In 1997, the Chinese government planned to promulgate a new regulation about cremation prior to burial, but a single old man wants to hold a funeral for himself. The great and ironic funeral for a living human being makes the old man become a celebrity in his village.
Mr. Law, when you play a character like this, what does that do to you over the duration of the production?
Well, you pick up a lot of unhealthy habits! I was very ready to let him go, when we wrapped.
How did you get involved with this project?
I came to this book as a casual reader. I got it from the same bookstore you see James [Franco] signing books in at the start of the movie.
The film is based on a book of short stories by James Franco. Can you tell us about how the project developed?
Coppola: James and I met up randomly – I had seen him at a deli and then later that night I ran into him again.
How did you arrive at Nathan being this weightlifting, heavy drinking, bro-ish guy?
If the people you’re interacting with are physically intimidating and intellectually intimidating and also very rich, it doesn’t leave you much room to maneuver.