The notion of shrinking yourself down to miniature size to increase the quality of your life is a fantastical notion that director Alexander Payne tackles with Downsizing. Matt Damon and Kristen Wiig are the couple who are considering joining this liliputian universe.
“I have been a huge fan of Matt for a very long time,” said Wiig. “We have always met many times. We have mutual friends. I’ve just always wanted to work with him and I’ve heard he’s such a nice guy. That’s everything when you’re on set. He was amazing and he’s so funny. We joked around a lot and he’s great.”
As with most of Payne’s works, Downsizing is a pointed satire at our daily existence, and Wiig explains how the environment is a central theme to the narrative. Take a listen to Wiig’s comments below:
Downsizing, which features a Golden Globe nominated performance from Hong Chau, opens nationwide December 22.
What would happen if overpopulation dramatically reduces Earth’s natural resources and the cost of living would skyrocket beyond measure? In director Alexander Payne’s latest feature Downsizing Norwegian scientists have discovered a process to shrink people to five inches tall. Paul Safranek (Matt Damon) and his wife Audrey (Kristen Wiig) have decided to become part of this downsized community increase their net worth and enhance their quality of living.
Payne reteams with writer Jim Taylor for the film, and it’s their first writing collaboration since 2004’s Sideways. In the audio clip below, Payne explains why Downsizing, though it has a pointed message about climate change, is at heart a biting satire like his earlier works Citizen Ruth and Election (Taylor is also heard in the clip).
Downsizing, co-starring Golden Globe nominated actress Hong Chau, opens nationwide December 22.
Filmmaker Alexander Payne previously worked with George Clooney in The Descendants, and now he’s teamed with Clooney’s good friend and collaborator Matt Damon in Downsizing. The narrative centers on a couple (Matt Damon, Kristen Wiig) who decide to shrink themselves because their net worth of $150,000 would make them millionaires by living in a literally “downsized” universe.
Payne was immediately locked in on Damon for the lead role. “I needed a fantastic actor who I also would believe as an every man,” said Payne. “Who looks more like a real human . . . even though he is a movie star. But then I also needed a movie star who could help bring the financing for the hefty budget we needed. At his age range, mid-40s, really there is only Matt Damon right now. He had been kind enough in passing to tell me, ‘Oh we should work together some day.'”
With today’s politically correct climate, some filmmakers may alter their own storylines to make their work more palatable to a larger audience. That being said, Alexander Payne has his own thoughts about how he approaches storytelling. Click on the media bar below to hear Payne discuss his “honest” approach to crafting a narrative:
Downsizing co-starring Kristen Wiig and Hong Chauopens nationwide December 22nd.