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Time and money are precious resources on a movie set, and the less you have of each makes the filmmaking process that much harder. The positive side, however, is that it can also be an immensely collaborative effort, with every individual pulling their weight and helping. It turns out that a perfect example of this could be found in the making of the new action-thriller Hotel Artemis, as writer/director Drew Pearce recently told me about a fantastic and funny extra-mile step taken by star Jeff Goldblum behind the scenes:
Jeff bought all of the clothes for the Wolf King, because we couldn't afford clothing as expensive as the Wolf King's taste. So the Gucci sandals, Jeff paid for! It's funny, I ended up having to put CG blood on them, digital blood on them. I knew I needed to have blood, and Jeff has bought them himself! I know he must be thinking, 'Well, I'll definitely get a little bit of wear out of these Gucci sandals after the shoot.' So I was like, I can't ruin them with fucking dye. So I just made a decision that I would digitally augment the sandals.
In Hotel Artemis, Jeff Goldblum stars as a rich and powerful crime lord known as the Wolf King, but one of the drawbacks of the movie's limited funds was not having a wardrobe up to snuff with the character's taste. Thankfully, the actor was generous enough to donate to the artistic effort, and essentially extended the budget so that the Wolf King could be portrayed properly. That's awesome by itself, but it's also hard not to highly appreciate Drew Pearce's returned kindness, sparing the Gucci sandals from a terrible stain.
There are many reasons why this is a fantastic behind-the-scenes story, but a big reason why it's easy to appreciate is because of the state of Hollywood today and the general allocation of resources. Among the major studios we have seen a very real gravitation towards budgetary extremes -- with companies generally only funding movies that are either enormous blockbusters or micro-budget projects. This has created a problem for films asking to be made with money somewhere in the middle of those, and it often leads to sacrifices. In the case of Hotel Artemis, the production was seemingly prepared to have the Wolf King dress in clothes not entirely befitting the character -- but fortunately Jeff Goldblum was willing to make a sacrifice of his own.
The best news of all is that it was worth it. Hotel Artemis is a fun, creative, and badass sci-fi vision featuring an amazing cast that includes not only Jeff Goldblum, but Jodie Foster, Sterling K. Brown, Dave Bautista, Sofia Boutella, Brian Tyree Henry, Charlie Day, Jenny Slate, and more. The movie arrives in theaters this weekend, so be sure to check it out, and stay tuned here on CinemaBlend for more from my interview with Drew Pearce!