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‘J. Edgar’ scribe tackles complex characters

Eye on the Oscars: Best Picture - 'J. Edgar'

Brian Grazer, Robert Lorenz

“I had been thinking about making a movie on Hoover for about a year when I approached Dustin Lance Black” to write the screenplay, Grazer says. “I have this fascination with the FBI, and J. Edgar built it into what it is today. I thought Lance was perfect because not only is he an outstanding writer, but I also thought he could handle the complexity of J. Edgar’s character.”

“Warner Bros. was always behind the film, but like all movie studios, they wanted to make it at a smart price. The way Clint (Eastwood) makes movies enabled us to get this ($35 million) film made. He shoots movies in the most efficient way possible. We actually came in under budget, and he shot it in 39 days.”

“Getting the movie done on time was probably the most challenging aspect of this project. (On set) I didn’t have to deal with the physical obstacles because Clint and Rob Lorenz are extremely well prepared.”

“Leo (DiCaprio) was the first actor to come on board. Before it was even written, Leo and I had acknowledged that it was something that we were really interested in doing together, but Leo is very selective about directors he works with. (After giving him the script,) about a month later, I was able to call him up and tell him that Clint wants to direct. He immediately said, ‘OK, great. That’s all I needed to know.’ After that, (casting) was easy.”

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