The 31-year-old actor and his acclaimed director both looked handsome in Tom Ford suits for the Robert Ascroft shot front page while talking about the pot growers vs. Mexican drug cartel film, among other topics.
Taylor: On how is 'Savages' is similar and different from Oliver's vast filmography:
"I keep saying how unapologetic this film is, and I think that’s his M.O. I respect him for that, that he’s never changed his process through his whole career. I think that’s a very, very rare thing—a very rare find, especially nowadays. Through my eyes, he does it for the love of the work and he doesn’t do it to succumb or for validation from people outside. I love that because I see quite the opposite happening in my experiences."
On whether he ever had a crystal-clear moment when he knew he wanted to and could only be an actor:
"I struggled quite a bit in New York. I don’t know what it was, but there was something there that kept me from quitting. Maybe I’m stubborn. Maybe it’s the challenge. I just loved studying at the time. I loved the exploratory part of it. It was very therapeutic for me for what I was dealing with personally. I love being surrounded by people [who] are going to make you better—you’re going to grow through that experience. That’s a real high for me."
Oliver: On how is 'Savages' is similar and different from his past films:
"I’ve always been drawn to the gangster and the criminal element. I’ve essentially been an anti-establishment, anti-authoritarian person. I have a very strong dislike for central authority. It’s taking an important subject to me, which is drug legalization, but treating it not like a documentary—[and instead] having fun with it. It’s an exciting ride, and you see where the legality of the drug trade rubs up against the dangers. I feel strongly about it, but at the same time it doesn’t need preaching about because it’s well known. We’re showing how the system was spoiled, because everyone in the film—except for the young people in it—is corrupt. It’s a hypothetical, but it could happen."
On what he thinks/hopes his body of work will ultimately say about him in the end:
"I hope somebody remembers it, and if they do it’d be nice if they see the unity, the growth, and express a greater interest in [my] life journey. That’d be nice. To be remembered, first, that would be great, but most people will remember you—if they do—with one or two films and then hopefully they might go a little deeper because that’s the tendency if you like a director. I do that: you’ll go into that body of work. You want to see what else he did, and then sometimes you discover gems."