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Robert Rodriguez Says Ben Affleck Is Similar to Old Hollywood Stars Who Lived Off ‘Steak and Cigarettes’

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Director Robert Rodriguez has always been inspired by the likes of director Alfred Hitchcock, particularly the Master of Suspense’s mistaken identity features like “North by Northwest” and “The Wrong Man.” But it was the 1958 film “Vertigo” and its story of a police detective (James Stewart) being drawn into a mysterious world involving two women who look the same (played by Kim Novak) that inspired Rodriguez’s latest feature, the noirish feature “Hypnotic.” “What I loved about the idea was it reminded me of what we do as filmmakers without making a movie about filmmaking,” Rodriguez told TheWrap. “This would be a cool way to make a movie about filmmaking because it’s what we do.

We create a hypnotic construct for the audience to buy into and invest in emotionally.” Like Hitchcock’s film, “Hypnotic” follows a police officer, played by Ben Affleck, lured into a world of mentalists, including that of a woman named Diana (Alice Braga).

That Old Hollywood approach continued with how leading man Affleck played the character of Roarke. For Rodriguez, he compares Affleck to the late actor James Caan in Michael Mann’s 1981 feature, “Thief.” “It’s a throwback to some of the old movie stars.

They lived off steaks and cigarettes,” Rodriguez said. “He [Affleck] has a gravelly voice, badass Lee Marvin-type look to him.” The fact that Affleck himself is a filmmaker was a “blessing” to Rodriguez, who said most actors turned directors aren’t there to handle the movie, they just want to act. “He just gets it,” Rodriguez said. “He knows what you’re trying to do.

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