Dave Karger moderated a panel with the cast and crew of ‘Nightmare Alley’ at the film’s world premiere at Alice Tully Hall in New York City on December 1.
The panel included director Guillermo Del Toro, screenwriter Kim Morgan, producer J. Miles Dale, David Strathairn, Bradley Cooper, Richard Jenkins, and Rooney Mara. Cate Blanchett also was at the panel virtually from London.
Kim Morgan discussed how her and Guillermo Del Toro experimented with the film noir genre for this film by experimenting with the language and reality of the movie. Guillermo Del Toro added that noir to him is like neorealism, though both agreed that genres can sometimes be classified and defined too quickly, and oftentimes there is more to every film than what its genre is.
“I just had the blessing of being able to work with so many incredible actors in this movie,” Bradley Cooper said of working on Nightmare Alley. “You just put all the work in and just hope that something occurs, and then you can just receive it. Stan is there and then you can just react to all these wonderful people.”
“My first point of connection was obviously wanting to work with Guillermo,” Cate Blanchett said of what attracted her to the film. “When he comes to you with anything, you say yes. And then the character is secondary, in a way, to the experience of working with him.”
The panelists also discussed how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted production, and what it was like to return to set and complete the film in a safe but creative fashion.
Nightmare Alley is based on William Lindsay Gresham’s 1946 novel of the same name. It tells the story of an ambitious carny named Stan Carlisle. Stan (played by Bradley Cooper) hooks up with a corrupt psychiatrist, played by Blanchett, who happens to be even more dangerous than he is.
See Nightmare Alley only in theaters on December 17.