Nesting two interweaving narrative voices, a dozen plot twists and a psychological arc that makes her Shakespeare stage work look like panto, Amy is a landmark role for Pike - her first Hollywood starring role that isn’t in a popcorn movie, her first decent chance at an Oscar nod and the first character she can really lose herself in.
“It was incredibly intense, an almost schizophrenic experience. Trying to link everything together it felt like I had the weight of more than one character on my shoulders. But it also felt like working on a great British film on a far larger scale. We had 106 days to shoot a non-action film - usually you don’t get that kind of schedule unless you’re working with loads of CGI and action. But if anyone can help you navigate those waters, it’s David Fincher.”
Still in thrall to her director (not just because he’s pulling funny faces at her in the studio mirror) Fincher was the main draw for Pike on ‘Gone Girl’. But what about his notorious perfectionism? Hours of overtime on every scene? Hundreds of takes for one shot?
“To be honest, I’ve been craving it for years - to work that hard and at that level of intensity. I’d love to be able to put that much thought into every character I’ve played but you just don’t get the chance. It’s a great opportunity to hone it. It’s daunting, but it was a fine, fine balance to strike. If you knew nothing about this style of work and you’re suddenly on take 35 of a scene, you could get frustrated. But you’re not alone - all the actors sat around sharing stories about it - and it becomes exciting. You never go home with regret - you never go, ‘Oh shit, why didn’t I try that? - because you’ve tried everything!”
My daughter had a friend named Max. She told me Fight Club is his favorite movie. I told her never to talk to Max again.