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MELINDA AND MELINDA

The Script
It took Allen about a month to put MELINDA AND MELINDA on paper. Very few people read an entire Woody Allen script. After polishes and rewrites, Allen shows the piece only to his most trusted collaborators, including longtime casting director Juliet Taylor, co-producer Helen Robin, production designer Santo Loquasto and producer Aronson. Even most of the actors only get their particular part, not the entire script.

"I thought it was strange to work that way,” admits Chiwetel Ejiofor, who plays velvet-voiced piano player Ellis, "but I enjoyed it. You're wholly focused on your character and your storyline.”

For those who were fortunate enough to read the screenplay from beginning to end, the reaction was overwhelmingly positive. "I thought it was a brilliant idea conceptually,” says Aronson, recalling her reaction to an early draft of the screenplay. "From one person's perspective a story can be funny; from another person's perspective it can be sad. Woody is brilliant at recognizing those aspects of the way people think and operate. You and I may see it, but we don't isolate it like he does. He's very perceptive, and he brings that to bear on a situation.”

"I loved the structure of the whole movie—these two parallel stories which were illustrating the point of the fine line between comedy and tragedy,” says Will Ferrell, one of the few cast members to read the entire script. "It was so imaginative and unique but at the same time very signature Woody Allen.”

Allen works on the script during production, polishing, editing and rewriting. After watching dailies, "If he feels something didn't work, he'll rewrite it and reshoot it during production,” says Letty Aronson.

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