Tron: Legacy

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Brief Encounters: Tron Legacy

Jeff Bridges, Joe Kosinski and Olivia Wilde sit down to chat about light suits, 3D and THAT face...


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Home Interviews Brief Encounters Brief Encounters: Tron Legacy
Brief Encounters: Tron Legacy Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Wednesday, 15 December 2010 09:01

It's been 28 years since we last saw The Grid, and plenty has changed. It's gone from hand-drawn effects over the top of black cushions to sexy, stunning and sleek. A lot is thanks to the CGI, which is genuinely impressive for most of the movie. But how do you go about updating The Grid? You can't just shut it down on Sundays and disrupt The Dude's weekend commute. Joseph Kosinski, Olivia Wilde and Jeff Bridges all sit down to chat about making Tron: Legacy. The costumes, the 3D, and THAT face...


Joe, most debut movies are something cosy and small budget. What the hell are you doing here? Are you insane?

JK One of the first things I did was get Jeff Bridges on board, that was a huge step for me. I was exited to take things in - I was a fan of the original and saw a huge opportunity to something different.

Jeff, how is it to play opposite... yourself?

JB Very odd. It was recreated - so it wasn't actually me. It was a rendition created by some wonderful artists. My wife was called in to make the final approval!

So it was made out of clay at first?

JK Yeah, it started with a silicone base...

JB ... and that was scanned in the computer and then I drove that image. The final results felt a hit like hearing my voice for the first time on a tape recorder. I'm happy to say my wife prefers this version

And what was it like to work with such updated technology after the original Tron?

JB Our original set was all black duvetine and white sticky tape! Those were the days when there was no Internet and we carried around mobile phones in suitcases. Scanning myself into the computer was make believe then, but now it's real! I got scanned! All this Motion capture and make up, it's all new to me and challenging...

So you prefer the old school to the new school?

JB I have a love-hate thing going with challenges. I'm drawn and repulsed by them. And this modern technology is definitely challenging. I went through a bit of resentment, but I liked my costume! I had to make adjustments, you know, to fit in with the game. You came to the party to dance the cha-cha and there's a waltz band there and... this is a weird answer! We were joking on set about the future, like Tron 3: The Pill. You just take it and BOOM! I'm up for whatever goes down, I guess.

Was the technology a challenge for you as a director?

JK It's the same challenge as every film: to focus on story and characters. I tried to keep the technology at the periphery, although sometimes it did intrude. My job is to try and surround the actors with as much reality as possible.

Olivia, your costume was stunning. Was it hard to manage?

OW It was challenging, but if I played a knight, I'd expect chainmail to be challenging too. Nothing quite like them has ever been made before - they were latex and foam, with lamps and wires and battery packs running through them. We were like little energiser bunnies who could be turned on by remote. It was like stepping into a light sculpture. I stepped into the first time and they turned me on and - there's no avoiding the turn on jokes!

It's interesting to note that Quorra, despite her appearance, isn't that sexualised. What are you thoughts on that?

OW I credit Joe for creating Quorra with me that way. Other directors would've encouraged her to be seen that way, overly sexualised. In a world as sexy as Tron that would fit in, but she's something that I think is a lot more interesting. As an actress it is rare to find that kind of material but it's even rarer to find a director who allows you to discover the person beyond their physical side. She did change - we used her nerdy laugh, which is really my nerdy laugh that I normally try to hide on camera...

Jeff, to what extent do you feel your clone, Clu, is your own performance?

JB One of the great things about movies is that it's a collaborative process. And this was that to the nth degree. My face is tuning it, but I had to work with John Reardon who played my body, but it was interesting how it wasn't exactly my movements - an interpretation of me from another artist. It was the same with the face. I ran the expressions but the face itself wasn't me.

And if you did meet your younger self from 28 years ago, what would you say to him?

JB It's gonna be OK man! Just take it easy. 

And finally, Joe, how does it feel to have finished the film after filming for so long and then doing 62 weeks in post-production?

JK Well, it's a very collaborative process in post too. It was me and my team of 200 artists - the crew changed out but it was the same process. I don't think people realise how many people are required to make these things! I used to have these dreams about running through wet cement, and that's what it feel like to spread a 2 hour movie over 3 years. But it feels good to be finished!


Tron: Legacy is released on Friday 17th December.



  • 1982
  • clu
  • disney
  • jeff bridges
  • joseph kosinski
  • kevin flynn
  • motion capture
  • olivia wilde
  • press conference

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