Franz Rogowski is still reeling from the movie ‘Bird’ at Cannes: “I need to see a psychologist”

Very true to the spirit of the movie.

Correct. Somehow I’m not, but I want to be. I want to accompany myself and be kind.

What’s interesting is that in this movie, you To be that comfort, that kind of calming center—

It’s called acting. [Laughs] The truth is I’m torn. I’m trying to be that comfort zone and I’m trying to be there for her. And I’m trying to be someone who is, to a certain extent, open and vulnerable and grounded. But the truth is, I am these things, but I am also many other things. I just want the best version of myself and I don’t want to get all the other shades. But I think a good director is interested in the whole spectrum. That’s also painful to a certain extent.

Have you ever thought about not observing yourself?

Yes, I have. Just try to record [yourself] and then listen to it. It’s so depressing. Like, “Oh my God, is that me? I can’t even say a single sentence in a nice, sharp, sexy and simple way? Modest but meaningful? We look at pictures of ourselves and our families and we think, “Oh my God, I’m so ugly.” Five years later, you think: “Oh my God, I was really handsome then, and now I’m ugly.”

How did the rest of the film resonate with you, beyond your presence?

I was overwhelmed. I’ve never heard the whole story! And then being with Nykiya, witnessing her coming of age story was heartbreaking. Andrea loves music so much that she includes music in almost every scene; it feels a bit like the soundtrack of someone who has experienced life but is morphing into the body of a teenager and creating the soundtrack to his own fantasies. Again, we shot so many scenes that weren’t in the movie that I felt, wow, we really created this mountain, this giant mountain. What we see is just the tip of the iceberg. It feels great to be a part of the whole thing.

You mentioned watching movies with Nykiya. Did she have a similar experience as you?

Everyone filmed in chronological order but I don’t know how much she knew before [production]. I do not even know. I don’t even know Nykiya. [Laughs] We only met on set and then on premiere night, drank a glass of water, looked at each other, smiled, and took a few photos together. We never got a chance to hang out. We only know each other from this universe Bird.

And at the time you were living in a camper nearby. Is it a bit lonely to shoot a movie this way?

Yes, but in a good way. I am a loner.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

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