By Ellie Iorizzo and Alex Green, PA
Greta Gerwig has said starring alongside Adam Driver in the film White Noise was a “full-circle moment” because of their shared history.
The apocalyptic action film stars Driver as Jack Gladney, a college professor focused on the study of Adolf Hitler, who lives with his wife, Babette, played by Gerwig.
Their lives are thrown into chaos when a chemical leak causes an “airborne toxic event” where they live.
British actress Jodie Turner-Smith, known for films including Queen And Slim, also co-stars with Marvel star Don Cheadle, who play Gladney’s colleagues at the university.
The movie is Oscar-nominated director Noah Baumbach’s adaptation of Don DeLillo’s 1985 novel of the same name.
At the film’s UK premiere at the BFI London Film Festival, Gerwig told the PA news agency: “What is so brilliant about Don DeLillo’s novel is that it feels, even though it was written in 1985, it feels like it is about every time after a major event.
“There is something about it that he gets to the core of the reality of reaction, and then there is this heightened absurdity to everything, which was amazing to get to work with from an existing text that has been around for so long.”
Speaking about Baumbach, her partner of more than a decade, she added: “And then working with Noah is always my favourite thing to do. He is an extraordinary director and also it is fun to remember how great he is at it, just as an actor.
“He and Adam have worked together for so many films and Adam and I have worked together, but also we have known each other since we were babies, like 21 or 22… so getting to work together is really a full-circle moment and joyful thing.”
Baumbach said he recruited Gerwig and Driver for the project because he knew there would be “challenges”.
He told PA: “I have worked with them now on several movies. Greta and I was a nice reunion. We have worked together, collaborated behind the scenes a lot over the years and recently.
“But I felt like there were going to be a lot of challenges making this movie so I want to have the people I know I can count on and friends and family to be there with me.”
Producer David Heyman said he signed on to produce White Noise because Baumbach was confirmed as its director.
He told PA “He is a writer-director who I have admired for an age and I had the good fortune to produce Marriage Story. He is good friend, I produced his last two films. When he comes knocking I want to make his films.”
Heyman also produced the recent Paddington films and said he had been touched by the way people remembered the Queen by recalling her popular Platinum Jubilee sketch with the bear.
He said: “I think in these times Paddington’s kindness and warmth are much needed and I think his kindness with her, and seeing her perform in a very human way, as a royal yes but in a very human way, was something that touched people.
“And I felt a real privilege to be a part of that, a small part of that short film. But grateful that people were touched by it. I had no idea that those words, ‘Thank you for everything’, would be so meaningful.”
Raffey Cassidy, who plays the daughter of the central family, spoke about the film’s relevance during Covid.
She told PA: “When I read it I was shocked at how relevant the script was to what was going on. I read it at the height of Covid so on that level of fear factor I was personally able to relate and I think the rest of the world will as well.”
White Noise will debut on Netflix on December 30th.