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Because these show are live, script pages are being switched during the program and new commercial teases might be yelled in your ear with just enough time to scribble them on scrap paper before reading them.
At the same time, reading an action script... It makes me wonder. Was The Matrix a good script? I don't know.
It's eighty percent script and twenty percent you get great actors. There's nothing else to it.
A lot of things I have turned down ended up being a big embarrassment. Like that script, 'The Beaver.' I thought that was one of the worst scripts I had ever read. But everyone said, 'Ooh it's on the Black List.' Yeah, well, good for it. They're a bunch of idiots. I saw the final film, and there were no surprises.
For a long time, there was this rumor that I turned down doing 'Austin Powers,' which is not true. While they did send me the script, I don't think I was ever a serious consideration to direct it. I'm sure they probably sent it to 20 others as well.
For me, I need to fully immerse myself in a script to the point where I'm literally locking myself away for weeks at a time and I just write it. So I can write twelve to fifteen hours in a day, with breaks in between, obviously, but I need to just sort of live within the world of the script.
I'm a chanteuse and a diva, and I'm an actress who likes a script.
I do remember reading the script of 'The Nightmare Fair' and looking forward to doing it.
The important thing is the storytelling and having a script that makes you feel you're living and breathing through the characters.
I want to take roles that challenge me and I want to like the script and obviously feel connected with the director because the director to me is so important.
During long car rides to the set, after I study my script, I go onto my iPad to read books and play games.
The script is a blueprint for the film - there are very few bad scripts that make good movies. If you really like the character and understand the utility it serves within the movie, that's a part of my process.
I think it helps, as an actor, to never know when you're going to get that next script and you're done.
You'd go in, read the script once for timing and then you would sit around and play games. The sound effects people would come in and we would do a dress rehearsal so they could get the effects and the music cues in place. Then you would wait until you went on the air.
I think the first thing I consider is whether I like the script. Once that is done, the next thing I look for is my part in the movie. Many a times you come across good offers, but the part they are offering might not be challenging. So, I don't take up that film.
I tend to get comfortable with the dialogue and find out who the person is in the script and try to hit that. People are sort of independent of their occupations and their pastimes. You don't play a politician or a fireman or a cowboy - you just play a person.
I've been pretty lucky - or slothful - in that I've never been a 'career builder.' I take the jobs that come along that feel right, and that's left me fairly open to all genres, really. But with 'Caprica,' the complex, dark and very smart script was the draw.
There have been times when I've been asked to do things and I've thought, 'This is great! This is a great script. But, I do not believe myself in this role.' I pretend I'm the producer and I think, 'If I was making this movie, would I cast myself in this part,' and if that doesn't feel right to me, then I don't even go audition for it.
Simon Monjack had nothing to do with 'Factory Girl.' He filed a frivolous lawsuit against us... making bogus claims that we had stolen his script. He held us literally to hostage and we were forced to settle with him as he held our production over a barrel.
I know that I wouldn't mind going back to work if I could find the right script and the right crew to work with.
If it's an excellent script, I enjoy it tremendously, the acting part of it.
But my family's really close and I was interested in what Mommy and Daddy did for a living. So when Mommy and Daddy had a script that wasn't totally age inappropriate, they would let me read it. And we would talk about it.
Frankly, as much as I love to improvise, it hasn't been difficult to stick to the script on 'Mad Men.' The writing is so precise, and the story so carefully crafted, that I don't think there's room - or need - for ad libbing. I could never come up with dialogue as lovely as these writers do, anyway.
My first book, about Ruby Ridge, was made into a miniseries on CBS in 1996, and since then, I've dabbled in Hollywood, pitched a few things, sold a couple of screenplays and a pilot that I wrote with a buddy from Spokane, flirted with seeing 'Citizen Vince' as a film, and most recently, adapted 'The Financial Lives of the Poets' as a script.
What's frustrating to me is when, on a low-budget movie, people don't take chances. A big-budget movie, that script's your bible; nobody's going to risk going off the page. But when you're doing a very low-budget film, why not take some chances, intellectually, artistically?
John F. Kennedy
Martin Luther King, Jr.
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