At the New York premiere for the film, the cast and director of ‘The Dead Don’t Die’ discussed the making of the film and reuniting with one another.
The Dead Don’t Die is the twelfth narrative feature from New York legend Jim Jarmusch. Jarmusch writes, directs, and composed this film, which stars an ensemble cast including Bill Murray, Adam Driver, Chloë Sevigny, Tilda Swinton, Steve Buscemi, Danny Glover, Caleb Landry Jones, Selena Gomez, and many more.
At the New York premiere of The Dead Don’t Die at the MoMA, Jarmusch and some of the cast spoke to The Knockturnal on the film’s red carpet.
The Knockturnal: You’re working with a lot of your older cast members that you’ve worked with a number of times like Tilda Swinton and Bill Murray, along with some newer blood. What was it like reuniting with some of your friends?
Jim Jarmusch (Writer/Director): Well, both of them were fun. The people I’ve worked with before, we’ve developed a kind of shorthand. And then the new people were, with each one, finding a way to collaborate, which was fun and interesting and really rewarding. They’re all so good and talented in the movie.
The Knockturnal: This is your fourth movie with Jim Jarmusch after Coffee & Cigarettes, Broken Flowers, and The Limits of Control. What’s it like going back to this one person? What does Jim Jarmusch do for you that you want to keep making movies with him?
Bill Murray (‘Chief Cliff Robertson’): Well it’s kind of like going back to a favorite cousin. When you see a cousin you don’t see very often and you connect instantly and you have all of the memories of your childhood and so forth. He’s a great artist and professional, so you know that when you go with him, he’s going to take care of you and you’re going to be free to try anything. And you’re going to be surrounded by people who feel the same way, there’s no… there’s no room for status on one of these movies.
[Pointing to the poster behind him] You see the credits? Everyone’s equal on the thing, it’s kinda alphabetical. I like that. I like alphabetical, I’m okay with alphabetical and I’ve always been okay with alphabetical. And everyone comes with that understanding. We’re all alphabetical, we’re all in this together. And that’s really the way good movie making is. Everyone is in on it together, no one has any kind of crazy status. You respect people for what they’ve done and do, but everyone is valuable.
The Knockturnal: You’re currently wrapped with the new Birds of Prey DC movie, and you make projects like this and smaller films and shows. How do you find a balance between more independent films and bigger projects?
Rosie Perez (‘Posie Juarez’): I don’t think that’s a conscious decision of balancing. I think it’s more of a conscious decision of what’s good and what I want to do. It’s as simple as that.
The Knockturnal: You’ve worked with Jim Jarmusch before. What was it like reuniting with him after a few years?
Rosie Perez (‘Posie Juarez’): Oh, it’s fun! You know, it was fun. I was a little nervous at first and then he greeted me and it was fine! We were off to the races.
The Knockturnal: What does an apocalypse movie like The Dead Don’t Die say about the world in 2019?
Rosie Perez (‘Posie Juarez’): It says a lot, that’s all I’ve got to say [laughter].
The Knockturnal: This year you’re in both The Dead Don’t Die and Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood. What was it like seeing those films premiere at the Cannes Film Festival and being a part of them being released this summer?
Austin Butler (‘Jack’): It was a great feeling. It was one of those things where… this experience doesn’t come along every day… It’s making for an interesting summer, too.
The Knockturnal: What was it like working with these two different ensemble casts and with so many great actors.
Austin Butler (‘Jack’): It was an extraordinary experience because the stories are so different and the casts on both films are so diverse. And so it’s just these pockets of experiences that I got to have that were so cool.
The film hits theaters this Friday.