KILLING THEM SOFTLY
By Dede Gardner
Andrew told me he had found a book written in the 70's that was essentially a crime caper and funny in its dissection of institutions and their failings. He had an idea to set it against the government's bailout plan. Corruption is systemic. It is not a one off. It affects us all and we are all party to it. Put complicity center stage and let's see what happens.
I loved the script from the first word. It is a script that has a deep reservoir of love for what people say and how they say it. Andrew is only interested in rendering people as they really sound, as theyreally speak. One would be surprised at what a sense of relief this inspires.
Working with this group of actors was like going to a reunion you actually want to attend - it was old home week and yet, full of discovery.
Reuniting with Patti (Norris) was a joy and also a very private and treasured nod to our experience on THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD. Having Patti with us was obviously a boon to the film, and she came up the saviour time and time again. The fact that Andrew and I even had this opportunity was a surprise - you make JESSE JAMES and you think you will never work again and then the world says otherwise. It's worth a smile at the least.
We were both enormous fans of Greig Fraser's work. Andrew knew him from Australia and they knew many people in common. He's fearless and a madman and awesome. He stepped into a group of people who knew each other and raised the bar yet again. What more can you ask?
I believe with every fiber of my being that Andrew is one of the great filmmakers working today. I know this in my bones. Maybe the world agrees in our lifetimes and maybe it does not, but for me, working with Andrew gives definition to what I have chosen to do for a living, to produce. He is a joy - complicated, nonsensical, hilarious, profound - and he is always only about the film. The fact that in the wake of this there is a friendship I cherish is icing on the cake. What I know above all else is thatI feel lucky, I have learned and I feel proud. We are older and we are wiser, and we love each other more than we did. What more could one ask of a relationship with another human being?
I think the work speaks for itself. If I learned one thing from Terry (Malick), it's that you already know what you think. What matters is what someone new thinks. That's when what you do, what you have done, is open ended and that's the only reason to keep doing it.
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