When I introduced myself to Tarsem Singh, he called me Right Said. I told him I usually got Drop Dead Fred growing up, but he thought that was too old a reference (it’s three years before Right Said.) I recently got to ask him a few questions about his Greek Gods actioner, Immortals .
Crave Online: Is it interesting to you that everyone talks about your visionary style, but Hollywood tends to take that and ask you to do action?
Tarsem Singh: I like action. I like blow ‘em up movies but my take on blow up movies is not particularly Hollywood. I think me and Fincher in the early days used to call it “there’s a shooter and there’s a director.” We tend to be directors. When you get older, you might become a shooter. You see there aren’t too many different ways you can cut it. Telephoto lenses, the action happens, your actors love that. Then you cut it together and the editor is really your director. For me, if you made your decision up before you shoot it a la Polanski or anybody, it’s kind of set. For me, yes, they like action, I like action. My take happens to be a little bit different than what they like and it’s a tug of war. Do I do it their way? Can I come to terms with it? In this one, I think I could.
Crave Online: Why does everyone still want to be immortal? Have they learned nothing from Highlander?
Tarsem Singh: No, I would like very much to be immortal but immortal at 19 or 20. I would not like to be immortal when I’m holding my catheter. I have no interest in that and right now where I am, I would not like to live forever. I would like to live forever but then.
Crave Online: Even at 19, I think about 100 years is enough life. I want there to be an out at some point.
Tarsem Singh: I think that’s programmed in your DNA. By the particular point you think you’ve already passed it on, you’re thinking downward, you aren’t getting pumped in with the same adrenaline. All that changes. If you’re at 19 and the same thing going through your veins, you’d want to live forever I feel.
Crave Online: Do you have a more action packed vision for Snow White than maybe the Red Riding Hood and other Snow Whites will be?
Tarsem Singh: No, I think to get me in they were saying, “You can make it more edgy” and I don’t really have an interest in doing the edgy Snow White. Usually I find people saying that, I’m thinking, “Edgy for whom? Edgy for Disney or edgy for Gaspar Noe?” It’s a very relative term. I said I don’t want to push off the people who I think are going to show up for this film. It’s a lovely family tale. It’s a two minute tale. How do I tell it for 90 minutes? Please, let’s try but don’t go in there saying let’s push off the people who it’s made for. When I do hardcore, I like hardcore but when I want to do the family film, I want to do a family film. I don’t want to bring serial killers into that world.