Gotham hipsters mingled with Hollywood’s elite at Todd Haynes‘ “I’m Not There” premiere on Tuesday.
At the Bowery Hotel after-party, Haynes said it wasn’t that difficult to persuade thesps including Richard Gere, Cate Blanchett, Heath Ledger and Julianne Moore to do the Bob Dylan biopic featuring several incarnations of the musician.
“They must all be a little bit deranged because they just went for it,” Haynes joked.
Persuading Dylan to give him the music rights proved to be a bigger challenge.
“Dylan’s manager (Jeff Rosen) asked me to write out a one-sheet description of the idea. So I wrote that and sent it off but I really had no expectations he would say yes. Then two months later we got a call. He had called Jeff (who also served as one of pic’s producers) and said ‘Do you like these guys? All right, let’s give them the rights.’ That was the only time I heard from him.”
As Lauren Bacall chatted and Ledger smoked, pic’s producer James Stern explained why he felt confident with the unconventional pic.
“I thought Todd had a way to capture Dylan’s essence, which I thought was key. If he had done this like ‘Ray’ or ‘Walk the Line’ I think I would have been nervous.”