"Don't Look Up": Jennifer Lawrence, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Adam McKay Talk About How Netflix's All-Star Comedy Was Created

What if you found out that an asteroid is on a collision course with Earth? And what if nobody cared? That's the premise of Don't Look Up, the upcoming Netflix comedy scripted and directed by Adam McK..

What if you found out that an asteroid is on a collision course with Earth? And what if nobody cared? That's the premise of Don't Look Up, the upcoming Netflix comedy scripted and directed by Adam McKay. The film uses subversive humor to reflect and highlight some of the most absurd elements of the times we live in. Starring Oscar winners Jennifer Lawrence and Leonardo DiCaprio, it is the story of two astronomers who must go on a colossal media tour to alert humanity to an asteroid that is going to destroy the planet. In time for the film's official trailer premiere today, we caught up with Lawrence, DiCaprio and McKay about the inspiration behind the film, the improvisations on set, and the all-star cast. What were some of the sources of inspiration? Adam McKay: It was clear to me that the movie was supposed to make you laugh out loud, not just be cunning or ironic, so I turned to the greatest movies of all time - comedies like Office Tangles and Idiocracy, which really capture the weird way that we live in the modern world (those two Mike Judge films were major sources of inspiration for me). But also others like Dr. Insólito, Power that kills, and Scandal in the White House. I have always been intrigued by the idea of ​​looking for a way to encompass these gigantic and imminent threats that we face in the world, but to show them with some element of humor. What attracted you to the movie? Jennifer Lawrence: I always wanted to work with Adam McKay; I admire his work. And when I read the script, I thought it was awesome. It's the funniest script I've ever read. It seemed like such a subtle way to convey a very important point: that people don't need to fight each other over science. We need to fight this collective war to save humanity together. Leonardo DiCaprio: Adam McKay is a director who I wanted to work with for a long time. His ability to combine comedy with incredibly relevant themes, especially in this film set against the backdrop of the climate crisis, was a unique opportunity to work with someone who allowed all of us, as actors, to collaborate and improvise. Adam is someone who values ​​everyone's opinion and gives you the freedom, as an actor, to steer a scene in whatever direction you see fit. How was your preparation process? Lawrence: I spoke with a brilliant astronomer named Amy Mainzer. My main curiosity was to know how the world looks from the point of view of an astronomer - within a discipline in which men predominate - to develop Kate's personality, the way she dresses and behaves. I also tried to learn about astronomy, but I don't know how much I managed to retain. Leo learned it all, of course. DiCaprio: Amy Mainzer is our consultant and astronomer with whom I had hundreds of conversations. She was extremely helpful in portraying Dr. Randall Mindy, just to articulate this science. In essence, she could say that she gave me a Carl Sagan-style guide to what astronomy is, what it means to be an astronomer, what this science seeks, and the importance of its meaning for my character. She was perhaps one of the most helpful elements in developing my role, to a level that I could never have imagined. McKay: Amy was amazing. She was an indispensable ingredient in this movie. She was always checking the script. I'm honest: I can't imagine how we could have done it without her. And on top of everything, she has an excellent sense of humor. I just found out that she saw the movie the other day and was very excited. And, in a way, that might be the reaction I value the most. Because scientists these days have been under such a level of attack ... And the idea that she felt heard when watching the movie is something that really excites me. What was it like working with Adam McKay? Lawrence: He's a comedy writer, so he's contributing funny stuff all the time as he goes. It was a lot of fun listening to one hilarious phrase after another. DiCaprio: I've admired his work since The Journalist and Stepbrothers. Then I loved what he did with The Vice President: Beyond Power, and seeing the transition in the way he has approached these complex political issues, while maintaining a dark, insightful, intelligent and comedic undertone in many. from them. This film is, in many ways, the full realization of what Adam has been able to weave both thematically and tonally into his films. I don't have a lot of experience in that area, and Adam helped me find the balance of the comic elements of this character.

Did you improvise in any of your specific scenes? Lawrence: There was a lot of improvisation in the movie. Adam made us feel free to let ourselves go with what we felt. DiCaprio: Adam gave us an interesting opportunity to try anything. So from the beginning, Jen and I were actually developing our characters in front of the camera. We did it through many different improvisations. A large number of actors were given free rein to delve into their characters. It was amazing to collaborate with such amazing talent. McKay: They all have an extraordinary sense of the emotional line of their characters. One of the most common mistakes in improvisation is when the person suddenly begins to do things that are not consistent with his character, things that are very far from the tone of the script. The best thing about actors like these is that they have a built-in compass. They never destroyed the sense of reality. The actors in this movie — even if you think some are more dramatic actors — all without exception were great at improvisation. They jumped straight into the water and began to swim. Can you give us some examples? DiCaprio: I remember coming on set and Tyler Perry and Cate Blanchett seemed like they had a wonderful talk show dynamic like they had been working together for decades. They improvised many of their jokes together. I don't know how much they rehearsed, I just remember that they had incredibly realistic dynamics and were very immersed in their characters. It was an impressive thing to witness. And what can you tell us about Jonah Hill and Meryl Streep, who share many scenes together? DiCaprio: The last time I worked with Meryl I was 18 years old, and she had an incredible monologue, so being able to witness her prowess as an actress was a real gift. And then seeing her with Jonah Hill - who I've worked with and who I consider to be one of the best improv actors in the world - was inspiring. They nailed their characters and portrayed them as completely unhinged and unstable leaders, which served as great motivation for Jen and me for the rest of the film. It was great to collaborate with both of them again. Why do you think comedy and entertainment are powerful tools for communicating social problems? Lawrence: Turning such a difficult topic to discuss, such as climate change, into something relaxed and fun, highlighting the shameful truths that we all have, takes us to a place free of guilt where we can finally observe a problem and laugh instead of pointing fingers at each other. finger each other. McKay: In making this movie, there was a collective feeling that everyone was exhaling with relief that we could finally laugh after the madness of the last two (or twenty) years. And that's not to say that laughter is the only way to deal with confusing times or fear, but I think this movie is for all the people who have been living in this crazy ecosystem and just want to laugh at it and maybe solve a few basic problems. I mean, can't we at least do that? Don't Look Up opens December 10 in select theaters and December 24 on Netflix.

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