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Christian Slater Interview: The Wife

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Prolific actor Christian Slater joins legendary actors Glenn Close and Jonathan Pryce in The Wife.  The film is based on the novel of the same name by Meg Wolitzer, directed by Björn Runge, with a screenplay by Jane Anderson.  It tells the story of Joan Castleman (Glenn Close) reflecting on her life during a trip to Stockholm.  Her husband, Joe Castleman (Jonathan Pryce), is going to receive a Noble Prize in Literature and the couple is traveling to Stockholm for the presentation.  Christian Slater plays Nathaniel Bone, who looking into the truth of Joe Castleman’s career. Slater also talked his show Mr. Robot and its connection to current events.

Screen Rant: Amazing job on this film. I want you to talk to me a little bit about Nathaniel Bone. His mission to get to the truth.

Christian Slater: This was a character I certainly love playing. He was a hilarious, persistent, driven guy. And I think he's a guy that was a great admirer of Joseph and as a writer probably wanted to emulate him to a large degree.  And as he started to do research into his background, he stumbled across some secrets. Nathaniel Bone, he's like a dog with a bone. He doesn't want to let it go and he wants to pursue it relentlessly. And that's what he does.

Screen Rant: I thought this film was amazing. All the movement seemed organic. Every, just everything seemed almost slightly perfect. Now talk to me a little bit about when you first got this script and you read through it. What were your first initial reactions?

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Christian Slater: I thought it was beautiful. I thought it was really-- But every time you get involved in something, you don't know how people are going to respond to it. So, you just have to do it. And it's a leap of faith. Of course, it makes it a little bit easier when it's people like Jonathan Pryce and Glenn Close. But, I was excited about the character. I was excited about the scene I was going to get to have with Glenn.  Excited slash nervous because I've always been such a huge admirer of hers. But after getting to know her and being out in Glasgow together, this ended up becoming much more of a family type experience. And we were, shooting this over Thanksgiving. So, we all got to have Thanksgiving together.

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Screen Rant: You guys brought an American Thanksgiving out to Scotland.

Christian Slater: Yes, we did. Yeah, exactly. Yeah, we did. It was really, really fun.

Screen Rant: Now, this film touches on the complexities of marriage along with sexism in the workplace. What do you want audiences to take away from this?

Christian Slater: All those elements. What's really been interesting is people taking away their own opinions about the movie. It's what I've been hearing, is that they're starting to think about their own relationships. And they're sort of putting themselves up on the screen.  Which is very fascinating. I even ended up doing it. I was watching it last night, and honestly, I can say I was riveted. I couldn't move from my seat. I could hear a pin drop in the theater. I don't think I took a breath the whole time I was watching the movie. And Glenn's performance was just extraordinary. It is truly a masterclass in acting and subtlety and a saying everything without saying anything.  I just thought it was really, really remarkable.

Screen Rant: Right. Now, this movie takes place in two different time periods. But it's also completely relevant to today.  Can you talk to me about that a little bit?

Christian Slater: There's no question that there is extraordinary relevance. This relationship, being the woman behind the man nonsense, is certainly an issue that is greatly addressed in this movie.  I think it was, Glenn always says it was very difficult to find an actor to be in a movie called The Wife. Because most men want it to be The Husband.

Screen Rant: Took 14 years to make.

Christian Slater: Yes, it took an extraordinarily long time. But fortunately, a man like Jonathan Pryce came along. And he was willing to play this role. And did such a phenomenal, fantastic job. And really between Glenn and Jonathan made the movie possible to happen.  But even with that, it still took time. And, so yeah, that's the world that we live in. But I'm glad that the issues that this movie addresses are becoming more prevalent. And people's levels of awareness are being raised and it's time.

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Screen Rant: Now, speaking of relevant.  One of the shows that I just fell in love with Mr. Robot. It has me doing all these little viral things on my computer trying to figure things out.  It's crazy. So, what can we expect from the final season and can you talk to me about the relevancy of that show?

Christian Slater: Oh boy. The relevancy of Mr. Robot has been extraordinary. It seems only to be more relevant as time has gone on. When we first started the show, the main hack we were talking about was North Korea.  Now we're having meetings with North Korea and, oh, he's a great guy. We're just living in a very bizarre, complicated, confusing times. And it's quite scary. I mean, honestly, I am scared. I'd never been more scared than I am right now as to what's going on.

Screen Rant: You and I both and I think you're so really highlight some of the issues that we're not privy to really.

Christian Slater: That's right. That's the great thing about entertainment. I mean, that's the thing about what it is that we do.  I don't think a lot of politicians particularly quite understand that's maybe why they fight against supporting the arts. But without the arts, you don't have a society. So, I think it's vital that they have their levels of awareness raised too.

Stay Tuned for More Coverage of The Wife!

Key Release Dates
  • The Wife (2018) release date: Aug 17, 2018
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