They had doubts about how to sell the project, Foster says, but that did not impact production, which commenced in summer 2009 in Westchester County, N.
Gibson, in his e-mail, warmly recalls first meeting the young woman with “the piercing blue eyes” who looked as if “she just came from gym” and surprised him when she metamorphosed into a radiant leading lady.
But she’s a very different person now, coming to terms with her own fears and insecurities — and acknowledging a depression that she says has been with her for years.
It was a remarkably easy 43-day shoot, she adds, with Anton Yelchin joining the cast as Gibson and Foster’s son and Jennifer Lawrence as the object of Yelchin’s affection.
“There were some issues that we knew would be problematic down the line, in terms of script,” Foster explains, “and getting the tone right took a long time, and there was a lot of trial and error.
I don’t need to make those kinds of movies because my career as a director is a personal spiritual path. I said, ‘Look, I’m going to send you something, and the bad news is you have to tell us in 24 hours,’ because there was another actor interested.” The next day, Gibson called and said he needed just 10 hours more to discuss it with his agent, then gave her a yes. For one thing, there was an arm-cutting scene — present from the very first draft of the script — that many potential financiers resisted, not so much because of its gruesomeness but because it might have made Gibson’s character seem disturbed.
I don’t need to succeed in that way in order to have an identity. “A lot of places were categorical that, if his arm comes off, they don’t want to be involved in the movie,” Foster says.
’ ” Then, of course, there was the issue of Gibson himself, who had already inflamed passions after a 2006 drunken meltdown during which he hurled abuse at a female police officer.
“He wasn’t a hard sell, but it was a challenge for distribution,” Foster acknowledges.
Before Gibson’s relationship with Oksana Grigorieva exploded in the public eye, he confided in Foster.