Ana Piterbarg talks Tigre and Viggo with The Fan Carpet's Holly Patrick | The Fan Carpet Ltd • The Fan Carpet: The RED Carpet for FANS • The Fan Carpet: Fansites Network • The Fan Carpet: Slate • The Fan Carpet: Theatre Spotlight • The Fan Carpet: Arena • The Fan Carpet: International

Ana Piterbarg talks Tigre and Viggo with The Fan Carpet’s Holly Patrick

Everybody Has a Plan
18 October 2012

In Everybody Has A Plan, Pedro is a beekeeper living deep in the Tigre, a backwater province of Buenos Aires that lies on the Paraná Delta. He is in poor health and, after being drawn into a kidnapping attempt, he has become wary of his associates. He escapes to the city to see his twin brother Agustín, who has made a success of himself as a doctor. Yet Agustín is facing crises of his own, and Pedro’s arrival presents an opportunity for him to escape his own circumstances. The choice Agustín makes leads him back to the Delta where he spent his youth, and to fateful confrontations. Ana Piterbarg’s debut feature is an engrossing and distinctive modern noir that evolves amidst the unfamiliar, unsettling environment of Argentine swamplands. Viggo Mortensen, playing the roles of the twin brothers, delivers electrifying performances, cementing his reputation as one of the most daring screen actors working today.

The Fan Carpet‘s Holly Patrick sat down with writer/director Ana Piterbarg during the 56th BFI London Film Festival, where they discuss the inspiration for the film, choosing the location and how Viggo came onboard…



So what inspired you to make the film?

I don’t know…. (laughs). I was interested in talking about the two sides, the contradiction and that you can chose to live your life in more than one way.


Why did you chose Tigre as the location for this film?

I visited the area a few times when I was a child and I always remember weekends spend there and I think it is a good place because you have this Labirynth of rivers and the dark water makes it impossible to see what is below the surface. Sometimes the water goes down, when the wind changes and you can see what is below. The rivers relate to the story as you can’t walkways see what’s underneath but then at certain points all is revealed.


What is the most important point that you are trying to make with this film?

How difficult it is for us to ask ourselves what we really want from life. This difficulty is portrayed by the two main characters Augustine and Pedro.


Did you always have one actor in mind to play the main characters?

At the beginning of this project I didn’t have an image of the character in my mind. I only wrote the character in the script. One time I thought about Viggo and I was thinking about him playing the characters for years. I then met him by chance.


Did you always see one actor playing the two characters or did you ever think that you might have two actors playing the two characters?

No, sometimes I thought maybe It might have been a good idea to work with real twins but I didn’t know any good enough actors!


Was it difficult filming the scenes where Augustine and Pedro were together? You must have had to use body doubles etc?

Yes we were working with body doubles and some shots were with CGI, digital enhancements.


Were there any challenges with that?

No. We worked with the post production crew all throughout the process and it was easier than we thought. On the other hand the really difficult thing was for Viggo to adapt as for two days he would play one character and then for the next two days he would play the other so it was difficult for him to imagine how it was going to look.


In terms of Viggo playing the main character, he is not native Spanish…did you have any concerns about how Spanish audiences would receive him?

Well actually from the age of 3 until 11 he grew up in Argentina. When he was a child he went to Tigre to fish. People will always make negative comments but it is never quite as they say. There is a saying in Spanish that goes ‘The people are bad and they will comment.’


The story line is quite dark and menacing did you have any concerns about how people would react to it?

Yes but at the same time I like the movies that make me feel uncomfortable. It is a risk but if you don’t take this risk then all movies are going to be slightly similar/boring. For me it was like a need. I think when you are uncomfortable you can think about what has made you feel that way. The movie doesn’t have a closed message or a closed plot, the audience have to put a meaning to it themselves. Some people may not be able to understand this point within the movie and maybe this a challenge for me next time but this was the purpose of this film so if it makes some people uncomfortable then that is OK.



When you cast Viggo in the main role, did you approach him directly to take part in the film?

When he grew up he was a fan of an Argentinian football team, at the Oscars there is a picture of him with the flag of St. Lorenzo with Cate Blanchett, I’m not sure if you’ve seen it… but I met him at the home ground of this soccer club as my son used the swimming pool there. That is where I met him.

Oh fancy seeing you here?!

Ooooh yes are you Viggo? Can I have a minute of your time please?! (laughs). I didn’t have the script at that moment but he was really kind and he gave me his address and I sent the script to him in the post and some months later he wrote to me. He really wanted to do a movie in Argentina for years but he says that he never found the right script or the right moment to do it.


What was it that drew you to Viggo. Why was he right for the role?

I think he one of the best actors in the world. In his body of work he plays such a range of different characters that I knew that he could play the two diverse roles in this movie. He is a well travelled and cultured person as well as being sensitive he can be brutal at the same time.


Did you intend to shock audiences with certain scenes? One of the most shocking scenes for me is when Pedro is in the bath and he begins to cough up blood etc and then Augustine drowns him using the shower curtain and it is real shocking. Did you indtend to do that?

Yes, yes I intended to make the plot surprising, when you think it is going one way and then suddenly the character will act irrationally and so then the plot changes and goes in the other direction. This makes it possible to have another life for the character. If he acts the way you would expect all the time then this movie would not be how I wanted it to be. I’ve tried to show how the characters has changed. It is exactly the opposite to what Augustine says at the end of the film when he says ‘ There is no place in life for big changes’, I don’t know if you remember that. The whole theme throughout the movie is that in fact you can change, there is a high cost to do so, but you can change.


Did you have a specific audience in mind that you were targeting with this film? Or was it meant for everyone?

I think like most directors I wanted to make this movie with myself in mind. Maybe there are two ways, one as I’ve just said and the other is to think about what people have asked you to do but in this case I began the project thinking about what I myself needed. I think there are some people that like the same things that I do and also I made it for people who might discover that they like a new type of film while in the process of watching it.


That’s what I did! I would never normally have watched a film like this but I’m so glad that I did as I really enjoyed it.

That’s great! I think with Viggo being a part of this project and with al the support from Fox and the producers and distributors we can put the movie out to a wider audience and that is really good for me.


What’s your favourite moment from the film?

Ooh I have a lot! One of my favourite moments, that was actually very difficult for me to shoot, was the bath scene that you mentioned earlier. I also loved the scene in the jail with Claudia when she discovered that Pedro is in fact Augustine and also the last scene is very moving. It’s really sad.

I really didn’t expect that moment at all! So depressing! I thought ‘Oh great, now i”m going to cry’ (Laughs)

Yes I was unhappy too! But the film is tragic and it is supposed to be.


What was the biggest challenge for you throughout the whole of the shooting of the film?

There were a lot of challenges. I think it was difficult to ensure that the spirit of the script and the theme of the film was not lost throughout shooting and editing process.


Did you worry that any mood or moment would be lost due to the translation into subtitles?

No I don’t think so because we were working with Viggo in the subtitles. So I wasn’t worried at all. Every time you translate into a different language can loose something, not necessarily because of the subtitles but because of the difference of cultures. Some may not understand creation points made in this film.


On that note, did you intend to educate people on the way of life in the town of Tigre? I didn’t know anything about that area and now I do, what that an important thing for you to do in this film or was it just coincidence?

No, no I think that all over the world there are some places like Tigre. This town is obviously vary particular in layout etc but I think that the movie needed to be somewhere deprived etc and it could have been somewhere on the borders. I wanted to show that there are some people living one way and then others living completely differently. I wanted to educate people that things are not all one way. I am happy to show some places in Argentina because I love the country.


Now that everything is finished and the project is completed is there anything that you would have done differently?

Of course! (laughs). I am really happy with the final result. It is difficult to say exactly what I would change but with things like this you always feel that you could have made it slightly better. Overall I am very happy with the finished project.

Great thank you very much. It was so lovely to meet you.

You too. Thank you very much.



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