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Thomas Lennon’s insane experience working with Terrence Malick

Larry King NowNov 21 '16

Describing it as “completely insane,” Thomas Lennon details his hilarious day shooting on Terrence Malick’s ‘Knight of Cups,’ including the director’s decision to capture a real argument Thomas was having with his wife.

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Larry King: You said recently that working on Terrance Malik’s “Knight of Cups” was the single most fun day you’ve ever had. Why?

Tom Lennon: It was completely insane. So I went in the morning of filming that movie, I’d been cast, I did not know why. And the answer was – I found out later it was to play Christian Bale’s friend who’s like a terrible screenwriter and Hollywood type. And then I understood immediately, I was like ‘oh I’m that. I get that. That makes sense.’ But we came in in the morning to shoot that film and I didn’t know who Terrance Malik was, he could have been the gardener, he had a strange hat and kind of dirty, khaki pants on. And he started handing out pieces of paper, he said ‘here’s one for you.’ And I looked at the piece of paper and it said, ‘there’s no such thing as a fireproof wall.’ And I said, ‘is this my line? Do I say this? Or is this my subtext?’ And he said, ‘I don’t know, it’s just something to think about.’ And then we improvised as if we were at a party, walking around in the Hollywood Hills for about 11 hours. We’d never stop. In the final film I say a sentence and a half.

Larry King: Really?

Tom Lennon: I say something along the lines of ‘oh I never go to the Westside. The Pacific Ocean’s freezing and it’s full of sharks,’ or something is what I said. But we filmed for a long, long time and at one point my wife was at home trying to figure out how to adjust the television to record the Olympics or something, and we got into a little bit of a fight the way you sometimes do. You know how these things happen. And Terrance Malik took a camera himself, and he put it on his shoulder, and he filmed a real fight between me and my wife from about this far away. And at first I was sort of offended, I was like ‘this is not appropriate.’ Then I was like welp, it’s the realest thing that happened all day.

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