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Non-Stop - Jaune Collet-Serra interview


Interview by Rob Carnevale

JAUNE Collet-Serra talks about some of the challenges of making airborne thriller Non-Stop in such a confined space. He also talks about what he likes about working with leading man Liam Neeson.

Q. Did the fact that you’d done Unknown together make it easy for you?
Jaune Collet-Serra: Not easy but easier probably. Obviously, it’s a different movie and when you’re in one location all closed, every sense is heightened. We worked closely together physically. And he’s literally in every shot of the movie. There’s such an intricate mystery that the audience is with Bill Marks trying to figure out… so we had to have that communication because it’s a complicated thing to follow. In Unknown, he was his own mystery in a way.

Q. What do you like about working with Liam?
Jaune Collet-Serra: We just do it. We don’t talk about it. That’s the beauty of it. Some of the scenes and the things that we do are quite complex to get across. In this movie, he’s getting texts and sending texts and he’s not talking for a while, but it’s all there. It’s all on his face. I can be in the monitor and as he goes through his texts in his mind, because he’s had to memorise what’s in them from the script, I can see everything that’s happening in his eyes. And that’s very rare. He’s able to capture every subtlety.

Q. What was the challenge of making something that relies on such a lot of tension in such a confined space?
Jaune Collet-Serra: It was like boarding the plane constantly. I was always bumping into people and moving things around. There was never an easy shot. Even the simplest of shots, close-up on Liam saying nothing, you have a lot of people in the background who have had to go to the rest-room, or have to be fed. You have to make sure you’re not missing anybody or doing anything silly. So, everything is complicated. And I was shooting the movie completely out of order. So, if we needed to do close-ups, we’d get the close-up for scene two, for scene seven, for scene 15 or 18 to get it out of the way. So, you shoot out of order and everybody needs to be very sharp and know exactly where we are.

Q. Is it true you’re scared of flying?
Jaune Collet-Serra: I am scared of flying [laughs].

Q. So, did you give Liam a lot of notes about the take-off scene?
Jaune Collet-Serra: No. I don’t remember how it went. I think everyone can relate to that anxiety and a fear of flying. So, nothing specific… I did use my fears of airplanes to build the characters a little bit. I have to sit near the window, for example, like Julianne Moore’s character. And on the take-off, I have to grab onto something.

Read our review of Non-Stop