'Once' Again

Hansard solo? Nope. (By Jonathan Alcorn/For TWP)

Spent some pre-Oscars time with "Once" co-stars Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová in Hollywood, and the resulting story can be found here.

As always, much was left on the cutting-room floor. Herewith, some extras.

Hansard and Irglová on her role in their creative partnership:

Irglová: "I've kind of seen myself as taking a supporting role. I have known Glen for six years now, I've always been a huge fan of his music. I always knew he was going to be on MTV one day. I always had that faith. I didn't know how it was going to happen, but I knew it was going to happen.
"I'm incredibly happy and grateful I had a part in it, but I'm very happy to just be supporting him. I've come into this [at the] last minute. He's been a musician for this amount of time -- it's his music. I sit at the piano or sing with him, and I'm very happy to be there on that journey with him."

Hansard: "Part of me wants to encourage Mar. She's had a couple of record-deal offers. But she's not interested. It's not that she's not interested because she's lazy. She writes amazing songs, and I'd love to hear a record of hers, but she's like: 'I don't feel like I have the record I want to put out in me right now.' And nobody can argue with her about that. It's her call.
"I'm just really grateful because she's incredibly supportive, not only in music but as a friend. I do understand when she says it's all about me, she's just helping out. But there's something about me and Mar together that creates, in my life and to my best knowledge, a sense of fortune."

Irglová: "We have a good connection together. But if I was to be a leader in this connection as much as Glen is, we would always argue about whether to do this gig or that gig. If I take a supporting role, ultimately I know it's going to be his call at the end of the day, even though I might play just as an important role in concert or interviews. If he's calling all the shots, we're never going to have problems. I'm happy to be supporting him."

Hansard: "She's given me some great perspective. She'll say: 'You know, I'm kind of tired, I don't really want to do this, all I'm going to do is bring negativity.' For me, I'm still hustling like I'm in this band. I'm still in the mindset like everything is a blessing and you have to do it. Whereas Mar has this wonderful perspective of, what's the point in doing it if you're wrecked?"

Irglová: "I see promotions as part of it, but I definitely wouldn't be jumping to do 100 interviews a day. ... I love music and making music. I love the idea of making art. But I think of it as a career is the wrong way to go. You make art because you have to, because you have so much to give out. That's the way to go as opposed to being strategic. That's why you have managers."

Irglová, on what's next: "I thought I was going to move to Ireland, maybe get a job in a cafe and just figure out what I wanted to do. And then the 'Once' thing happened, which was fine. It's not like my plans were so important that I mourned losing them. I'm doing this now, and it doesn't seem to make much sense to try and plan or predict what's going to happen. Why would you? It's so important for people to live in the present and not over-think what you're going to do. I rarely make plans. Life happens. I can't predict what's going to happen tomorrow, let alone next year.
"I'd like to just go through this and enjoy it while it lasts and then deal with it when it ends. Maybe I'll go back to school and study. Maybe I'll write a record. I don't know."

More after the jump.

Irglová, on leaving home, and her Czech high school, to make the movie in Ireland:: "I had already traveled abroad a few times with Glen to do a Swell Seasons gig, so people in my environment were used to it. My parents were fine; they knew I was in good hands with Glen. And school never gave me too much hassle, even though it was a high school that didn't have anything to do with art. I'm still surprised they tolerated it."

Hansard, on becoming a busker in Dublin at age 13: "I was really bad in school; didn't pay attention. I was the classic ADD kid. My headmaster put the best deal possible on the table. We spoke about music all the time -- ended up taking about Leonard Cohen, Van Morrison, Neil Young. He was like: 'Glen, you can name me the track listing on "Street Legal" by Bob Dylan, back to front. You can tell me who played bass on Neil Young's "Harvest." ' I knew all that [stuff] when I was kid.

"He says: 'You can tell me all that, but you can't tell me the square root of 9. I know you're a bright kid, but you're not working. I know you want to be a musician. Take your guitar today, go into Dublin and start at the bottom. Play on the street for a year. If you like it, keep doing it and I'll figure out how to get you out of school. If you come back after a year and you tell me you didn't like it, you can come back to school.' He didn't know what else to do with me.

Hansard, on what he learned by being a busker: "It's what Sun Tzu says in 'The Art of War.' Use your weakness as your greatest strength. In Irish law, you're technically a beggar. Busking is vagrancy. I got arrested many times. From that point of complete humility, you've nowhere to go but up. I was really enjoying myself, learning my craft, learning how to sing louder, and while I was doing it, people were throwing coins at me. Which was fine. I could go into a restaurant and buy a meal and then go back busking. But I learned my chops. And I wasn't really living in the streets; I was still at home.
"What I really learned was that it's like fishing. You know the good spots on the river to go, you know what songs are going to cast your line out furthest, that your voice is going to boom a bit bigger and that people are probably going to pay attention to it. You have to find your voice and your audience. As a street person, your radar gets highly tuned.
"And if you stand still on any street in any country long enough, you'll see every single person from that city pass you by. You're a point of stillness. As a busker, you're a lamppost. You become part of the architecture of the street. Everyone from Bono to Van Morrison, they all walked past. ... Van Morrison gave me money. He walked by when I was singing one of his songs, 'Sweet Thing.' "

Hansard, on getting together with Irglová: "You often hear about actors getting together with their co-star. You spend so much time together that the relationship is either going to get really strong, or it's going to break completely. I just feel really lucky. As I discovered through the course of making the film, she's just an incredibly positive person who takes life as it comes and is into being in every moment. For me, I kind of need that. It's not that I get negative, but I have all the baggage of years and years of trying and getting disappointed and trying again and trying to fight cynicism and trying to remain true to my goal. She seems to be like: 'It's all good.' "

SPOILER ALERT: If you haven't yet seen the movie, you might want to stop reading.

SPOILER ALERT: Still here?


Hansard, on the kiss that was cut from John Carney's original script: "It was just wrong. I kept saying: 'If they kiss, the film loses all of its power.' We talked and talked and I basically put it to John: What would Polanski do? He had to figure it out: If they don't kiss, what's the payoff? How does the film end? [I said:] 'I don't know, dude, but figure it out. Please. Try to have them not kiss.'
"Then he called me: 'I have it! He buys her a piano!' Where does he get her the money? 'I don't know. We'll leave that open.' It was brilliant. We could go forward and feel really excited about it without dreading doing the kiss."

Irglová, on the movie's ending, in which Girl and Guy go their separate ways: "Everybody has met somebody they've had a connection with. People can relate to the fact that not always do you end up with the person you have a connection with. Not always is it perfect timing. I think we're too used to Hollywood endings, wrapping it up in the last 20 minutes, giving you the exact ending you crave. And yet you're so disappointed by it. But this can't be called an unhappy ending. These characters don't betray their original partners. If they got together, you'd have two really unhappy people left behind. This way, they go back to their partners, give it another shot. So it's not an unhappy ending. It's more romantic in a way."

By J. Freedom du Lac |  February 19, 2008; 12:19 PM ET Interviews
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Please email us to report offensive comments.

I actually liked the movie and knowing she was 17 at the time didn't bother me, since the love story was pretty chaste, but knowing they are together now and that he's known her since she was 13 and he was 30, is kinda creepy.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 19, 2008 3:37 PM

Dude, where's the transcript for today's chat?

Posted by: Anonymous | February 19, 2008 6:34 PM

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