ShockYa got a chance to speak with Robert Luketic (The Ugly Truth) about his new film Paranoia, which just opened in theaters. The movie stars Liam Hemsworth (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire), Gary Oldman (The Dark Knight Rises), Harrison Ford, and Amber Heard. The film follows an entry-level employee at a large corporation who finds himself compromising his integrity to occupy the corner office.
The movie deals a lot with trust, privacy, and suspicion. Tell us a bit about how you chose to explore that in the film.
I’m the biggest gadget geek you’ll ever meet but in the past few years I’ve been wondering where do the photos go that I take, where does all the data about restaurants where I eat, the Tweets, and the friends. It dawned on me that companies realized that this information had a value. I didn’t realize how topical the movie would be until we got into the editing room. The lead story at the time was about Snowden and the NSA leaks and the pervasiveness of being monitored, that to me was just incredible. It was somewhat fortuitous to me as a filmmaker to have that synch up and be in the cultural conscious.
As a director, what drew you to this project?
I come from Comedy, the most dramatic film I’ve done before this was 21. It was just a great opportunity for me to get into the dramatic world and work with a script that was tuned into the issues of the times we are in.
Technology is another big theme you deal with. How do you think the role of technology is changing in our lives these days?
What’s interesting is that technology develops at so rapidly but what hasn’t developed to match pace is the security to protect information. There’s no way to secure it to truly make it private. I’m sitting in a room with a television with a camera in it, there are ways people could potentially even hack that. There’s a concern that the technology that we’ve became reliant on has a built in liability that comes as a price.
What advice do you have for today’s generation who are looking to start careers without getting caught up in corporate espionage?
I think this generation is one of the most interesting and dynamic. We’ve realized that there is more to life than the dollar and that we need to live as a society and not just individuals, and I think learning from the mistakes of those before them they will move ahead and make important changes.
You guys wrangled some great actors for the film, tell us a bit about that process and what it was like to work with the cast.
I wanted a fresh face that didn’t carry any baggage with it, and Liam really brought that. For the next piece of the puzzle, I wanted Harrison Ford, and we got him. Such a great cast, one of the better ones I’ve got to work with. Fantastic group, everybody got on with each other. There was a genuine respect for each other on the set every day going in.
What other projects do you have coming up?
There was just an announcement from my movie In the Company of Lies. It’s in the world of CIA undercover agents in Russia. It’s a story of extreme betrayal and devastating twists. Very excited to get to work on that!
By Laura Gaddy
M8 (Left to right.) Harrison Ford and Gary Oldman star in Relativity Media’s “Paranoia”. ©2012 Paranoia Acquisitions LLC. All rights reserved. Photo Credit: Peter Iovino