Exclusive: Robert Edwards Talks Sex and Song ‘One More Time’

OnemoretimeRobertEdwardsHeadshot

Robert Edwards (Writer/Director) | ‘One More Time’ (2016).

Robert Edwards talks his new movie ‘One More Time’ and why he thinks powerful men can’t keep “it” in their pants.

With two artful features and a list of big names on his recent resume, writer/director Robert Edwards opens up about everything from his directing style, to music, to the seemingly innate relationship between power and hyper-sexuality. That’s right, Edwards spills the details on working with Amber Heard and Christopher Walken for ‘One More Time’ versus working with Ralph Fiennes and Donald Sutherland on ‘Land of the Blind,’ his take on the male libido and so much more.

 

In this Film Fad exclusive interview, Robert Edwards also speaks on everything including the composition work behind his new music-centric feature ‘One More Time’ to global politics and a little know story about what Saddam Hussein was up to in the early 90s.

So without further ado, here is an exclusive look behind the scenes with writer/director Robert Edwards.

one more time - amber heard - christopher walken

Amber Heard as Jude (left) and Christopher Walken as Paul (right) in ‘One More Time’ (2016).

FilmFad (Pooya):

Hey Robert.

Robert Edwards:

Hey Pooya, How are you?

FilmFad (Pooya):

I’m doing fantastic, how about yourself?

Robert Edwards:

Not bad, not bad. Could use some better weather, but you know…

FilmFad (Pooya):

Yeah. We’re kind of in that weird weather stage where it was freezing yesterday, it’s 70 [degrees] today and it’s supposed to be freezing again tomorrow. You know, the usual nonsense.

Robert Edwards:

Yeah, I was in Annapolis over the weekend for the film festival down there and it was 70 and beautiful. Now it’s like winter again.

FilmFad (Pooya):

Well hopefully it will turn. I know Punxsutawney Phil has said that we should have an early summer, so… [chuckling]

Robert Edwards:

[Laughing] Yeah, I don’t trust…

FilmFad (Pooya):

[Laughing] Well, I don’t want to waste too much time. I know you’re a busy Gentlemen so let’s go ahead and jump in. In three words, how would you best describe your style of directing?

Robert Edwards:

[Laughing] Three words huh?

FilmFad (Pooya):

It’s a tough one, right?

Robert Edwards:

I guess I would say – open your mind. So much goes on when you’re shooting that you have to be open to possibilities and things that you didn’t expect, because so much of what happens is unexpected. And be able to use that and recognize when something good has fallen into your lap instead of clinging to what you’re trying to get, which may not be as good as that.

 

One More TIme - GUn - Walken

Amber Heard as Jude (left) and Christopher Walken as Paul (right) in ‘One More Time’ (2016).

 

FilmFad (Pooya):

Speaking of something good, let’s jump to your film ‘One More Time.’ What is very good about that is Jude and Paul’s relationship. Jude and Paul’s relationship is laced with an abundance of comedic quips and postulations, Mostly from Jude. But then, there is also a damaged aspect that makes is both believable and very real. From where did you draw your inspiration for that father daughter dynamic?

Robert Edwards:

Well they say write what you know, but I don’t know anything about that. I don’t have a sister. I don’t come from a show business family. So, I don’t have any of that. It’s pure imagination, but I think those family dynamics are familiar to most of us regardless of gender, the business the family is in, or anything like that. So this happens to be a show business family, and the two of them happen to be these narcissistic artists, but I think that kind if dynamic between two people in a family is a familiar one.

 


Click HERE to read FilmFad’s review of Robert Edwards’ ‘One More Time,’ starring Christopher Walken and Amber Heard.


 

FilmFad (Pooya):

Throughout the film, we see an evolution in their relationship as-well as an evolution of the characters themselves. Notably so, the evolution of Paul’s song ‘When I Live My Life Over Again’ seems to go hand in hand with the development of the characters.

Robert Edwards:

Right.

FilmFad (Pooya):

What started as a bare bones with Paul and a piano, moved to a more produced version of Paul, to Jude’s Anni Difranco meets Fiona Apple rendition towards the end of the film.

Robert Edwards:

Right, awesome.

FilmFad (Pooya):

What was the importance behind capturing those three distinct versions of the song?

Robert Edwards:

Well the lyrics for the song were written into the original script, because their content
directly relates to Paul, Jude and the story. But the actual song, once we put music to it – I knew it had to do triple duty and do those things. So it needed to be a little bit in Paul’s idiom, a little bit corny and we could do the big band version of it. But also something that, because it feels a little corny, is hopefully surprising when Jude turns it on it’s head with this jazzy version at the end. It’s kind of a tall order to have a song that can do that sort of thing and Joe McGinty, who composed the music for that, was a terrific collaborator in that effort.

FilmFad (Pooya):

It was beautiful. As a matter of fact, the lyricism in Paul and Jude’s music throughout was both powerful and meaningful in context of the film. Was that something that required a great deal of research for you or did it come to you all of a sudden, “fully formed,” much like Paul’s “Divine Experience” in the film?

Robert Edwards:

[Laughing] It’s like Mozart, you know?

FilmFad (Pooya):

[Laughing] It’s like God, you know?

 


Editor’s Note (Pooya): Watch ‘One More Time’ to fully grasp what movie reference Robert Edwards and I are poking at and laughing about.


 

Robert Edwards:

Exactly! [Laughing]. You know, I’m a big music fan. My whole life I’ve just been obsessed [with music] in a high-fidelity kind of way. It was easy for me to write about that and to write characters like that. But, you know, the actors of course bring their own interpretations to it and they bring all kinds of nuances. Most of them really understood the characters so well from the get go after the very first read of the script. That’s what I mean about having an open mind, you know. When you have actors so prepared and so talented, you want to use what they bring to make what you’ve written even better.

FilmFad (Pooya):

And you’ve been very fortunate in that department. As your second feature, and follow up to your well-received ‘Land Of the Blind’ which also featured huge names, Ralph Fiennes and Donald Sutherland, was there a sense of pressure to perform at a certain level?

Robert Edwards:

Yes, definitely. You are working with people who are at the top of their game, so you want to be as good as they are, not let them down and live up to that. But at the same time, it’s like directing an all star team. People that are so talented, in some ways, they are easier to work with. Ive worked with less well known actors or day players. Sometimes those guys are more trouble, they’re more difficult to work with, it’s harder to get the performance out of them. When you tell Ray Fiennes this is the scene, you might not have to tell him much more than that because he’s going to give you something fantastic. And then your job as a director is to shift his amazing talent into the direction you want it to go, because he can do so many different things. So there’s paradox involved in it.

FilmFad (Pooya):

Between Amber Heard’s character Jude and Paul, Christopher Walken’s character, the little bits of dialogue had such a natural reactionary sound to it. Was any of that ad-libbed, or was that all written and they were just able to really capture that back and forth dynamic?

Robert Edwards:

The scene with the two of them on the couch is almost all as written. There wasn’t a lot of improv in that scene. But there are some other scenes where there is a lot of import, especially the dinner table scenes hen the whole family is around. There is quite a bit in that, of course I’ll take credit for all of it; anything that works I take credit for.

FilmFad (Pooya):

[Laughing]

Robert Edwards:

The scene between the two of them on the couch was a bit risky. It’s a big long scene early in the movie with just two characters talking. It’s almost like a little playlette within itself. It was one of the first things we shot with Amber and Christopher together, late at night. It was a late night shoot. I was very very pleased with that, of course I’m biased, but I was really pleased with the way they did that. And they capture that naturalism that you mentioned. That was something that was paramount in our minds. We wanted it to feel as real possible, like a real father and daughter. People who had all this history and could talk with short hand and would talk over each other and interrupt each other and all that sort of thing. The two of them were superb and great to work with when it came to that.

 

One more time - Walken - Heard

Amber Heard as Jude (left) and Christopher Walken as Paul (right) in ‘One More Time’ (2016).

 

FilmFad (Pooya):

What really inspired this story, for you? What was it about this story that made it really powerful for you to want to tell it?

Robert Edwards:

Well, a couple of things. One is that I was interested in the idea of an artist, especially a performer, whose personal life is really at odds with his public image. So a guy like Paul, or you can think of a number of other people – Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, whoever – who were known for being great romantics, but in their personal lives were very difficult to be married to, to be in the family of, or just the orbit of. So that idea of the public image versus the private life was something that interested me. I was very attached to the idea that everybody in the story was going to have flaws and foibles, nobody was going to be completely heroic and nobody was going to be a cardboard cut-out two-dimensional villain. I wanted everybody to have moments where they do terrible things and moments they do admirable things, just like real life. Try to keep the audience engaged, and off balance, and surprised by what people do. I think everybody in the movie kind of has good and bad moments except maybe Allen, Oliver Platt. I can’t think of anything he does that’s really unpleasant. Everybody else has got their bad days.

FilmFad (Pooya):

Real quick, at the end of the film I noticed that their was a specific dedication. Who is Eloise?

Robert Edwards:

Well that’s my daughter. She just turned five and she was three when we made the film. I wanted to dedicate it to her because we went and shot it in a town called Shinnecock, which is near Southampton, in the winter, off season. The whole crew lived in a hotel that’s normally closed for the season. In fact, it’s the hotel in the movie where Paul has the affair. We took it over, 70 people. All grown ups except for her. She was the only kid out there and she put up with a lot, so I thought it was appropriate to dedicate the movie to her.

FilmFad (Pooya):

I was not expecting that. That’s actually very nice.

Robert Edwards:

[Laughing] I wish I had a better story, but that’s the one I have.

 

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LAND OF THE BLIND, Donald Sutherland (left), 2006. ©Bauer Martinez Studios

 

FilmFad (Pooya):

No, that’s a great story. I want to go back to ‘Land Of The Blind’ a little bit and just kind of tie it into ‘One More Time.’ I notice that the powerful male characters seem to exhibit their strength through their sexuality to a certain extent. Their very hyper-sexual, let’s say that, and that also seems to be kind of their fatal flaw. What about that were you really trying to push out to audiences. You kind of mention too, in ‘One More Time,’ that it’s a double standard. What is it about power that comes with hyper-sexuality or do you think it’s just that the male libido is just like that and it has less to do with the power?

Robert Edwards:

Well I think they’re connected. There is alway this caveman mentality that comes with being a powerful successful male, especially, that has a sexual component to it. You can look at almost any successful figure throughout history, even Bill Clinton. You might say why would somebody as smart as Bill Clinton do something as crazy as he did, in having an affair with an intern that almost brought down his entire presidency. Well, I don’t know. Maybe his reptile brain [laughing] was to powerful and he couldn’t keep it under control. So I think for people, especially in stories like this Someday like Paul, who’s in show business, who’s a bit of a child anyway, and has all this temptation laid in front of him and all the woman throughout his career, it’s almost inevitable that it’s going to be a way he projects his ego. I think the same is true of political leaders, especially political leaders who have almost unfettered power.

FilmFad (Pooya):

Speaking of political leaders, your previous film centered around a head of state that is kind of aloof, your current film is of an senior aged crooner whose daughter has almost become a mirror of him to a certain extent. I don’t think she even realizes it, until towards the end of the film.

Robert Edwards:

Right, absolutely.

FilmFad (Pooya):

As a writer, I know there are always ideas churning in the head. Where do you see your next story going?

Robert Edwards:

Well it’s funny. The next one is an adaptation of true story, a memoir called “The Bomb In My Garden,” which is about the guy who was the head of Saddam Hussein’s uranium enrichment program for over 20 years, under duress, went around the black market in Europe buying up the parts to build a centrifuge to enrich uranium to weapons grade. They almost succeeded in doing that; Iraq almost had the bomb actually in 1991, little known fact. An then when US invaded, this guy, whose name is Mahdi Obeidi, took the components and the plans and buried them in his backyard. And they stayed there for 12 years until the 2003 invasion. And then he dug them up and took them to U.S. authorities and he said, “look this is who I am, and I know you want to put me in jail, but this is what I want to give you and you have to get me and my family out of Iraq.” So it’s the story of Mahdi’s friendship with this American journalist named Kurt Pitzer, who actually brokered his escape from Iraq. So there is a little bit of the things that you’re talking about in that story as well, certainly on the political side. You know, Saddam is [laughing]… Saddam is the perfect example of a crazy tyrant, but the American leadership has a lot to answer for it, so.

FilmFad (Pooya):

I really appreciate you taking some time and chatting with me. I really did enjoy the movie.

Robert Edwards:

Thank you. I appreciate that. I enjoyed talking to you.

FilmFad (Pooya):

Likewise, and best of luck moving forward.

Robert Edwards:

Thank you. Take care.

 

’One More Time’ is available to Rent/Own online on iTunes, VUDU, Amazon Video, Google Play, Microsoft, PlayStation Video, and Fandango Now.

 

Watch the official trailer for Robert Edward’s ‘One More Time’ below:

Pooya

Author: Pooya

Since his wee lad-dom, Pooya has been a sommelier of cinema. It was likely some acting bug, fallen from the dust riddled ruby curtains of an enchanted old stage that did it. Those cinematic scarabs must have burrowed deep into his brain, irreversibly altering his mind, turning the poor boy down a dismal path.From his earliest years the strange boy would aimlessly wander the aisles of countless video rental stores, amassing his trivial knowledge with vigor. These actions befuddled the boy’s parents, who still would lovingly oblige his unusual attraction to the motion picture. Often seeking refuge in the cushioned seating of his local movie theater, the odd adolescent would immerse himself in the scripted and effects riddled realities unfolding on the screen before him. During his collegiate years, he was twice spotted on stage performing bizarre theatrical rituals before awe-struck audiences. When he departed from academia, he left behind his youth in exchange for a labor routine, but the strange young man never lost his long-cultivated love of film.Recently, Pooya was approached by FilmFad.com to join their budding team of entertainment bloggers. After hours of coaxing and an undisclosed number of honey jars, he accepted their offer. Finally he had come full circle. Finally, at FilmFad.com, he was home.

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