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Terrence Malick Madness: 5 Most Bizarre Takeaways From ‘Knight of Cups’ On-Set Story

Director ”got, I’m not kidding, eight inches away from my face, filming me having this totally real fight with my wife,“ actor Thomas Lennon says

Terrence Malick is renown for eccentricity, but Thomas Lennon‘s recent account from the set of “Knight of Cups” revealed just how peculiar the director can be.

In an interview with Business Insider, the actor shared what it was like having a bit part in the upcoming film, which stars Christian Bale and is set for a Mar. 4 release.

Lennon called it “the single most fun day I’ve ever had on a movie set,” but from an outside perspective, it reads like a nightmare.

From an 11-hour shoot for a five-minute scene to Malick filming a real fight Lennon had with his wife, following are five of the most outrageous details below:

“No one knows anything about the movie”

Lennon said he received an offer to be in the movie, and accepted without knowing anything about the role. Six weeks prior to filming, Lennon said people were still telling him, “No one knows anything about the movie.”

It wasn’t until three days before the shoot that the actor was told the scene was a party in the Hollywood Hills. And nothing more.

There’s no script

Malick had no script to provide his actors during filming, all they were given were cards with phrases meant to inspire them during filming.

“We’re all standing there and Malick hands out these pieces of paper to all of us,” Lennon said. “And the one he gave me said, ‘There’s no such thing as a fireproof wall.’ And I ask, ‘Is this something I’m supposed to say in the scene?’ and he said, ‘I don’t know.'”

Eleven hours of set time = one minute of screen time

The shoot day lasted 11 hours, but the scene takes up five minutes of the film, only one of which features Lennon. And even after the “absolutely batshit crazy” day of improvising, adding new characters and even swapping cinematographers, Lennon still had no idea whether or not he was in the film.

“Great, it’s all great”

By Lennon’s account, the director had no plan for the shoot and simply encouraged the cast and crew to make it up as they went. The actor also said that “sometimes Christian would take a GoPro and shoot something.”

“I would ask, ‘Like that Terrence?’ and he would be like, ‘Great, it’s all great,'” Lennon said.

Malick filmed a real fight between Lennon and his wife

When Lennon stepped aside to make a phone call to his wife that ended in a fight, Malick started rolling tape.

“We were basically yelling at each other,” Lennon said. Malick then “got, I’m not kidding, eight inches away from my face, filming me having this totally real fight with my wife … At first I felt it was kind of an invasion of privacy and then I was like, ‘Fuck it, this is the realest thing that has happened all day.'”

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