The director of such dark films like Hereditary and Midsommar expressed his gratitude to the studio for giving him full reign for this movie.
The indie studio A24 is a force to be reckoned with. Especially since this past year, they have been responsible for the films that swept the Academy Awards with Everything Everywhere All at Once and The Whale. Nearly every movie put out by the studio is acclaimed in one way or another, and they don’t shy away from divisive ideas. Enter Ari Aster’s newest effort, Beau is Afraid. Aster has proven himself a talent with films like Hereditary and Midsommarand Beau is Afraid looks to be a change of pace for the visceral director. Our own Chris Bumbray still struggles with his feelings about the movie in his review.
According to Variety, while at the premiere of the film in Los Angeles, Aster expressed his gratitude to A24 for being “stupid enough” to let him make this movie. When Aster introduced his movie to the audience, he remarked, “I have a stutter, so this is like my worst nightmare. Thank you for coming. I’m very proud of this film. I still can’t quite believe I was given the resources and freedom to make it in the way that we did, and credit is very much due to A24 for being stupid enough to give me that.”
Aster would also gush over being able to make this movie with the film’s star, Joaquin Phoenix. He says it would take six months for Phoenix to finally sign on to do the movie. He joked that in his first meeting with Phoenix, “You get on your hands and knees and beg.” Then, carry on, “He’s the best. He’s the greatest. He’s the prince. And those eyes. He could be so naked, so exposed, and he’s funny. He’s a funny guy.”
It was Phoenix’s pseudo-documentary, I’m Still Herethat convinced him that he needed him for this role in his dark comedy. “It’s when I first saw I’m Still Here that I knew I needed to work with this guy. One, it’s such a funny film, and two, that performance is really a brilliant comic performance. But it’s also because as a gesture that movie is suicidal. What he was doing with his own name there is so crazy and funny and sick. It’s like a sick thing to do. Since then, I’ve known I’ve wanted to work with him.”