About The Production
The key members of the creative team behind Dragonfly knew from the beginning that they had a special story to tell. As director Tom Shadyac recalled. When I would talk to people about
Dragonfly. I could not not get goose bumps.
"But the thrills and suspense in this story, he emphasized, come without the usual dread and doom, which makes
Dragonfly very unique. The process of making this film has been immensely rewarding because it allowed us to explore a
dark, unknown area and emerge from the
experience with a great sense of hope
"What happens to us after we die is one of the biggest questions
facing the human race,'' the director
continued. "When you discuss it with people, you find that almost everyone has had some experience they cannot explain. I was with my mother when she died several years ago and all of
us who were in the room together saw her cross over. It was a magical, amazing experience. It's narrow-minded of us to think that the only reality is what we can see and touch."
Dragonfly is a departure for Shadyac, who is best- known for the blockbuster comedies
Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, The Nutty Professor and Liar, Liar, as well as Patch Adams, a comedy-drama which was also a huge hit. "I've been reading scripts for 18 years." he said, "and this one has such inventive story-telling."
Producer Mark Johnson responded viscerally to Dragonfly's story and
message. "In today's world, where there seems to be empirical evidence for everything, it takes a lot to go out on a ledge and say, 'I believe in something I can't even begin to describe and it's as Important to me as anything else that's here in the concrete world."
The journey that Dr. Joe Darrow takes forces him to confront these issues
whether he wants to or not. A highly disciplined and rational man, he has committed himself to keeping a promise regardless of where it takes him or what it demands. His quest is emotionally exhausting and ultimately becomes the focus of his life. Finding the right actor to communicate Darrow's loss, vulnerability and conviction was one of the biggest challenge the filmmakers
faced in making Dragonfly.
"Most directors I know feel that 90-95% of the work is the casting," Shadyac said. "Joe is a man who has lost his soul mate, that relationship we all hope to find in our lives. I felt the audience would immediately relate to Joe Darrow's loss and that's why I chose Kevin to play him. Kevin is one of those rare actors who can deliver strength and masculinity, but also remain open and vulnerable.
"To feel great loss, you must be able to feel great fullness," he explained.
"When I met Kevin and saw the fullness of his life, I knew he could understand what it would be like to face loss, and that he was the right actor for this role."
Executive producer Jim Brubaker was particularly impressed as he watched Costner become Joe. "Kevin
got into that character and lived it."
The script was the key for Costner. "The main thing for me is to be able to believe in the dialogue," said the actor, who won the Academy
Award for Best Director for
Dances With Wolves and was also Oscar®- nominated as Best Actor for that film. "This script has very honest dialogue and really compelling situations. The characters
- Joe and Emily - are soul mates. They argued, and they had a sense of individual destiny, but it was a really good match. It was very strong."
Shadyac also felt an unwavering instinct about casting Kathy Bates, who plays Joe's next door neighbor, Miriam Belmont. "The first time I read the final draft, I wrote her name in the margin, and I was really fortunate to get her. I must admit, I was a little nervous with her on the set. I'd be thinking, 'I'm standi
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