The Man Who Fell to Moon

“Didn’t I move the ball?” Mr. Rockwell asked his director.

“You jumped on the table,” Mr. Jones said.

“I jumped on the table in the rehearsal, not in the take, right?”

“No …” Mr. Jones said with a smile. “It was the take.”

“Well,” Mr. Rockwell, “anyway, it was complicated.”

“Poor Sam,” Mr. Jones said. “Here he is trying to act and it’s like, ‘Don’t touch anything! Don’t move anything! Look that way—but don’t move there.’”.

“It was actually cool for me because I like to keep it loosey-goosey and sometimes directors don’t like it,” Mr. Rockwell said. “So this forced me … I could keep it loosey-goosey as long as I stayed within the context of the structure of what we were doing.”

“If you can imagine the instructions on set,” Mr. Jones laughed. “‘Please send original Sam into makeup so we can shoot Sam One so we can shoot the other side to Sam Two.”

Mr. Rockwell, who said he watched the 1988 David Cronenberg film Dead Ringers multiple times to prepare for his role in Moon, said, “Hey, did I ever tell you about the time I ran into Jeremy Irons before shooting? I told him I was doing this visual-effect twinning thing. I was like, ‘Hey, I saw Dead Ringers,’ and everything, but he didn’t know who the hell I was.”

“Did he blow you off?” asked Mr. Jones.

“No, he was really nice. He was with his family, and you know no one wants to be bugged with his family. It was just like I was waiting for some tidbit, some great gem of advice. Like just one sentence, you know? And he was lovely, but I wanted something that is just not possible. It was very much like, ‘You’re on your own, kid!’” Mr. Rockwell laughed. “You can’t get one sentence or a paragraph on how to do this. It was on-the-job training for both of us.”

svilkomerson@observer.com