Director dedicated to accuracy in Zodiac, actors, author explain



photos courtesy of paramount pictures


David Fincher directs a scene from the film.


Mark Ruffalo, left, and Adam Goldberg in Zodiac, which opens on Friday.

David Fincher — the mind behind every set, scene and frame of Zodiac — leaves an intense trail of impressions in his wake. Among them: Impeccable craftsman, obsessive filmmaker and even feared director.

Fincher was unavailable for the press rounds of Zodiac, a film that follows the real-life events of San Francisco’s serial killer, having already launched filming for his next feature. But Zodiac’s author and actors offered insights into the famed filmmaker and his latest work.

“It’s as accurate as a film could be,” says Robert Graysmith, author of two books based on the Zodiac killer. And he credits the movie’s startling realism to Fincher’s dedication, even saying the director deliberately set obstacles for producers during filming — insisting on interviewing various witnesses and visiting actual locations. “At every point,” Graysmith says, “there was a very good chance that Fincher would not make this film.”

But perhaps neither would have actor Mark Ruffalo, if it wasn’t for the director’s involvement.

“The first thing,” he says of why he took the role, “the calling card, was that it was David Fincher.

“Fincher, when he’s working on something, becomes obsessed with it,” Ruffalo says. “He wants to know every little detail, only because he doesn’t want to be the guy that shows up and knows less than anybody else.”

For actress Chloe Sevigny, that ethic attracted her. “That’s what I love about Fincher and this movie, the craftsmanship is impeccable,” she says, adding that she was “quite enamoured with him ... even though people kind of feared him.”

Whatever Fincher is known for, it isn’t ambiguity.

“People will say, ‘There are a million ways to shoot a scene,’ but I don’t think so,” he’s been quoted as saying. “I think there’re two, maybe. And the other one is wrong.”

  • Zodiac opens this Friday.