Gothika: Mathieu Kassovitz balances on the tensions between Halle Berry and Robert Downey Jr

Mathieu Kassovitz returned to the complicated filming of “Gothika” during which Robert Downey Jr. broke Halle Berry’s arm. After this event, the actress refused to continue filming with the actor who was dismissed.

Mathieu Kassovitz, from Hatred at Hollywood

As director, Mathieu Kassovitz achieved real notoriety in 1995 with his second feature film, Hatred. A powerful film that became a reference and rewarded, at the time of the Prize for directing at the Cannes Film Festival and three Césars, including Best Film. From there, the actor and filmmaker was able to develop other films. He realizes first Killer(s) in 1997, before proposing The Crimson Rivers (2000) worn by Jean Reno and Vincent Cassel.

Miranda (Halle Berry) – Gothika ©Columbia Pictures

It was after this thriller based on the eponymous novel by Jean-Christophe Grangé that Kassovitz caught Hollywood’s attention. Three years later, he tackles Gothika (2003)a fantastic thriller led by a big cast: Halle Berry, Robert Downey Jr., and Penélope Cruz. The story follows a psychiatrist who works in a specialized institute. One day, she wakes up in one of the cells and is charged with the murder of her husband. While she has no memory of how she ended up in this situation, she will do everything to find out the truth.

On paper, Gothika could have been a dream job for a “small frenchy“. But the reality was very different for the director. He just returned to this production on the occasion of the Cairo Film Festival where he was invited to a masterclass described as explosive by Deadline.

The incident between Halle Berry and Robert Downey Jr.

Mathieu Kassovitz first explains how Joel Silver hired him after seeing The Crimson Rivers in the plane. By offering him the project, the producer did not try to oversell the job to him but remained honest to say the least.

He said: Look, there’s Halle Berry, we’re ready to shoot in a month and a half. You have no say in the script, you have no say in the casting, and you have to fit in.

To say the least direct, which did not scare Kassovitz. On the contrary, he specifies that, for him, it was not “from one of his filmsallowing him to have enough distance on the result. So when the shooting started to twist after Robert Downey Jr broke Halle Berry’s arm (he was supposed to grab her and twist her arm in one scene, but did it too violently), the director didn’t flinch too much.

Robert Downey Jr - Gothika
Pete (Robert Downey Jr.) – Gothika ©Columbia Pictures

Indeed, following this incident which forced Halle Berry and the production to stop for eight weeksthe actress was adamant about Robert Downey Jr. and refused to pursue with the actorwho was fresh out of rehab.

She said, ‘I don’t want to work with him anymore.’ I had to continue with doubles. If it had been for one of ‘my’ films, it would have killed me. But since it wasn’t, I just said, ‘Pout’.

Difficult to know exactly which scenes of Gothika have been shot with or without Robert Downey Jr.. Nor the quantity. Still, Mathieu Kassovitz seemed to accept the situation quite easily. much more than for Babylon AD (2008), during which he toured the making of Fucking Kassovitz as if to bear witness to this chaotic filming.

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