Stephen Gaghan, ‘Syriana’

The Nominees: Adapted Screenplay

Gaghan recalls sipping iced espressos at a Parisian cafe with Robert Baer, the CIA operative whose book “See No Evil” was the catalyst for his film, when Jean-Paul Belmondo approached them thinking that Gaghan was Mick Jagger.

“I got really wired and things started making sense,” Gaghan says. “I had enough information that I started to understand the way a bunch of different stories I had been hearing all touched each other. I started typing furiously on my computer. Everything’s perfect. And then suddenly, no, it’s this story, and you don’t know how to fix it, and there’s just problem after problem after problem.

“And so all this is happening in that moment after the touchstone of the French New Wave touched us by thinking I was Mick Jagger. And we’re in Paris, and calling it work!”

But it definitely was work. “You end up writing 100 pages for a section that’s going to be 30 pages. It’s very, very plodding, and confusing and mysterious. There’s no real methodology.”

More Film

  • James Bond Skyfall

    Universal Wins International Rights to James Bond 25

    Gaghan recalls sipping iced espressos at a Parisian cafe with Robert Baer, the CIA operative whose book “See No Evil” was the catalyst for his film, when Jean-Paul Belmondo approached them thinking that Gaghan was Mick Jagger. “I got really wired and things started making sense,” Gaghan says. “I had enough information that I started […]

  • In 'That Summer,' the Stars of

    In 'That Summer,' the Stars of 'Grey Gardens' Look More Unhinged Than Ever

    Gaghan recalls sipping iced espressos at a Parisian cafe with Robert Baer, the CIA operative whose book “See No Evil” was the catalyst for his film, when Jean-Paul Belmondo approached them thinking that Gaghan was Mick Jagger. “I got really wired and things started making sense,” Gaghan says. “I had enough information that I started […]

  • Alice Eve's Comedy 'Bees Make Honey'

    Film News Roundup: Alice Eve's Comedy 'Bees Make Honey' Set for July Release

    Gaghan recalls sipping iced espressos at a Parisian cafe with Robert Baer, the CIA operative whose book “See No Evil” was the catalyst for his film, when Jean-Paul Belmondo approached them thinking that Gaghan was Mick Jagger. “I got really wired and things started making sense,” Gaghan says. “I had enough information that I started […]

  • China Appoints Wang Xiaohui as Film

    China Appoints Wang Xiaohui as Film Bureau Chief

    Gaghan recalls sipping iced espressos at a Parisian cafe with Robert Baer, the CIA operative whose book “See No Evil” was the catalyst for his film, when Jean-Paul Belmondo approached them thinking that Gaghan was Mick Jagger. “I got really wired and things started making sense,” Gaghan says. “I had enough information that I started […]

  • Morgan Freeman Sexual Harassment

    Morgan Freeman Pulled From Visa Marketing After Harassment Allegations

    Gaghan recalls sipping iced espressos at a Parisian cafe with Robert Baer, the CIA operative whose book “See No Evil” was the catalyst for his film, when Jean-Paul Belmondo approached them thinking that Gaghan was Mick Jagger. “I got really wired and things started making sense,” Gaghan says. “I had enough information that I started […]

  • Boba Fett movie

    ‘Star Wars:’ A Boba Fett Movie Is in the Works

    Gaghan recalls sipping iced espressos at a Parisian cafe with Robert Baer, the CIA operative whose book “See No Evil” was the catalyst for his film, when Jean-Paul Belmondo approached them thinking that Gaghan was Mick Jagger. “I got really wired and things started making sense,” Gaghan says. “I had enough information that I started […]

  • Harvey Weinstein

    Hollywood Reacts to Impending Harvey Weinstein Arrest: 'It's Been a Long Time Coming'

    Gaghan recalls sipping iced espressos at a Parisian cafe with Robert Baer, the CIA operative whose book “See No Evil” was the catalyst for his film, when Jean-Paul Belmondo approached them thinking that Gaghan was Mick Jagger. “I got really wired and things started making sense,” Gaghan says. “I had enough information that I started […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content