Rarely has a star been less visible than Jordi Mollà in Aggro Dr1ft. You could surmise this only knowing the film by random screenshots invariably featuring the Spanish actor––iconic across multiple continents for his dark swoop of hair and eyes so piercingly blue they make Peter O’Toole’s look tame––bathed in infrared light. Harmony Korine’s film often places him in a game-like third-person perspective with bodysuit and mask, all the while Mollà relaying some of the most delightfully inane voiceover in years.

So: no normal performance. I thus sensed the conversation with Mollà could go many directions, but still didn’t expect him to be so relaxed and gregarious: calling from his home in Spain, the actor smoked two or three cigarettes while following numerous paths that have nothing (or plenty?) to do with Korine’s feature. As a consummate storyteller he made all of these strands compelling, resulting in an interview that plays more like a casual chat than official publicity.

The Film Stage: Are you calling from home?

Jordi Mollà: Yeah.

What is that painting behind you?

It’s a painting by a friend of mine––it’s a Rhinoceros smoking a cigar.

That’s fantastic.

I just put it because it’s white in the background. [Laughs] No, I love my friend. A Spanish artist: Domingo Zapata. He lives in New York and Dubai. I was in New York two weeks ago. New York is not New York anymore, huh?

That’s what people say. Given my age, I mostly just know the New York of today. But still depressing to think about, honestly.

Thank you for being honest. Because it is, for a month or something, okay. But to live? Fuck. It’s too much. It’s too much. And very unnecessary, to be honest. But it’s a myth of the city, you know?

When you’re here you feel like you can never leave.

I know, I know, I know. But those are the cities. Like L.A. L.A. is an island between the ocean and the desert and you never want to go, but then when you are there you never want to leave. These cities have a lot of dark attraction.

Well, you have a house in Miami, correct? Which is how you and Korine met.

Actually, Nick: the house. And the reason why I met Harmony was demolished yesterday.

Oh, wow.

A house from the 1940s. And I sent a photo over to Harmony and we were both very sad, because we were neighbors and that house got destroyed.

Did you want to leave? Why was it demolished?

Yeah. It was not my house. I decided to leave a year-and–a-half ago because that house was full, full of good spirits––I don’t know if you believe in that––but little by little the spirits were angry with some kind of situation. Not with me. But with some kind of unpleasant visits. It was a very, very particular house and Harmony, yesterday, I sent him the photograph and I said to him, “Not even the bricks will last.” And he said, “Yeah. Sign of the times.”

So the spirits are ghosts. And you experienced something.

Oh, yeah. I knew it since day one: that house was full of ancient spirits. But they were good to me. They were just trying to protect me from… it’s funny that we talk about this, but I felt it right away. Harmony came to the house. I went to his house because, you know, I love his kids, I love his wife; I would do presents for the kid, the wife. It was during the pandemic, so we were totally isolated. He had family, but I was totally on my own in this massive house, painting like a maniac.

Harmony paints, too, and I was an admirer of Harmony since I was 18 years old, so we also connect with our criteria on moviemaking today. Because he’s passing on a lot of things. He prefers to do something for the Kardashians or the front cover of a super-mega musician, like Travis Scott. So we were kind of the same feeling about movies: not disappointed––and now we’re getting into the interview––but distant. Distant with the situation of movies today. Just distant.

My first question was actually about the fact that you both paint, which is rare for a director and actor. And to be quite serious about it: you’ve both had gallery treatments and the like. But what does that disappointment with movies look like for you? You still work a lot––you have to make a living––but is it manifesting in scripts that haven’t come off?

No. Two weeks ago I was shooting something for Netflix. Because I thought it was a cute thing. And I was playing in the movie with Harmony, and I did also the film with Olmo Schnabel––the son of Julian Schnabel––but I said to him at one point: “I’m not really into this kind of narration because I’ve been doing it for 35 years.” But Olmo, who I’ve known since he was a kid––I was playing ping-pong with him in the year 2000––so Olmo sets it and Julian is a friend so I said, “Let’s do it. How many days you want me?” And he said, “It’s just seven days in Mexico.” I said, “Okay, let’s do it.”

But I’m just awaiting a train to pass. Everybody wants to jump on a train because the train is the opportunity. But where is that train taking you? I took a lot of trains. But now I’m just waiting for this long train to pass and see what is going to happen after the train goes by. Maybe there is a mountain; maybe there is nothing; maybe there is the best movie ever; maybe cinema makes a twist of 360 degrees. In cinema––the industry of movies––there are a lot of morals. There are a lot of politically correct situations when movies should be the opposite. Like Jean-Luc Godard: totally free. Lars von Trier. David Lynch. Or Wes Anderson or John Waters. But the system is like “no.” And today it’s like “pff.” But it’s okay. It is what it is. So I guess Harmony and I…



It’s such a strange performance. You have some of the most expressive eyes of any actor, maybe, ever––a great tool. But in Aggro Dr1ft you spend so much time wearing a mask or are seen from a third-person perspective. Is that a particular challenge, or a freedom?

Well, you’re totally right, but if you know what you’re facing––and when Harmony told me we were shooting with these NASA cameras––I knew I was going to be like in TRON. You remember TRON? It’s a pioneer of video-game style. So I knew my face is going to be erased and with a mask and everything. Nick, when we shot there was no script. There was just a little storyboard and I said, “I don’t like to talk in movies, to be honest. The less I can talk, the more I can express.” He said, “Do whatever you want. There are some lines, but say them or don’t say them. Doesn’t matter.” And then, after, he wrote all this voiceover, and really there was an impact. I felt like he could read my mind, Harmony, and we did the whole voiceover in three hours because I was so connected to the words he wrote. Of course, when we were doing it we were just having fun. But when I saw the movie in Venice––literally, Nick––I wanted to leave that huge theater after five minutes. I thought I was going to have an anxiety attack or something; it’s a tough movie.

And actually there is another little story that you might like: we were doing the voiceover where I was recording drums, believe it or not. Drums for me. And then I said to him, “It’s crazy, Harmony. You know I have been recording drums here for two weeks.” And it was like your face right now: “What the fuck is this guy talking about?” I said, “No, this is my drum set.” “Hold on, we need to do the voiceover.” “Yeah, but I’m telling you this is my drum set and we’ve been recording here for two weeks.” He said, “Do you play the drums?” And I said, “Yeah, a little bit.” “We’ll score the movie with your drums.”

The AraabMuzik score is great, too.

I mean, his score is like… no mercy. No mercy.

But we do hear your drums.


The voiceover was on my mind; I wasn’t sure how much it’s serious, how much it’s comic. But Korine’s prankster sensibility does seem to come through, especially in the repetitions. What kind of directions do you recall him giving? Was he talking about tone a lot––serious, menacing, comic––or were those terms not a concern?

No. He would totally trust me, and actually he was with his editor. They would say nothing. They were just laughing on the other side of the mic. “Wow! That’s amazing! That’s so scary!” Or, “That’s so perverted and funny!” So he would let me do anything. He was totally supporting me and I was supporting him because we really connected. When you connect with a director there is not much to say. It’s all freedom.

But when you saw the film, I’m curious about this reaction where you needed to leave. What freaked you out so much?

I think the sound and the colors. It’s another planet. I’m very sensitive to sound and music, so… I mean, he put some music while we were shooting and, fuck: I already knew the score of this movie was going to be brutal. So when I was sitting in that theater in Venice, the atmosphere of the movie was like, “Fuck, man.” I couldn’t have a distance with me because I’m on the screen and my voice is on the screen for 88 minutes––all of the time. Woof. When the movie finished I took a bolt to my hotel without saying goodbye to anybody.

Well, it was worth it.

No, Harmony’s an artist. A 360 artist.

Are you two talking about further collaborations? It seems EDGLRD is keeping him quite busy.

Well, you know, definitely there is a connection that goes beyond space and time, and I’m very proud. But he’s also a family man. People might think Harmony’s a weird guy. No, he’s a family man. He’s a big kid. I am a big kid. We don’t talk much, Harmony and me. We are both very shy. So you connect. As I said, when you connect with a director at that level––that’s happened to me with just a few––words are not necessary. And I hope that Harmony… whatever he wants. I know he was shooting a movie in three days; it was like a robbery in a house. He was shooting it in his own house, and all the characters have baby faces! [Laughs]

This is a great physical performance. I’m curious, as an actor, if you do anything in particular to get into a kind of headspace that lets you perform so fluidly. Diet? Training? Meditation?

That suit: it was very, very uncomfortable. In Miami, the heat with that suit and a mask was… it was very hot. But still I was surprised how I could move like a snake-slash-cat, but no turning whatsoever. And I’m not the most physical guy on earth, but in some sort of way I knew how this character should move and should point his gun and should be aware of situations. It’s kind of like Taxi Driver, believe it or not. It’s a lonely, lonely soul. A lonely mercenary. It’s a very poetic, lonely guy like Taxi Driver, with some strange thoughts like if he was Colonel Kurtz from Apocalypse Now trying to reveal the world. A crazy character.

The film’s editing style is so serrated and jagged. Were he and his DP shooting in longer, fluid takes?

Nick, when I asked him, “What is this? Is this a short movie?” He said, “I have no idea what it is. If it’s a short movie. If it’s a commercial. If it’s an NFT.” And I said, “Whatever it is, let’s do it.” And finally he ended up editing the whole material we shot. There was not even one inch in the trash; he ended up using all of it so he could have the title of a feature film. Because he’s very smart, Harmony: he knows how to play the cards and he knows how to be an artist that signs with Gagosian Gallery or does a campaign for Valentino or for Mercedes-Benz or for Gucci or for the Kardashians or for Travis Scott. He knows how to play his cards, and that’s a sign of intelligence. Because he can do a or he can do a campaign for Valentino or he can do Aggro Dr1ft. And that’s smart.

And there’s a consistency, too.

With different expressions. He’s able to jump on a private jet from Miami to L.A. and say to Sony––or whatever is the music corporation behind Travis Scott––and say: “Listen. I want a car on Friday afternoon. I want a private jet that flies me from Florida to L.A. I’m going to take just a few photographs and I want to have breakfast on Sunday morning with my family back in Miami.” Sony or Universal said, “No problem.” He arrived. He took a bunch of photographs. Boom. Bingo. That’s an artist, and Harmony definitely is an artist. He says no to stories that’s just another story. And believe me, Nick, that cinema––or whatever you want to call it––is in a huge state of metamorphosis right now.

I had a conversation with a CEO of Apple. His name was Brandon. I had a coffee with this CEO from Apple, and he said to me Apple––I’m talking like ten years ago––is trying to develop content that lasts 40 minutes. I went on my knees saying, “Thank God somebody understood that the conception of time today is not like a hundred years ago.” So I don’t know where all these TV shows are going on, or movies that last three hours. People are scrolling all day long: three seconds, one second, two seconds, three seconds. Everything has changed. That’s why I’m more into painting right now––because a painting is an image that doesn’t move. It’s there. And then your mind starts doing editing––putting sound in it––but the painting is there all the time. It’s like a frame that doesn’t move. And I do believe that today a kid, like 20 years old, could make a movie with a still frame.

The painting you have in the back. I’m looking at you and I’m looking at that painting all the time. It’s there. We’re talking and––duh-duh-duh-duh-duh––the painting is there. It’s not moving.

And I’m looking at the painting over your shoulder. It enriches your life. Do you ever go to someone’s house and they have nothing on the wall? I don’t know how they live. If you want to think about your friend, you can just look at that rhino smoking a cigar.

I wanted to be part of a medical program in the United States where, definitely, I could put in the mind of the medical system in the United States that having somebody on a bed after an intervention looking at a white wall is a crime. Just a painting in front of the bed of the person that had an intervention and is in a super-vulnerable state of mind and body. Put a painting in front of a wall! I tried to and I worked hard for it but it didn’t happen.

That’s a terrific idea.

It’s the most humanitarian-slash-artistic concept ever imagined. In hospitals! That painting you have there… fuck! If you have an intervention, you can get distracted with the white, with the orange, with the blue, with a little yellow, and time goes faster and then the doctor comes in and says, “It’s okay. You can go back home.” So it hasn’t been that traumatic, you know? That’s the impact of art.

Korine also loves TikTok, which I guess his kids introduced him to. That rapid-fire stimulation seems part and parcel of Aggro‘s ethos.

Do you have kids?

No, certainly not.

How old are you?


I think that Harmony’s movies have a high, high level of hypnotism. It’s not a movie; it’s an experience. It’s like taking a fucking pill, an LSD, and just… pff. Paradoxically, Harmony doesn’t do drugs and I don’t do drugs. Because our drug is somewhere else.

I have another interview to jump to. But this was really terrific. And I must say: you make me wonder if I should leave New York. If I do, I have a great excuse: none other than Jordi Mollà told me.

Leave, Nick! Leave!

Aggro Dr1ft is now playing in limited release.

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