REEL DEAL: Academy-Award Winner Adrien Brody Pairs Up With Moran Atias in “THIRD PERSON”

Adrien Brody who won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of real-life Holocaust survivor Wladislaw Szpilman in Roman Polanski's “The Pianist” and he is, to date the youngest person to have received the Oscar in that category stars in the latest romantic thriller “Third Person” opposite an impressive cast that includes Liam Neeson, Kim Basinger, Moran Atias, James Franco, Mila Kunis and Olivia Wilde. 

“Third Person” spans three stories of love clothed in mystery where Brody plays Scott, a shady American businessman and reluctant globe- trotter, who is in Italy to steal designs from fashion houses.  At the end of his trip and looking for something American to eat, he goes in search of a decent hamburger and a Budweiser, and finds Bar Americano, where, to his consternation, he finds nothing he is seeking. He is about to leave when in walks Monika (Moran Atias), a breathtakingly beautiful gypsy.  Unable to stop from flirting, Scott discovers that Monika is about to be reunited with her young daughter. When the money she claims to have saved to  pay  her  daughter’s  smuggler  is  stolen,  Scott  feels  responsible  and  is compelled to  help.  Though she  is  skeptical  of  his  intentions, she  reluctantly agrees and quite literally takes him on a ride. While they explore the more dangerous corners of southern Italy, Scott starts to suspect that this girl they have set out to rescue may not even exist. Nothing about their encounter is quite what it seems.

“My character Scott Wallace is a man who’s made some errors in life and some mistakes are permanent and too difficult to overcome. I think he’s grappling with a lot as a result of that and he’s unable to forgive himself.  He encounters a very interesting, alluring young woman in Rome while on a business trip and he somehow needs that excitement she embodies but that too is a tumultuous chapter of his life.    At the same time, it pulls him away from the weight he’s been experiencing and is kind of unable to escape on his own”. .   It’s way more interesting to observe imperfections and people’s ability to get past those imperfections. That’s more inspirational than overly heroic characters,” explains Brody.

Further, Brody shares that “I strive to find material that is unusual and speaks to me and that’s either something with incredible social relevance or something that is a learning process for me as a human being, not just as an actor and that I can share. There’s a degree of that in this piece – the processing of emotions and the need to overcome certain things that prevent us from moving forward and being present.   Tragedy befalls many people’s lives and you have to surmount that, or it destroys any possibility of the future.    I also think that there are many flaws in all the characters in this film, they’re all really flawed human beings and I think film should celebrate flaws rather than create perfect people, because people are imperfect.”               

Atias, who plays the gypsy Monika, is an immigrant from Albania trying to scrape together a living on the fringes of a world where people like her are considered to be less than dirt – all con artists and criminals.  “Her character’s strongest motivation is simple – survival.  .  It’s not a question whether or not she wants to do certain things; she sees no other choice.  Hers is just a very basic need.   One key characteristic about her is that she doesn’t trust anybody and she has a really good reason not to trust anybody, especially men,” says Moran. 

A model and an ambassador in worldwide disaster relief operations, Atias shares that “I’ve done a lot of research to play Monika, even on things that I knew were not going to ever be in the script, but I just wanted to explore the life of the gypsy in Italy..   I became so respectful of their courage and dignity and that force of life to continue.”

“Third Person” now showing in theaters nationwide from Axinite Digicinema.

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