‘The Worst Person in the World’ | Anatomy of a Scene

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‘The Worst Person in the World’ | Anatomy of a Scene

The director Joachim Trier narrates a sequence from his film featuring Renate Reinsve.

My name is Joachim Trier, and I am the co-writer and director of The Worst Person in the World. In this scene, we see the lead character in the film, Julie, played by Renate Reinsve, and she’s with her slightly older boyfriend Aksel. And she is very curious to explore romantically this other relationship with a guy called Eivind. So what we’re experimenting with in the scene is, what would happen if she could freeze time and run away from her present relationship and try to have a moment for herself with the other guy? I did not want the sequence to be this slick CGI, perfect thing. I wanted it to have a human feel. I wanted it to feel more like an old-school musical or something. So what we did was we asked people around Oslo to stand still while we would have Julie run past them and run along the streets and various spots that we’ve chosen. So most of the people you see are extras that were hired. And they were cast on the notion that, can you stand as if you’re running, almost? Or can you stand still like this or that? So they all had an idea coming on set. And we did prep days, and I had a wonderful team of people help me arrange the choreography of it, rather, this frozen choreography of the sequence. But a lovely thing that happened towards the end of this sequence that she runs down a street and we just follow her, and we realized suddenly that people have joined in. People have been looking out their windows and realized what we were doing out of their apartments or something. And so a couple of people had run into the street and just froze in new positions, just to add on on the second or third take. So it became this almost feeling of a party. And mind you, we did this after the first wave of COVID. So I think there was an added joy, both for the film team and for the people that were a part of it, to gather in such large crowds again. It was actually some really lovely days on set to do this. [MUSIC PLAYING]

Recent episodes in Anatomy of a Scene

Film directors walk viewers through one scene of their movies, showing the magic, motives and the mistakes from behind the camera.

Film directors walk viewers through one scene of their movies, showing the magic, motives and the mistakes from behind the camera.