Oscar Directors: Aronofsky, Darren–Inventive Filmmaker (The Wrestler, Black Swan)

Darren Aronofsky was originally set to direct the highly acclaimed biopic Jackie, starring Natalie Portman in an Oscar caliber performance.

But when he served on the jury of the Berlin Film Fest in 2015, he saw Pablo Larrain’s film “The Club.” Talking to the Chilean filmmaker at an after party one day, he discovered Larrain was interested in making an English-language film.

“It was clear to me this guy could do anything,” Aronofsky says. “But there were these titles he was considering that were completely wrong. And I was like, ‘No, no, no,’ and I started to think about what’s the best piece of material that I have that I haven’t made, and it was ‘Jackie.’ Sometimes someone from the outside who’s not dealing with the same perspective can bring incredible insight.”

Aronofsky’s The Fountain, which divided critics and was a commercial failure, is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.

“Time is a strange thing, and that film is about time, so it’s a very strange thing,” Aronofsky says. “It’s interesting because I think Rotten Tomatoes, it’s a pretty bad score, but the people who come up to me, probably more than any film I’ve done, that’s the one they can’t stop talking about. Film is about compromise and surrendering to the reality that’s put in front of you. So the film is, at that moment, the film that I was meant to make.”

Showing The Wrestler in Venice

“One of my favorite career moments was showing up in Venice with ‘The Wrestler’ and it was after ‘The Fountain’ and everyone said the career was over and no one knew what to expect, and it was great.  I like flying under the radar and giving as much surprise as we can.”