Alex Wolff said his role in the film “Human Capital” was one of the “most challenging” part of his career, but he literally put his blood, sweat and tears into his performance.
In speaking with TheWrap’s Steve Pond following the premiere of “Human Capital” at Toronto, Wolff described filming an intense scene with co-star Maya Hawke in which he smashed his forehead and accidentally got a big gash in his eyebrow, which he had recently pierced for the role.
“There was a moment where I was staring at Maya looking, and it went from her doing the scene to her genuinely looking at my eyes like something was wrong,” Wolff said. “And then I realized, ‘Am I sweating a lot? Oh, that’s blood dripping down my eye in the middle of me screaming at her.'”
“And then I called medic, and then he comes out of the car and he goes, You’re keeping that in the movie, right,” director Marc Meyers chimed in.
Turns out that moment really did stay in the movie, and it’s just one bloody example of the heavy emotions and acting on display in “Human Capital.” Meyers’s film is an adaptation of both a 2004 novel by Stephen Amidon as well as the 2013 Italian film based on the book and directed by Paolo Virzi. Oren Moverman (“The Messenger”) wrote the screenplay about two families, one wealthy and one poor, that become intertwined following a tragic hit and run car accident.
The film is broken into three chapters that are each viewed from the perspective of a different individual involved with the accident, and Wolff does not appear in the film until its climactic third and final chapter. Wolff specifically plays a young man with a troubled past who has now turned cruel towards his girlfriend, played by Hawke.
“I am unbelievably nihilistic and I felt bad being so cruel to Maya in certain scenes. He’s kind of a cruel guy. But I think there’s a lot of badness and cruelty in everybody, and I actually kind of liked being able to embrace that and kind of do nothing and not have the obligation to speak to like, not fill space, but I think we speak a lot to make other people feel comfortable,” Wolff said. “As horrible as this is, I did like the feeling of being able to make other people feel uncomfortable by not speaking. That was an interesting experience, but it also made you feel really bad.”
“Human Capital” has a rich cast that also includes Liev Schreiber, Marisa Tomei, Peter Sarsgaard and Betty Gabriel. Hawke and Gabriel likewise spoke about the emotional ups and downs of their characters and why they felt the film was one of the most challenging of their young careers.
Check out TheWrap’s full interview with Wolff, Hawke, Meyers and Gabriel above.