A couple of days ago Isla and some of her Gatsby cast and crew attended a luncheon and Q&A session for the film at the New York Public Library. Isla looked casually smart in an outfit by Chloe, with Casadei shoes and Van Cleef & Arpels jewellry. Again thanks to our friend DeA, we have some beautiful high quality photos from the event in our Gallery. Scroll down this post for some articles with quotes from the Q&A….
A Lunch in Honor of Baz Luhrmann’s New Film
“I’ve been drunk for about a week now, and I thought it might sober me up to sit in a library,” said the man in “enormous owl-eyed spectacles” in chapter three of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s beloved novel. The “stout, middle-aged man” perched atop a table in Jay Gatsby’s Gothic library spent his week drunk on prohibition-era liquor, while the crowd in the Wachenheim Trustees room of the New York Public Library on Thursday was intoxicated by Gatsby mania.
Indeed, after all the glitz and glamour of the myriad events promoting the May 10 release of Baz Luhrmann’s ambitious screen adaptation, a luncheon and panel discussion hosted by Tiffany & Co. and M.A.C. Costmetics was the sobering antidote needed. Hosted by Tony Marx, Anna Wintour, and David Remnick, the intimate meal provided the opportunity to hear from Luhrmann as well as the cast. “Fitzgerald and Jay Gatsby would have been pleased to have this movie celebrated here,” said NYPL president Marx, “a place of equal opportunity, where all people, even from the most humble beginnings, can better themselves and come to learn.”
And learn we did—with Remnick interviewing Luhrmann about the film, followed by Amanda Foreman moderating a question-and-answer session with cast members Carey Mulligan, Tobey Maguire, Isla Fisher, and Joel Edgerton.
“Baz is a master of spectacle and a master of historical storytelling,” began Remnick, “it’s as if Vincente Minnelli and David Lean had had a baby.”
“You can stop there. I can go now.” Luhrmann interrupted cheekily.
The director and the New Yorker editor in chief talked about everything from Luhrmann’s inspiration for the film—listening to the book on tape (or iPod) while traveling across Russia on the Trans-Siberian Express Railway, to his decision to shoot in 3-D—a 3-D viewing of Dial M for Murder sparked the idea—to his decision to enlist Jay-Z for the movie’s sound track. Luhrmann also noted the reliance on additional texts to inform his approach to the film. His friend Francis Ford Coppola, who wrote the 1974 screenplay, advised him to delve into all of Fitzgerald’s texts and those surrounding him, Zelda and Ginevra King, the women who inspired the character of Daisy.
Asked about her approach to the character, Carey Mulligan, in a midnight-blue Lanvin shift, cited the reliance on those historical texts as well. “I really do see her as those two women. I loved reading about Zelda Fitzgerald, and I loved reading about Ginerva King. Daisy became a cocktail of what I read in the novel, and I read about those two women. I’m sort of in love with them.” For his part, Luhrmann took on Fitzgerald. “I try to take on the character of F. Scott Fitzgerald, and I mean that. I try to be as much like Fitzgerald in making a film as he was in writing a book.” He looked up at his wife, Catherine Martin, who served as producer, production designer, and costume designer for the film, “CM too—we’re a bit Scott and Zelda.”
“I don’t think that’s fair!” piped up Martin. “I think you have far more of a problem with the bottle than I do!”
The room giggled and then nodded when waiters offered more wine. We may have gone to the library for drying out, but sobriety was far from necessary.
‘The Great Gatsby’ Soundtrack Makes Isla Fisher Cry
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 novel “The Great Gatsby” is set during the Jazz Age, but the soundtrack to director Baz Luhrmann’s new 3-D film adaptation is also powered by contemporary pop and hip-hop. Executive produced by rapper Jay-Z, the soundtrack features music from Will.I.Am, Lana Del Rey, Beyonce (covering Amy Winehouse‘s “Back to Black”)and Jay-Z himself.
Luhrmann and some of the cast members, including Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan, and Isla Fisher, gathered for a luncheon at the New York Public Library this afternoon to discuss the film, and before the meal began, Fischer talked to Speakeasy about the “Gatsby” soundtrack.
“I think it was brilliant. I think [Luhrmann] made it modern and fresh and by doing all that music it keeps it alive and relevant,” Fischer said. ” I think Jay-Z did a phenomenal job. And that one song by Lana Del Rey [“Young and Beautiful”], it always makes me cry. I don’t know if it’s because I am aging, but it’s just so moving. I love that song.”
For the record, Fisher, who plays Myrtle Wilson in “Gatsby,” is only 37 years old.
“The Great Gatsby” is set in the 1920s when jazz was all the rage. In a featured conversation during the lunch with New Yorker editor David Remnick, Luhrmann said he put hip-hop on the soundtrack because he felt that it was in keeping with Fitzgerald’s spirit.
Luhrmann said of Fitzgerald, “He took African-American street music called jazz and put it front and center in his text and pop music and put it in his text….And I wanted the audience when they see this film to feel like those people who read ‘Gatsby’ in the 1920s. And when they read it and saw jazz it was dangerous.”
After Hours: A Gatsby-worthy Lunch
What: A lunch for and discussion of The Great Gatsby, hosted by Tony Marx, David Remnick and Anna Wintour and sponsored by Tiffany & Co and MAC Cosmetics.
Where: The opulent Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III Trustees Room at the New York Public Library, which has first editions of every F. Scott Fitzgerald novel in its collection.
When: May 2
Who: Baz Luhrmann, Catherine Martin, Carey Mulligan, Isla Fisher, Joel Edgerton and Tobey Maguire, all of whom participated in a panel moderated by Remnick and Dr. Amanda Foreman.
Why: In case you haven’t heard, Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby is the most anticipated film of the season. So what fun to pick up delicious behind-the-scenes tidbits. Did you know Luhrmann decided to adapt the book into a film while listening to an audiobook version on his iPod, mid-ride on the Trans-Siberian railroad, with two bottles of Australian red wine as his companions? Or that Maguire was relieved to have some scenery to chew? (“This is just really selfish actor stuff, but I don’t want to just be standing in the room watching people,” he recalled telling Baz of his character Nick Carraway.) Or that Fisher tapped into her personal life to play Myrtle, Tom Buchanan’s tragic mistress? (“I relate to Myrtle, having dated a bad boy before who was emotionally unavailable and you’re searching for a way to change them.”) Wonder which former boyfriend or husband she was referring to.