Hostiles Interview: Scott Cooper, Wes Studi, and Q’orianka Kilcher
Scott Menzel: Congratulations everyone on this film. It was terrific all around. Everyone who is part of this movie is incredible.
Everyone: Oh, thank you so much.
Scott Menzel: This movie premiered at Telluride and then went on to Toronto International Film Festival.
Scott Cooper: Indeed.
Scott Menzel: What was the reaction like for you after seeing the reaction at Telluride and Toronto?
Scott Cooper: Well, it is extremely heartening because no one had really seen the film when we debuted at Telluride, and I guess one of the first experiences. This was the first screening that we had. Of course, I was extremely nervous because it’s an entertaining, yet at times challenging film, and I had given a few of my actors a Ken Burns’ documentary series called “Civil War”, and I had no idea that Ken Burns was in the audience.
As soon as the screening ended, and I’d finished my Q and A, the first person who came up to me was Ken Burns, and the things he said to me that I won’t repeat here are things that I will take to my grave and that I was extremely flattered and heartened by. That was my first experience.
Wes Studi: There was actually a hush. I didn’t expect this. It made me very nervous as well for you as well as for the rest of us, but as soon as this title started up it was just ahh. A lot of times the audience will begin to clap, but there was a hush, and we were all thinking, what’s wrong? What’s wrong. Then it was almost like that thing where one guy starts clapping and then it really had an affect on the audience.
Scott Cooper: Boy did it ever. It takes some time to process. Which is what I always find with films that have made me want to become a film director. The best films I’ve ever viewed are the ones that stay with me well after I leave the theater, and I hope this does as well.
Scott Menzel: For you Wes and for you Q’orianka, what was it about this script that spoke to you and made you want to do it?
Q’orianka Kilcher: For me, it was the glimpses of humanity throughout the thing, throughout the script, and it was the journey of my character and Rosamund Pike’s character, and I would love to speak about Rosamund Pike quickly because she is not present, but she was such a presence on set. Just brought such honesty and truth to her performance that it was just heartbreaking, for me in particular, to watch her do the scene where she was digging the graves for her children and for her family.
Working opposite her, and our characters, with the world that we live in that time, we’re raised to and we grow up fearing one another, but as we go through the journey together, we start to recognize the similarities that we share, and in particular, the thing of being a mom, which I think is very powerful, and there’s a lot to be learned from that because there’s compassion, there’s understanding, and with that breaking down those unseen walls of divide and hopefully creating a connection.
Scott Menzel: Thank you very much.
Wes Studi: Thank you. I appreciate it.
Scott Cooper: No, thank you. I’m happy you enjoyed the film.