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CONFESSIONS OF A
DANGEROUS MIND

About The Production
One of the hottest scripts in Hollywood, CONFESSIONS OF A DANGEROUS MIND caught the eye of several Hollywood A-list players. For George Clooney, however, the reason to get involved was clear. "I've never really wanted to direct, but I loved the project and believed that I knew how to tell the story,” states Clooney. With the confidence of his Section 8 Productions partner, Steven Soderbergh, Clooney decided to "give it a shot.” Above all, he knew that the driving force behind making this film would be his passion for the material. "I think Charlie Kaufman is the best writer in town right now. This script is a gem, and it's an absurd story that's fun to tell and fun to be a part of. People just can't believe it when they read it.” 

Clooney continues, "I've asked Chuck about the specifics of the story, and he would look me in the eyes and not say anything. I believe it is Chuck's story. I believe it was important for him to tell it and fun for us because the story is so wild. There is something shockingly fascinating about someone of his wealth and fame who would want to say this about himself. Whether it's true or not is in Chuck's head.” 

Producer Andrew Lazar had optioned the rights to the project years ago upon reading the book. "My longtime collaborator and current TV partner, Rand Ravich, picked up the book at a used bookstore. He brought it to my attention, and I was immediately intrigued by the concept, the uniqueness of the material and the fact that it revolves around two great American fascinations: television and the CIA.” 

Lazar hired Kaufman to adapt the screenplay, based on two scripts he had written, "Human Nature” and "Being John Malkovich,” the latter of which earned the writer an Oscar nomination. Lazar says, "Charlie delivered the first draft of CONFESSIONS OF A DANGEROUS MIND with a post-it note attached that said: ‘Here it is. Hope it's good.' It was brilliant.” 

With many false starts and several top directors and actors attached to the project over the years, the film was finally greenlit by Miramax, with Clooney at the helm. For the starring role, Clooney knew he had to find an exceptional talent, and that person was Sam Rockwell. "Steven [Soderbergh] and I were producing a little project called ‘Welcome to Collinwood' and I did a small part in the film in order to help raise the money. Sam had the lead in the film, and as I was working with him I kept thinking that he was the perfect guy to play Chuck. I didn't want someone too famous to play the role. In my opinion, you cannot have famous people playing famous people. It doesn't work. Sam was the guy for the part, ready to break and hadn't yet. 

"The movie works because Sam Rockwell was a very brave actor from the beginning, and that's the simple truth of it. This is a character that does a lot of despicable things, yet you still have to root for him. The difficulty was finding an actor who could do that well, and Sammy was the one. He spent months of time with Chuck during pre-production and when Chuck would visit during production. It was shocking to see how alike they are.” However, the filmmakers were wary of exploiting those similarities too much. "Our biggest challenge was that we didn't want this to be an impersonation. Sam needed to embody this familiar figure but remain focused on telling a story. If we were going to fail, the place to fail was on the impersonation, not the scene. And we were really lucky because Sam was able to learn all of the affectations, the clapping, the scratching his head, and looking down, and the lisp that Chuck had, but he was able to throw it away enough so that the performance was not about the impersonation, but about what was going on in the scene.”

States Rockwell, "I've never played a real person before, so there was a responsibility to a certain degree. But it's not like playing

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