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For years, I was often afraid to speak up when I didn't fully understand a script. I'd tie myself in knots.
I decided to give acting a serious, committed try, and soon after, I read the script for 'Lovely and Amazing.' The story was beautiful and honest, and the characters struggled with the same insecurities many women - including me - face. I didn't think I had a chance in hell of being in the film, but I knew I had to go for it.
I'm not a big fan of table reads or sitting around a table and reading a script. I'd rather do it on set and do it for real.
We start 'The Butler' in June and that's incredibly exciting for me because I get to work with the amazing Forest Whitaker again. It's a phenomenal script and a great, great role - I play his son. Oprah Winfrey is his wife and my mother. My character is a radical civil rights activist.
When the script was written, it was sent to me with asterisks marking where he felt a song would be appropriate. Before the film was shot, the score was written. I made a demo of it, so they lived with the music as they were making the film.
When I went to the 'Rush' audition, I was blown away by the script. I thought it was fantastic.
If there is a book that the script came from you have to read it, you have to see what you can get out of it: mood, back story and things that may not even be in the film. They kick off your imagination and broaden the character, I think.
During the late '50s, I had worked on the script of Ben-Hur in an office next to that of the producer Sam Zimbalist.
I can't remember what my first script was.
Possibly because I did start off as a journalist, my starting point has always been that you've got to keep an audience with you. Whatever you're doing, you always want a script to be a page-turner. It's very important never, ever, to feel above that.
I always feel that if you put me in a room with a director and a writer and let me talk about the script, I can give a good account of myself.
You pick projects for the part, the director, and the script. I just want to do different, interesting stuff.
I would always rather do a mediocre script with a great filmmaker than a great script with a mediocre filmmaker.
Obviously, if Woody Allen calls and says he wants you to read a script, of course you read it.
You don't improvise with a Cameron Crowe script.
When I first read the script for 'A Little Chaos,' I just loved reading it, as it is a really lovely, accessible, contemporary period film.
It's very rare you get a great script just handed to you, or sent to you, by someone you don't know.
Certain movies like 'Wag The Dog,' we used improv on every scene that we did. Pretty much, we would shoot from the script and then some stuff that we came up with in rehearsal, and then we'd have at least one or two takes where we completely went off the script and just flew by the seat of our pants.
I can't even read a script. I've tried and it's painful to watch.
So you have to keep waiting and then they give you the script and it's terrible. Then you have to go to the rewrite and they're very upset because you didn't like it. I went through that for seven years.
I hope to be involved in a successful movie script.
I find that when you read a script, or rewrite something, or look at something that's been gone over, you can tell, like rings on a tree, by how bad it is, how long it's been in development.
I have moments when I'll stare at a script and say, 'I don't know what I'm doing!' But then I push myself into that feeling because I think panic is important.
This basic thing I always do: 'What happened between the character's birth, and page one of the script?' Anything that's not in the story, I'll fill in the blanks.
I'm just a sucker for a good script.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
C. S. Lewis
Leonardo da Vinci
A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
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