Just say NO to Billy Zane

OK…locked the cut of FWB.  Sent it off to Sundance.  Fingers crossed.  Still need to work more on the score, need to do the sound mix, tweak the color…(it never ends…making a film is like having a child)

Speaking of children…there’s been a producer trying to turn my last book UNWOUND into a feature for some time now.  And it looked like it was finally going to happen.  A lot of Canadian tax credit funding crap…and with a decent leading lady on board.  The only hitch: the leading man.  Now I  know how difficult it is to make a featyre, especially on a limited budget, so I try to remain open to casting possibilities.  When the list of potential leading men was presented to me, I approved all but one, Billy Zane.

Why?  Well, I directed Zane in my film THE KISS.  Every day (EVERY FUCKING DAY) he’d show up on set with his scenes completely rewritten.  I’m not talking about a few line changes here and there.  I’m saying nothing remained of the old scene, not even its intent.  Instead there were pages of mind-numbingly dumb dialog which had nothing to do with the story we were trying to tell.  When I would explain to Zane that I appreciated his effort, but we were shooting the scene as written, and that he had over a month to address any potential problems he might have had with the script, he’d sulk, he’d moan, and our spineless producer would give in.

When I’d try to explain to Zane that the caps and hats he insisted on wearing in EVERY FUCKING SCENE looked silly at best, and gay at worst (not that there’s anything wrong with that, except that the character he was playing was not gay), he’d throw another mini-tantrum and refuse to take it off.

Twice on set I had to be restrained from lunging at him.  Not that to beat the living crap out of him would have done anything other than get me fired.  Instead I stood back and allowed him and the producer to destroy my film.

So when the producer of UNWOUND finally admitted that Zane would be the one she could get and that her backers would approve, I said NO.  The check wasn’t worth it.  I wasn’t going back in time.  I had made YOU ARE ALONE and now FRIENDS (WITH BENEFITS) to take the vile taste of THE KISS out of my mouth.  (When I signed on for THE KISS I thought I was making a cool romantic drama with Eliza Dushku and Terence Stamp.  I didn’t realize that the producer was just in fact making a $3 million demo reel for his wife…but that’s another rant.)

Life is too short to deal with assholes.  A good rule to live by.

And I never wanted to have real kids. 

 

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2 Comments

Filed under assholes, Billy Zane, Eliza Dushku, film commission, filmmaking, friends with benefits, gorman bechard, indie, movies, new haven, the Kiss, time, Uncategorized, writers, you are alone

2 responses to “Just say NO to Billy Zane

  1. Dayna Barret

    I am so sorry you went through that. Billy does have an extravagant personality. It’s a wonder that they got him in suits in The Deep End. But the whole time he was interviewing for it, he was in a ridiculous outfit.

  2. Pingback: The Black & White Rules of Indie Filmmaking – part 7 | Guy With Typewriter

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