I can’t believe you couldn’t find a fourth film to squeeze into TIFF. That’s just lazy.
I know, I’m really disappointed in myself. (laughs) The thing is that I’m kind of most pleased with about the three that are in is that they’re all so different. There is a real range of performances on display here, and I’m very happy about that. I just hope that if people get a chance to see them that they agree.
You’ve developed a great collaborative relationship with your “Kill Your Darlings” director, John Krokidas.
It’s been one of the joys of doing this film. You know, I’ve worked with loads of directors, and he’s the best director of actors I have worked with. Like, he got a performance from me that I didn’t know that I necessarily had in me. At the time I was really worried and nervous about it, and he had the ability to keep me calm and also to fire me up to do good work. He’s also a great note-giver. I gave him my script. I’ve actually finished a script for the first time in my life. It’s probably s—, but I’ve finished it. So obviously I sent it to him, and he gives such good notes, it was very impressive.
And you guys apparently wear the same size clothes?
He can tell you that if he wants. (laughs) I don’t know that we’d fit all the same clothes. John’s got 11 years head-start on me. Although he did tell me today that he’s a 28-inch waist, which if that’s true that’s bloody impressive. I have heard that one of this back-up suits is an old suit of mine for the premiere. So if it all goes to s— tomorrow and he’s in something with the buttons popping open at the front, it’s because he’s in a suit that I bought when I was 18.
Can you tell me anything about your screenplay?
Not particularly, just that it’s a really dark comedy. I don’t know that that would be ultimately the thing I would direct — I want to direct at some point, but who knows if it would be that or not. It’s a very dark comedy about when friends outgrow each other, basically. It’s a similar story to this in the sense that one person has to cut someone off, basically, in order to live his own life. That’s the theme, I suppose, but it’s dealt with in a very dark and insane way.
What intrigued you most about Allen Ginsberg?
What I find interesting about him is that his confidence is so much intellectual and internal. In his inner life, he is so f—ing confident and so smart, and he is that, but that doesn’t translate into his outer life, into his interactions with people socially. So when he sees Lucian, here’s this charismatic — beautiful, obviously — but charismatic and charming, funny, can relate to anyone, can talk to anyone, isn’t intimidated by any social situation, and just falls for him. Because you often, I think, fall in love with characteristics in people that you don’t have in yourself or that you want in yourself, and that’s who he was.
Any modern poetry you’re into?
There’s a great line in a Hold Steady song called “Banging Camp” that I love where he says, “I saw her at the party pit, she was shaky but still trying to shake it. Half-naked and three-quarters wasted, she was completely alone.” It’s a great line. And then it’s, “I saw him at the riverbanks, he was breaking bread and giving thanks with crosses made of pipes and planks leaned up against the nitrous tanks.” I was listening to Eminem recently, and I can’t think of an American poet I like more from the last 50 years. And the great thing about his stuff is you can just read it. You can just look up the lyrics and read it as a f—ing awesome hard-core poem. The levels of wordplay, frankly, is stuff that poetry professors couldn’t dream of. I think it’s valid, it will become valid. Just as “Howl” did. There was no way that was taught in schools in the 1950s, but now it is.