Spring 1998. Beverly Hills, Los Angeles. Brad Pitt is a fidgety ball of energy, bouncing off the furniture in the rehearsal room. Fincher’s laid-back in a baseball cap, shoeless feet stretched out on the script-strewn desk.
He tosses a Nerf football to Norton, who pings it along to Pitt, back to Finch, onto Norton, back to Pitt, to Finch, to Norton, to Pitt... Who slams it home into the basket. “Score!”
To one side, sitting in a cloud of smoke, sits Helena Bonham Carter, watching the boys “sizing each other up”. Eventually, she stubs out a cigarette and calls, “Hey! Can I have a go?”
“At the end of the shoot I gave Finch an x-ray of my lungs,” laughs Bonham Carter.
“I had to have an x-ray because I got bronchitis – surprise, surprise – during the six months of filming. And Fincher does so many takes and lots of smoke shots."
"He got obsessed with the smoke. It had to float in a particular way. So I was just always sitting there in a cemetery of cigarette butts.”
“It was kinda funny,” says Fincher. “Helena was surrounded by chintz at the Four Seasons, having this kinda civilised life, and then she would go to work at Fox and we’d give her black eyes and put lipstick on her teeth and make her hair all fucked up and make her chainsmoke and gargling old coffee and stuff."
"It was like she was visiting and she’d have to go down and do all these horrible sex scenes and then go back to the hotel and be polite.”
Next: Sex & Shirts Off