THE COMPANY YOU KEEP
Filmed in and around Vancouver, BC, principal photography for THE
COMPANY YOU KEEP began on September 19, 2011 and continued through late
November of that year. Redford worked with many of his key production collaborators
for the first time, including the award-winning director of photography, Brazilian
Adriano Goldman (Sin Nombre), and production designer Laurence Bennett (best known
for his work with Paul Haggis and, most recently, Michel Hazanavicius on The Artist).
"I'd never worked with these guys before, but this is a terrific crew," says a
beaming Redford of his team. "Film is a collaborative medium despite the auteur theory
and all that. Each role is really important. It's important to show respect for these roles
and let them know how important they are and how important they are to us to get a
"I work pretty hard to show a crew that respect and yet you still have to be pretty
demanding of them," says Redford of his approach on set. "I've always been fortunate to
have good ones and this is certainly the best I've ever worked with."
So too did the director arrive in Vancouver well prepared. "We had all of the
conversations that we had to have before we got there," LaBeouf explains. "Redford
knew that he wouldn't have the time to have conversations about character motivation,
etc., in the middle of the fight -- you know, when he's on set it's got to be about that."
While many members of the all-star ensemble would come in and out of
Vancouver to shoot their scenes, owing to their own additional filming commitments,
LaBeouf would remain with Redford for the whole of the shoot. "I was sort of the set
mascot," jokes the actor.
"What happened was I read with most of the other actors on my own time with
Bob's 'homework list,'" says LaBeouf of his prep work. "For me, there was a lot of
rehearsal. There was a lot of rehearsal for Bob too, but there wasn't a lot for Julie Christie
or most of the other actors because no one was available. So I'd track these dudes down,
sometimes when they arrived on their travel day, and get to it. I actually got the majority
of my rehearsal in, selfishly, without Bob even knowing."
"For example, my stuff with Stanley could be six or seven pages," LaBeouf
explains, noting his onscreen run-ins with Stanley Tucci who plays his boss in the film,
the editor-in-chief of a financially besieged local newspaper, The Albany Sun-Times. "It
was all run and gun, so I'm happy that I had that rehearsal time with Stanley - that way,
we could actually play the scenes."
"That scene with Susan Sarandon is eight pages long," LaBeouf continues, citing
another sequence in which his character interviews Sarandon's, Sharon Solarz, the
woman whose arrest sets the story in motion. "Even with rehearsal that's a heavy
pressure," says LaBeouf. "But that's why you had pros around. It was really wild to be a
part of all that."
"It's an amazing thing when you really trust your director because you let go and
you feel really free," says Marling. "You trust him to locate you in the story. You trust
him to be your guide. And that's a beautiful feeling because that's the only way you can
really be free enough to do your job... It was really a special thing to work on this
For Redford, the onscreen pyrotechnics in THE COMPANY YOU KEEP
wouldn't come from elaborate effects or CG-work, but instead the explosive interaction
between his characters -- a throwback, he agrees, to a different era in filmmaking.
"You have new technology now that's driving a lot of films," says Redford. "You
have a lot of amazing stunts that are done to the point where you don't even know what's 15
virtual and what's real. Some of that can be wildly entertaining -- there may not be a lot
of story there, but there's a lot of action and a lot of entertainment. That wasn't there in
the 70s. It was much more of a storytelling time and that of course appeals to me. I think
I still fall on the humanistic side of cinema."
Redford continues, "When I was a kid I loved Frankenstein, I loved The Three
Stooges, I loved musicals. I still love all of it. But when you become an artist, you do
what's important to you. What's important to me are stories about American life. It's a
great country, but let's look at the gray area of our country too. And that's what interests
me because I've lived through it."
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