David Fincher is a known perfectionist, usually shooting many, many, many takes of a single scene before he’s satisfied. Turns out, the 2 times Oscar-nominated director hasn’t changed one bit. For his latest film, “Mank” which is due out on Netflix later this year, star Amanda Seyfried says David Fincher shot 200 takes of a single scene, taking an entire week.
Speaking with Collider, Seyfried opened up about her role as actress Marion Davis in “Mank,” which was written by Fincher’s late father Jack, and tells the story of Hollywood screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz as he prepares to get “Citizen Kane” scripted and made despite professional and personal challenges.
“I was part of scenes with tons of people in it and we would do it for an entire week,” Seyfried says of her part in the film. “I can’t tell you how many takes we did, but I would guess 200, maybe I could be wrong and could be way off. Um, I could be underestimating by five days of one scene when I didn’t have one line… ‘You think I can just relax?’ No, because there are probably about nine or 10 different camera angles that had been on me at one point.”
Of course, Seyfried does say she “could be wrong and could be way off,” so it’s not necessarily 200 exact takes, but it’s not a surprise that Fincher had her do many, many takes. Back in April, Fincher’s collaborator, Jeff Cronenweth said Fincher is “very didactic as a director and he wants to get a range of performances for each of the parts of any particular scene.” Reports say that Fincher took at least 50 takes for several scenes in “Gone Girl,” while a 9-minute scene in “Mindhunter” took a reported 75 takes before Fincher was satisfied.