Bacon and eggs, toast, waffles, grits, grapefruit juice, sleep deprivation and water-boarding.
Kathryn Bigelow invites me in. Her kitchen is full of sunlight and there is a radio on. She looks a little frazzled what with the controversy surrounding her latest film Zero Dark Thirty. ‘Do you think making these films about the military – Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty – have changed you in anyway?’ I ask.
‘Sir, no sir!’ she barks.
To my surprise we continue through the kitchen and into the basement, where Kathryn shows me the way to what looks like a cell. Concrete walls and a small cot. Before I know what’s happened, Kathryn has me changed into an orange boiler suit and a bag is taped over my face.
‘Did you like the film?’ she asks. ‘What did you think of Chastain?’
‘She was great,’ I cried. ‘And Mark Strong’s accent was flawless.’
Before I knew it I was being leant backward over what felt like an ironing board. And something qwas poured over my face. I gasped for breath.
‘What about Point Break?’ she said. ‘What did you think of Swayze?’
‘He’s …’ I gasped. How could I say what I really thought? ‘He’s …’
‘A limited actor with a vague iconic presence.’
The bag is off and I’m gasping for air. She offers me a cigarette. ‘You okay?’
I nod shivering and spluttering.
‘What do you think? Does Zero Dark Thirty advocate torture?’ she asks, as she fetches coffee.
‘Well, there’s definitely an ambiguity there,’ I say. ‘What are those wires?’
When I finish bucking and jerking and the last shivers of agonizing electricity finds its way out of my body, I scream through clenched teeth, ‘You were just objectively trying to tell a story in a very difficult period in history.’
She plays it back. And then has me sign the release. And we go upstairs for waffles.