Compiled by: Jack Foley
AN AWARD-winning tale of loyalty, friendship and the misleading
nature of first appearances, The
Station Agent is written and directed by Tom McCarthy, who
recently received the BAFTA for Best Original Screenplay.
Peter Dinklage (Fin)
Q. The Station Agent has surely exceeded all expectations.
Was it obvious to you how good it would turn out?
A. I loved the script from the first draft. It obviously went
through changes, but the main characters remained intact, what
they did and how they interacted - the foundation was always there.
Tom just tweaked the script a little bit, so I always was in love
with the script, not because it was a great role for me to play
but because of the whole story.
There are not enough films with stories like that nowadays. I
thought there was something very European about it. Not a lot
has to happen in movies, if there are characters you care about.
Q. The silence between the characters can say a lot, can't
A. And it was great fun for me to play. I had about two lines
to learn every day.
Q. You're quite unlike Fin in real life though, aren't you?
A. I like to have a sense of humour about life, and about
myself. I understand the need to be alone sometimes. I live in
New York city, where we all live on top of each other.
But I have a great group of friends, and a great family. I love
being around them. And I'm an actor. You've got to be a social
creature when you're an actor.
Q. Yet some of the things that Fin goes through must reflect
your own experience?
A. Sure, and Tom was very open to my input. It wasn't anything
deeply personal, just day-to-day things. When you're this size
you have a little bit of anger in you when they're younger, a
You don't take people pointing at you and staring at you as a
teenager as well as you do when you're 34-years-old.
You react to it differently. We put that into the story, there's
a bit of suppressed anger with Fin that Tom's script handles with
a really light touch.
And even that takes a backseat to the real point of the movie.
This is not all the character is, it's not what defines him and
it's not what defines me on a day-to-day basis.
Q. Did you know your co-stars, Patricia Clarkson and Bobby
Cannavale, before making the film?
A. Tom wrote the rough draft about three years ago, so, since
then, we all got together about a couple of times a year to read
through it, and we became good friends in that process.
I had known Tom because I did a play that he wrote and directed
some years ago, and I knew Patty as the friend of a friend.
I didn't really know Bobby at all, but we became good friends
within the project. By the time we shot it we knew each other
Q. Have things changed greatly for you since the success of
The Station Agent?
A. One job always leads to the next if you're lucky. This
has had a wide audience, and a lot of people in the business have
seen it. I've gotten some phone calls, so it's been okay. And
Clint Eastwood loved it which was kind of neat.
Q. So you met him, did you?
A. I did. Bobby and I met him at some awards show in LA. He
came right over to us and said 'your film is the best film of
the year boys'. That's been nice, people you really admire loving
the film. That's been the best part of it.