Bloom sings, Ruffalo directs in “Sympathy for Delicious”
By ROBERT W. WELKOS
PARK CITY, Utah–Orlando Bloom wants to make one thing perfectly clear: he will not be cutting an album even thumbs-up reviews for his pipes as the charismatic front man The Stain in director Mark Ruffalo’s edgy rock music-infused film “Sympathy for Delicious” premiering here at the Sundance Film Festival.
“I don’t think I’m going to be doing an album any time soon,” Bloom said Monday during a Q & A with the press at the Bing Bar on Main Street. “But I really enjoyed it. I really enjoyed wailing around, having a lot of fun.”
Bloom’s performance is only one element in the film’s appeal. The indie movie–actor Ruffalo’s first foray in directing–revolves around a script by Thornton, who based the story on his own life. Crippled in a motorcycle accident and left paralyzed in a wheelchair, Thornton sought out faith healers until he had to come to terms with his own humanity.
The film stars Thornton as Dean O’Dwyer, also known as “Delicious D,” an up-and-coming DJ on L.A.’s underground music scene. When he is crippled, he feels that his once-promising career is over. He ends up living out of his car, fighting depression, until he meets Father Joe Roselli (Ruffalo), who introduces him to the world of faith healing. While he discovers that he has he power to heal other people, Dean, through an odd twist of fate, can’t heal himself.
Using his newfound gift, he seeks fame and fortune by joining a rock band. Bloom is the charismatic leader of the band, Juliette Lewis plays bassist Ariel, and the manager is played by Laura Linney and Noah Emmerich.
Ruffalo said directing a film gave him an entirely different perspective than he has had acting in them.
“Those days were incredibly difficult,” Ruffalo said. “My experience in acting is totally the opposite head space than directing. In acting, you are totally focused on your character, what you want, where you’re headed in your story-line. As a director, you’re looking at the whole thing, how every little piece works. The acting is very myopic. Directing is a much greater scope, a vision that you’re attending to. AS an actor, I don’t know exactly how it changed me, but i do know that I put acting aside for awhile and would really like to focus on a career directing if I can cobble one together if anyone will let me do it….Acting to me is like being in love with a very beautiful woman who doesn’t really love you back.”
Lewis added: “I just want to say one thing about Mark, which was a discovery for me. I’ve worked with a few actors-turned-directors and he is so visual. It was so visually inspiring. That’s what makes him a revelation as a new director. There’s such a visual style of this movie that helps tell the story, as well as the characters and the dialogue. When you do low-budget movies–we were what, 23 days (shooting)–so you together make decisions on the fly….”
“…Cutting scenes, cutting pages,” Ruffalo interjected.
“…Yeah, and maybe not shoot it the way you intended.”
“…Move it to another location–I’m sick of this location, let’s move it around the corner.”
“…And we did this car scene and Mark would be all lit up and I loved it because half the screen is out of focus—you know, I’m out of focus and Chris is in focus. Do you know what I mean? Sort of breaking all these rules visually that you’re not supposed to do…I just love that kind of rule breaking in cinema.”