"Gulag" is another word for "prison" or "labor camp," so when Robert Downey Jr. compares working for David Fincher to a "gulag," it's probably not a compliment. Then again, Mr. Downey is known for saying lots of things with a wink and a grin, so I don't think Mr. Fincher should take it all that personally. I mean, the director IS known for demanding 20, 40 and sometimes 60 takes from his actors -- but on the other (much more important) hand, Downey was really excellent in Zodiac ... so perhaps there's a method to Fincher's madness after all. ("Gulag" is also a pretty good 1985 HBO movie starring David Keith and Malcolm McDowell. Just sayin.')

Downey says he's the perfect type of actor to work for Fincher "because I understand gulags." And if you scan through this rather solid interview over at the Australian Herald Sun, you'll see precisely how demanding David Fincher can be. Speaking only as a movie nerd, I say this: If Fincher being a meticulous, demanding and tough-to-please director means we get movies like Fight Club and Seven (yes, and Zodiac), then what's the problem? It's not like Hollywood actors don't get paid enough. So sometimes you have to work with a director who's also a pain in the ass. So what? Hitchcock and Kubrick were pains in the ass too. (Plus he can't be THAT difficult; Brad Pitt's working with Fincher on a third collaboration, and I don't see Brad Pitt as a guy who takes a lot of crap from movie directors.)
categories Cinematical