Thesps drawn to project's tone, visual stimulation

HOLLYWOOD — For a movie that hinges upon watching paint dry, filmmakers spent an awful lot of time talking about the script.

Pre-unspooling, “Girl With a Pearl Earring,” helmer Peter Webber reminded the aud that a good script is about more than dialogue. Stars Colin Firth and Scarlett Johansson picked up that theme at the Dec. 10 Academy post-bow bash.

Firth, the pic’s brooding Johannes Vermeer, admitted to a youthful fantasy about becoming a painter, before adding the project’s appeal “wasn’t the painting, but the tone of the piece.”

Johansson, meanwhile, said the script was “so visually stimulating, I immediately wanted to do it.”

And Lions Gate’s Tom Ortenberg brushed off marketing concerns for the scantily worded period pic.

“Certainly there are marketing challenges, but there are also so many marketing opportunities,” he said. “There’s always room for well done period pieces, and this is about as well done as it can be.”

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