The film co-stars Kathleen Quinlan, Zane Carney, Joanna Pacula and Steven Seagal as himself
The film costars Kathleen Quinlan, Zane Carney, Joanna Pacula
and Steven Seagal as himself. The genesis of the story of "My
Giant" started ten years ago when Billy Crystal was filming
"The Princess Bride." Relates Crystal, "Andre the
Giant, a 7'5" professional wrestler was also acting in the
film, and we became friendly in the few days we worked together.
Andre was a captivating character who looked very menacing and,
was incredibly strong, but also very gentle."
Andre told Crystal many things about his life, about his past,
and about his parents. And one thing really affected Crystal.
"Andre said his happiest times were when he spent time on
his farm, walking with his animals because they didn't look twice
at him," says Crystal.
The seeds of "My Giant" were planted in Crystal's mind.
"I began to put together an outline for a story about a little
man and a giant. And although Andre died a few years ago, and
this is not his life story, his spirit is throughout the picture,"
Sammy is a dreamer who wants to succeed in life at the expense
of everything including his marriage, his son and his parents.
Max has been cloistered in a remote Romanian monastery most of
his life. This is where his parents left him because they were
embarrassed about his size. The monks can't talk to Max, so he
retreats into a world of books and writing love letters to his
long, lost Lillianna.
Sammy can't understand why anybody would want to live the way
Max is living "I can't believe he's never seen the Yankees
play, or heard Louis Armstrong.
To Sammy, Max has no idea of what life is like. He lives with
50 monks. I think I'm doing Max a favor by taking him away from
there. I also think I'm doing me a favor too. I figure, in two
weeks this guy will forget about the monastery, and I'll have
a big star on my hands. I don't care where he comes from, what
his pains are, who his monsignor is? He'll see bright lights,
stardom, show business. He doesn't realize what a great life he
can have. And then I realize he's got it, and I don't," explains
Crystal found a kindred spirit in screenwriter David Seltzer ("Lucas,"
"The Omen") who immediately responded to the poignancy
of the story. "When we meet Sammy he's an ambitious, insecure
man who has been forced to bury his best instincts because he
just doesn't feel good enough. He encounters Max who is completely
innocent, truthful and guileless. And over the course of a few
months, in the company of this simple giant, Sammy finally connects
to another human being. For Sammy, it's always been 'me, me, me,"'
says Seltzer. "And what Max gets from Sammy is a taste of
the world he could never have experienced otherwise, and also
an opportunity to resolve a question mark he would have taken
to his death, Lillianna," explains Seltzer.
Director Michael Lehrnann ("The Truth About Cats and Dogs,"
"Heathers") came on board and was attracted to the mixture
of tonal elements in the script. "It has a lot of visual
humor, of course, from the difference between Billy and Gheorghe,
but I also liked the idea of interplaying complicated emotions
and broad humor. I was drawn to the way this movie creates both
humor and pathos from the story of a physically grotesque yet
emotionally pure person, " says Lehmann.
But having producer, script, director and one star in place was
only half the battle of getting this film into production. "The
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