Ruben Östlund

Ruben Östlund knows it sounds “absurd” to complain about winning awards, however, he admits that they add another level of “pressure” for filmmakers.

During a recent conversation with Mother Couch writer-director Niclas Larsson for Interview magazine, the Triangle of Sadness director was asked if “awards create self-confidence or make you more insecure?”

“It makes you more insecure, I would say,” Östlund responded. “For me it was a hundred percent like this. Winning one Golden Palm put more pressure on me, but winning two Golden Palms took away a lot of pressure because that means I wasn’t a one hit wonder. But then also I need pressure in order to perform.”

He continued, “So that’s why the goal with the next film is to win another Golden Palm. It’s going to be the first time in the history of filmmaking that a director wins three Golden Palms in a row.”

Östlund won his first Palme for The Square in 2017 and then again in 2022 for Triangle of Sadness. Though he noted that “it’s completely absurd to say these things,” the filmmaker also recognizes that “pressure” can help propel people toward their goals.

“For me, the goal is to create a bar that is pushed up and to create a goal,” Östlund explained. “I think a lot of people consider me very cocky in a way, but for me, you say it because it creates something that makes it possible to push something.”

The Oscar-nominated director added earlier in the conversation, “I think also true creative confidence and managing to achieve something and working with feature films and traveling the world and meeting people also developed my self-confidence. So it’s something about getting confidence in a profession and then through that, experiencing the world and being put up in different social situations that makes you even more confident.”

Östlund has also earned two Oscar nominations for Triangle of Sadness, including best directing and best original screenplay. The film also scored a best picture nod, while The Square received a best foreign language film nom.

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