The Film Experience recently had the chance to sit down with director Ridley Scott, currently enjoying one of the warmest receptions (great box office and reviews, of his career, for The Martian. We'll share that interview later in the season but here's one detail up for discussion right now that you won't get elsewhere.
We've always been fascinated at The Film Experience by the familiar faces that pop up in the filmographies of famous auteurs. The average moviegoer knows, for example, that De Niro and DiCaprio are Scorsese pets and that Tim Burton has trouble leaving his bed if it doesn't involve putting a camera and weird makeup and Johnny Depp. But do we really think of any particular faces when we think of Ridley Scott? His tightest collaborations are behind the scenes. The editor Pietro Scalia, and the production designer Arthur Max, both of whom he started working with on G.I. Jane (1997) have worked on most if not all of his films since that Demi Moore military pic. Costume Designer Janty Yates won an Oscar for their first collaboration on Gladiator and she's costumed nearly ever picture since. Ridley's cinematographer of choice at present is Darius Wolski who has shot every feature since Prometheus (2012) but he switches DPs from time to time. He switches casting directors even more regularly which could also contribute to the lack of "familiar faces" that we like to point out in this intermittent series of course.
I asked him about this in our interview and he quickly cited his most well known collaborations (Russell Crowe and Sigourney Weaver) but shrugged the lack of general repetition off, diplomatically, as a matter of timing. If he made smaller pictures, he explained, he'd jump at the chance to work with actors he enjoyed the first time around again. Before we switched topics he name-checked Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Fassbender as happy repeats. Perhaps as a result of the scarcity of examples, any repetition of actors in his filmography feels like something of a happy accident to we moviegoers rather than an intentional choice.
Let's look at Ridley's repeat actors after the jump... who would you like to see him work with again?