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The Reeler Blog

Terry Gilliam Has Had Better Trips to New York

As if the sight of director Terry Gilliam panhandling outside the Daily Show studios last week was not distressing enough, today's AM New York reveals this pleasing anecdote just in time for the release of Gilliam's troubled Tideland:

[Gilliam said,] "I was getting a bit tired of the child-as-victim [story] that sells newspapers and television. I thought here's a story of a child as a survivor, as a tough creature, who can re-invent the world as it is coming at her."
Curiously, his confidence in the resilience of children was challenged last year by actress Sarah Polley, who was 9 when he cast her in his raucous 1988 film, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen.
When Polley heard Gilliam was directing a film with another young girl as the star, she sent Gilliam a polite e-mail explaining that she had been terrified on his set. Despite their exchange, Gilliam didn't change his tack in Tideland.
"I actually had a long talk with Sarah and told her had she given us any indication at the time that it was as bad as she remembered, we would have stopped," Gilliam said, saying he took pains to protect Polley, since she was the star of the film.

Remember, this is the guy whom noted industry saint Bob Weinstein had to battle to keep prostheses off his "star" Matt Damon's face in The Brothers Grimm. At any rate, I'm sure Columbia Pictures' front-office Class of '88 would beg to differ about that "indication at the time" nonsense. Come to think of it, Gilliam should consider looking them up; they're likely to yield rich advice for unemployment.

Posted at October 11, 2006 11:38 AM

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