; the film focuses on his intense relationship with a shellshocked disciple, played by an equally impressive Joaquin Phoenix. Critics are raving. Read more…
I always knew a day would come when Joaquin Phoenix would decide to repossess the hot. At long last, that day has arrived… but where is Casey Affleck with the camcorder to document it?