PTA did an interview with Entertainment Weekly and gave some juice tidbits about Phantom Thread (how excited are you for this?)
How long have you been toying with this idea?
It’s very new. It’s a new idea, really within the past few years. Some of the previous films I’ve made have been ideas that have been lingering around for a while in one form or another. I generally didn’t have that much knowledge or interest in the fashion world until I started finding out a little bit about a guy named Cristóbal Balenciaga. He led very monastic life, completely consumed with his work — sometimes at the expense of other things in his life. Our characters become something very different. Our story focuses on if you have a character like that, what would it take to disrupt his life. Usually, it’s love that does that.
Shades of Rebecca?
Knowing your work, I can’t imagine this being a traditional love story.
It’s not your standard love story. It’s more peculiar for sure. A lot of directors have tried and failed to make Rebecca. I’m probably next in line, but it’s a different story. I’m a large aficionado of those large Gothic romance movies as the old masters might do them. What I like about those kinds of love stories is that they’re very suspenseful. A good dollop of suspense with a love story is a nice combination.
About the cinematography:
There’s a lot of excitement among your fans that you’re serving as your own director of photography on this.
I should really clarify that. That would be disingenuous and just plain wrong to say that I was the director of photography on the film. The situation was that I work with a group of guys on the last few films and smaller side projects. Basically, in England, we were able to sort of work without an official director of photography. The people I would normally work with were unavailable, and it just became a situation where we collaborated — really in the best sense of the word — as a team. I know how to point the camera in a good direction, and I know a few things. But I’m not a director of photography.
Is there no credit on the film?
No, there is no credit on the film. If you can give credit, Michael Bauman is the gaffer that I’ve worked with for many, many years on a lot of projects. I could veto Mike, I guess, but he held a lot of the keys. There was a camera operator, Colin Anderson, I’ve worked with, and Erik Brown, who was the first assistant cameraman and Jeff Kunkel, who was a grip. It was a real package like that. It was a really easy way of working. You have to be very, very careful because there are way too many good cinematographers that I would not put myself in that class for a second.
I am so excited for this I’m going to lose my mind.