Director Darren Aronofsky discusses The Whale

December 4, 2022 DGA Membership Screening Q&As in NY & LA

A man suffering from complications caused by his severe obesity attempts to reconnect with his estranged teenage daughter in Director Darren Aronofsky’s drama, The Whale.

Aronofsky’s film tells the story of Charlie, a reclusive English teacher, whose guilt over abandoning his wife and baby daughter has led to years of an eating disorder that now threatens his life. Faced with mortality, he attempts to make amends with the daughter he left behind.

On December 3, after the DGA membership screening in New York, Aronofsky discussed the making of The Whale during a Q&A moderated by Director Greta Gerwig (Little Women). He also spoke about the film with Director Alejandro G. Iñárritu (Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths) following the Los Angeles screening on December 4.

During the Los Angeles conversation, Aronofsky spoke about the challenges of making the film on a smaller budget.

“I knew this was a low-budget film and we only had a three-week rehearsal. I brought them in and told them, ‘we are going to be like a theater company and we’re going to rehearse everything’ and I made all the actors watch everything, just so they could all see each other and what they were doing for two reasons: so they could be more of a family but also so they could not repeat what other people were doing. We taped out everything on stage and it was so low-budget we couldn’t even get doubles.”

Aronofsky’s other directorial credits include the feature films Mother!, Noah, The Wrestler, The Fountain, Requiem for a Dream and Pi. He was nominated for the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film for his 2010 feature Black Swan.

Aronofsky has been a DGA member since 2000 and serves on the Eastern Independent Directors Committee.

You can listen to Aronofsky's Q&A by clicking the podcast episode embedded below. You can find more DGA podcast episodes here.


Q&A photos by Marcie Revens (New York) and Shane Karns (Los Angeles) – Print courtesy of A24

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