Emily Mortimer is only in the anthology film “Rio, I Love You” for about five minutes, but for her it’s about quality, not quantity. The English actress pops up in one of a handful of shorts set in the Brazilian metropolis, playing a snappy wife to an older, wheelchair-bound man (Basil Hoffman). For her it was a chance to be directed by one of the world’s most acclaimed filmmakers: Italy’s Paolo Sorrentino, whose “The Great Beauty” won the Best Foreign Language Oscar in 2014.
You were also in “Paris, Je T’aime,” another city movie by the same producers. In fact, your segment was directed by the late Wes Craven, who had previously cast you in “Scream 3.”
Wes Craven gave me my first job in Hollywood. I was visiting my boyfriend in L.A. and got sent along to auditions for “Scream 3.” I went knowing I wasn’t going to get the job. But I met him and we got along so well that he gave me the job. He was so lovely. I had just gone on holiday and two weeks later I was running around a house in the Hollywood Hills being chased by a man with a Scream mask on. I was so sad when he died.
You’ve worked with a lot of great directors. How did you wind up working for Sorrentino?
I had met Paolo for another movie he had done in America. I didn’t get the job, but he and I had a very nice chat. I was a huge, huge fan of his from “Il Divo” and I had really sort of busted all over him. I guess he remembered my adoration. I just gravitate towards those auteur filmmakers who are brave enough to put the weird s— that goes on in the brain on film — or digital, which it is now. I like helping them tell their story, being a puppet in their little puppet theater. That’s my idea of heaven.