When I read the script I was so happy, because I had thought of this concept. It rings a bell with a lot of people: what if everybody is just an actor in my story? I even had a writer's meeting with a guy about possibly putting it together. And then two years later this script came by and I went, "Thank you, thank you." You don't come out of many movies these days and think, Hmmmm, that was interesting. This is a fascinating film with a lot of layers to it. It's not your regular movie. It just blew me away when I read it. I felt, at the very least they can't fault you for trying something different when you're doing this, because this is different.
Q: How did you and Peter Weir get along?
He came to my house a couple of months before we did it and he brought binders full of paintings, photographs, sketches and writings he had done on planes, thinking about the character. He completely inspired me. I went away from the first couple meetings just reeling. Next thing I know I'm drawing with a bar of soap on my bathroom mirror. I filled the entire wall of mirror with faces - one would have a beard and glasses and a hat on, another would be a beautiful woman with an incredible dress, and I would just move my face into the mirror face. This is what Weir's excitement about the project spurred me into.
Q: Did you watch dailies with Weir?
Peter's fascinating in dailies. He's got a little
boom box and a bunch of CDs he picked out during the day that he thinks
might go with the dailies. He'll sit there and he's like a mixer, he'll
The Truman Show. Suppose you were born on a gigantic soundstage, and the people around you were always ready for their close-ups, and everything said to you sounded like cleverly scripted lies and evasions. Well, then you'd be like most of the Western World in the age of media, wouldn't you? That's what makes the half-pure-fun / half-dead-serious premise of director Peter Weir's The Truman Show so delicious. In a terrific case of inspired casting, Jim Carrey plays Truman Burbank, a guy who's just beginning to get hints of the truth - that for 30 years he's been the star of a global, 24-hour-a-day TV show that flashes his every move before the eyes of billions of transfixed couch potatoes. Written by Andrew Niccol, the brainy but distant auteur of Gattaca, The Truman Show was reworked with the warmer Weir's distinctive, liberating touch. For example, Weir changed Niccol's original grimy New York setting to the surreally spiffed up, ultra-cheerful environment of the real-life planned community of Seaside, Florida. In general, Weir can be counted on to find the visual and dramatic means to make audiences feel the entire spectrum of the funny and not-so-funny dilemmas posed unwittingly by Truman's unreal existence. Look for Carrey to surprise everyone without alienating his fans and to amuse his younger contingent while pleasing savvier, darker souls as well. Ed Harris has a crucial role of Christof, the self-styled God-creator of "The Truman Show"; Laura Linney plays the shiny-faced fake wife; and the doe-eyed Natasha McElhone is the girl who's at the core of of Truman's subversive desires. We at Movieline have given up hope of escaping our own soundstage, but we're eager to watch Truman's brave attempt to escape his.