Genesis: Hanson and Fenelon signed on to do “In Her Shoes” after Ridley Scott’s Scott Free Prods. and Fox 2000 developed the project and sent them Susannah Grant’s screenplay.
Attraction: “I’m very drawn to movies about real people and the complexity of their emotions in the way they live their every day lives. A lot of time in this culture, we’re told what we should be expecting and what our needs should be in order to make us happy. I think this movie tells us that we have to look inside ourselves and not be wondering what it’s like to stand in someone else’s shoes but rather learn to be comfortable in our own.”
Building blocks: “Cameron (Diaz) was onboard as an interested party when we got involved, subject I think to finding the right director. She and Curtis got along famously, so that became an immediate fit.”
For the roles ultimately filled by Toni Collette and Shirley MacLaine, Fenelon says, “We really went through quite a lot of candidates, frankly, in both categories, but ultimately came back to the two people who were our two first choices for each role. Curtis has an excellent reputation with actors as being an actor’s director, and that’s always a wonderful asset for us when we’re making a movie.”
Greatest challenge: “There’s a tendency to make movies of this type — that are not action adventure stories and are not based on major bestselling books — for a price. Also, the location tends to become a character in the movie; in this case, it was Philadelphia and Florida. It was very difficult for us to attain that goal of keeping everything actually on location and getting it done for the price we needed to do it.”
Setback & solution: “Everything went according to plan. We had no production problems, we were blessed with a really great crew, a great line producer and UPM, and we had no problems in terms of cast. No weather problems, nothing that caused us to end up over schedule or over budget. We were very lucky.”
Career Mantra: “For me, it’s not just in the context of producing movies, but in the context of living your life. I’ve always felt that my goal was to find something I love, and then devote myself to doing it the best possible way that I can.”