Playwright David Lindsay-Abaire, a Boston native, hasn’t had particularly positive experiences with movies.
A Pulitzer Prize winner (for “Rabbit Hole”), Lindsay-Abaire was the writer of record on a couple of films (the animated “Robots,” the less-animated “Inkheart”) – and the less said about either, the better, as far as he’s concerned.
So when Nicole Kidman and her producing partners came to him with the offer to make a film of “Rabbit Hole,” perhaps his most personal play, Lindsay-Abaire says, “I thought, I don’t need to turn this thing I love deeply into something else. I don’t need a bad version of it on film; I’ve got the play.”
Kidman, however, assured him that he would not only write the script but be part of the process of making it, along with director John Cameron Mitchell. The result is “Rabbit Hole,” one of 2010’s most affecting and well-wrought films, the story of a couple (Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart) trying to regain their footing eight months after the death of their 4-year-old son in an accident.
Lindsay-Abaire, 41, sat down to talk about it before speaking at a recent screening.
Q: What did Nicole Kidman say when you told her you didn’t want to ruin your play with a bad movie?
A: They said, “We want you to be part of the process. Let’s agree to make the same movie.” And John Cameron Mitchell understood it implicitly. He said all the right things. You never know. You get on the set and people start making up lines. That didn’t happen. They shot for 28 days so there wasn’t a lot of time or energy to “develop” the script. There was no time to “improve” it or say, “Do we really need this?” What I see onscreen is pretty much what I imagined and that’s a rare thing. It’s never happened for me before.
- Read the full interview at hollywoodandfine.com