Patrick Stewart On ‘Match,’ Tribeca Film Festival [VIDEO EXCLUSIVE]
Patrick Stewart spoke with Uinterview about his new film, Match, which made its premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York. To prepare for his role as Tobias, a choreographer, Stewart told Uinterview that he spent time sitting in on Juilliard dance classes. Watch our exclusive interview for more behind-the-scenes scoop on Match and to find out which one of Stewart’s family members has a small cameo in the film.
Tobias, or Toby as he likes to be called, is a classical dance teacher at Juilliard here in Manhattan. He lives alone, what might appear to be a rather solitary and perhaps even somber life, and has given everything that he could give in his life to his work. And this is where the story of the film takes over, because a young couple come to interview him because - at his agreement - because she is writing a dissertation about Modern American Ballet Theater.
The character is based on a real, live person. I met this person several times, I watched them work and talked to him a lot. In no sense is what I do an impersonation at all, but it was invaluable for me to get to know him, and see him work, and hear him talk about his life, but...I'm not a carbon copy of that man.
No, it's what we look for, it's not a challenge. If those transformations don't exist then the piece is not worth spending your time on. You look for something that, like the pig and onion, you peel off layers and there's something else and something else - or one of those Russian dolls. That's, I think, what most actors are excited about finding.
No challenge at all, because, in fact, contrary, sometimes when there are restricted, when there is limitations placed on what you can do, how long you can work, the facilities that are available to you, it brings out a kind of creativity that perhaps wouldn't be there if problems were solved by simply spending money. You have to be creative and inventive. Our movie was made for less than half a million dollars. We filmed it, I think, in 15 days, almost every hour of everyday, spent in a real apartment in New York... The power of what we are doing, we hope, lies in the script, in the language, what people say to one another and how they use language. A lot of people would say that that's not the duty of film - to do that - the duty is about image, it's about the picture itself and not people talking. I have never agreed with that point of view. And especially when the unexpected happens in a totally somewhat banal, ordinary environment, suddenly there's an emotional explosion, which changes the lives of the three characters in the movie.
I think it was the day we left our location for the last time. Not only it had it been the scene for our movie, and for the three of us it was a very intense experience. We had our breakfast in the apartment, we had our lunch breaks in the apartment, I would sleep on the sofa if I got a twenty minute cat-nap - it had became home, and saying goodbye to it was quite emotional. All around the apartment there are my character's personal mementos. Well, some of them belong to me, 'Patrick Stewart.' I loaned them to the production, and so when they crop up in the movie - for instance, there's one photograph of me and my brother, when we were children, side by side - he knows nothing about this, he doesn't know he's in a movie.
In terms of the most drama, we were lucky to spend a day at Juilliard and we filmed in one of the studios with a group of Juilliard students, with my character taking a class. And these young people were so extraordinary. And the movie opens with watching extraordinary bodies work - it's very appropriate for the film. I was able to spend, before we shot, a lot of time simply watching classes of Juilliard because it is the life and world of my character. I found that a great privilege to be allowed to witness this work going on.
I do feel I'm a New Yorker, and I have for years and years. That may seem a little presumptuous of me, to make that assumption, but I'm also something else now. I'm a little more refined, in that I'm a Brooklyner now, too, which is where my home is, and I love it there. Everything about living in that part of New York is deeply satisfying to me. I got off a bus on 72nd street in 1969 or 1970 to do a play with the Raw Shakespeare Company... and I instantly felt not only at home, but very stimulated by being in New York, and that's never gone away.