Suddenly It Exists
Jaco Van Dormael
Yeah, the relation with the character is something really strange, beautiful, complex, because I lived for years with — for years I lived with phantoms.1 I hear them speaking, they speak together, and I take notes. I make them speak, I try — sometimes they’re big, sometimes they’re tall, sometimes they’re blonde, sometimes they have dark hair, sometimes they’re younger, sometimes they’re older, the faces change always a little bit, as the voice changes a little bit.2 But I have the feeling to know them very well.
And the moment the actor comes, that’s what’s magic with the casting.3 Suddenly when I recognize something of the character in an actor, and that the actor takes the character and enters into it, and makes something different, they’re true in flesh. That’s one of the most moving moments, when you’ve seen — that’s the sort of character that’s out of focus, but that it’s still a little undefined — at the moment it’s that person and not another one. It’s that person that has that hair, that has that voice, that is that age, and everything becomes very concrete and precise, and suddenly it exists, and that’s a very moving moment, when you can share that with an actor.