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May 22nd
12:07 am
Lee Daniels talks to THR about 'Paperboy' & Cannes  
Excerpts from The Hollywood Reporter - "Cannes 2012: 'Paperboy' Director Lee Daniels on His 'Precious' Follow-Up and Why Zac Efron Is 'Hungry' (Q&A)":
What should audiences expect from the film?

I think that it’s a thriller that studies sex and race and the coming of age of a boy to manhood. Pete Dexter adapted his own novel, something that novelists aren’t always comfortable doing.

How did you work with him?

There was always Pete Dexter’s screenplay. Pedro Almodovar [who at one point was planning to direct the film] had written a draft also. But Pete’s was sort of the one I based my spin on. He wrote a script and I sort of rewrote, added on to what he wrote. He did a great job. I had my own take on it. I had a very specific take on race. Look, I had just left Selma, so I had that race issue in the ’60s bubbling up in me, waiting to explode. And I took a lot of that and laced it throughout Paperboy, which added another element to the story.

You’ve got a very high-profile cast. How did it come about?

Casting was a circus. It was crazy. We kept losing actors because we kept pushing the start date. We started out with one cast and ended up with another. We started out with Tobey Maguire and Sofia Vergara and Bradley Cooper and we ended up with Zac Efron and Matthew McConaughey and Nicole Kidman. Crazy. I think the universe plays it exactly as it’s supposed to. I couldn’t be prouder of each of the actors in the film. They serviced Pete’s characters magnificently.

Zac Efron is the relative newcomer in the cast. How did he hold his own?

Zac Efron, he is hungry. That is the best way to describe Zac. He is hungry and eager. He really gave it to me, man. He brought it home for me.

How did the invitation to come to Cannes come about?

They kept asking. I wasn’t even done. We were about six months pregnant with the film. It was almost there, but it wasn’t quite there yet. But the producers were like, “We’ve got to go to Cannes, we’ve got to commit to Cannes.” For me, I don’t do movies for festivals. I like to wait until the movie is finished and then figure out where the film is supposed to be placed. Cannes felt a little early. But I had no say because I don’t own this film like I did with my others. I was a director for hire. But it all worked out for the good.

You’ve been to Cannes many times before, both in the festival sidebars and last year selling rights to The Paperboy. What’s it mean for you to finally be in the Competition?

This one is an out-of-body experience because it’s in Competition. It sounds corny to say it, but I’m humbled. That’s the only way to describe it, but I’m still sort of in shock and humbled that I’m in the Competition.
Mood: tiredtired
11 11 comments Comment
The Writers Denmusewriter on May 22nd, 2012 06:32 am (UTC)
I can't wait to hear the reaction from Cannes...

Did Zac ever confirm whether he was going? From a few tweets it sounds like hasn't left LA yet...
Sapphirasapphia on May 22nd, 2012 08:00 am (UTC)
"Zac Efron, he is hungry. That is the best way to describe Zac. He is hungry and eager."

I think this is a consequence, because Zac often offer uninteresting and the same type roles.
I hope this will soon change.

Edited at 2012-05-22 08:21 am (UTC)
what in the worldpolly_amore11 on May 22nd, 2012 01:10 pm (UTC)
I can't WAIT to see Zac bring it. He is so not done bringing it.

Crossing my fingers 'The Paperboy' does well at Cannes!
kleth on May 22nd, 2012 04:53 pm (UTC)
I wish he had speculated about the release date. Do you realize that, as we sit here today (or tomorrow if you're in Australia)there's not a single scheduled Zac Efron movie out there? In recent months we've had it too good, NYE, The Lorax, TLO, a new one every few weeks. Now we look out upon an empty desert, a vast wasteland populated only by the tumbleweeds of rumor and circled by the vultures of hope.
Miranda gives everyone a chancemirandagirll on May 22nd, 2012 05:08 pm (UTC)
Liberal Arts comes out September 14th
kleth on May 22nd, 2012 06:53 pm (UTC)
OK, but I don't count Lib Arts as a "Zac Efron movie." It's just a cup of water in the endless desert of our desire.
Miranda gives everyone a chancemirandagirll on May 22nd, 2012 06:56 pm (UTC)
Liberal Arts and NYE are about the same in terms of Zac screen time. Wasn't mentioned Zac was in Liberal Arts for 10 minutes? Same as in NYE.

It's better than nothing in my opinion.
Miranda gives everyone a chancemirandagirll on May 22nd, 2012 05:10 pm (UTC)
Nice to know Zac brought his A-game to this role. Lee Daniels talks funny though, lol.

Edited at 2012-05-22 05:54 pm (UTC)
kleth on May 22nd, 2012 06:56 pm (UTC)
"We kept losing actors because we kept pushing the start date"

He doesn't mention the most bizarre scheduling stunt of all -- that Zac could interrupt shooting At Any Price after several weeks, do The Paperboy, then return to At Any Price. I suppose everything happens at least once, but this must be a very rare occurence in movie making.
zacefronfan26 on May 22nd, 2012 09:51 pm (UTC)
I'm Really foreword to see this movie in theaters this year. The Movie sounds like it will be good.
Beejeezbee on May 23rd, 2012 02:17 am (UTC)
Keeping my fingers crossed that Zac really brought it.