‘Triangle of Sadness’ director Ruben Ostlund is no misanthrope. He just loves failure. And he loves the stories behind them.
For more than 20 years, he’s been building the world’s most ambitious and expensive film company, which he founded with his wife, journalist Linda Jellen. It’s now called Ruben Entertainment Group.
So what does he like about failure?
“I like failures because they tend to teach you something about human beings,” he says. “We all have a lot of false starts in our lives. Some of them are very expensive and some of them are very difficult. There are no perfect failures. If you have a lot of failures in your life, you learn how to survive. You learn to be a little more resilient.”
Like his own life. In 1998, he made the first big studio movie in his career, “Troy.” In 2001, he turned down the “Avatar” job that almost everyone assumed he would direct. And in 2012, he made his third “Avatar,” which he turned down.
But over the course of the next few months, he made his fourth “Avatar,” and then he turned in the script. The first half of this year, he was on the set of “Triangle of Sadness” in Budapest — a film about two guys who meet on the Internet who have to pull together to save the planet after it gets infected by a virus that’s wiping out most of the human population.
On the second day of shooting, he got into a fight with the “Matrix” hacker, Keanu Reeves, one of the most famous and most intimidating actors in Hollywood. “I didn’t know who he was, but he was intimidating,” says Ostlund. “He was so handsome. And he had a weird, dark, intense sort of looks to him.”
There were other problems. The original “Dark Knight” was shooting in Budapest. They didn’t want to shoot the same scene twice in one day. So they decided to shoot the same scene in one day in Budapest and at night in Los Angeles, where Ost