'Green Book': how the true ug-60 Heart-Tugger came to the screen

adminNovember 21, 2018

Making his first drama as a true story of the period was not easy for Peter Farrelly, who relied on the talented stars Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali.

In September, when screenwriter and director Peter Farrelly prepared for the world premiere of "Green Paper" at the first film festival in his 40-year comedy career, he had some solid previous numbers behind him, an approval from Steven Spielberg , and the easiest edition He had ever had. "I had no anxiety about performance, I already had that before, but not about movies," he said. "But I did not expect that reaction, which was crazy, that was the crowd of a movie lover, and I did not expect the audience's prize."

Farrelly and his brother (and until recently, creative partner) Bobby never planned his career in Hollywood. Mostly they wrote their own things. "Something about Mary" was an old script they had read 10 years before they got mixed up in the inferno of development. "There is a very good movie there," they thought. After "Kingpin", they asked to see him again and "Boom! We're out," said Farrelly.

The only script that someone sent them was "Fever Pitch", written by Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel. "We gave them a couple of notes," said Farrelly. "Apart from that, we're creating our own things, people are asking me:" Would you ever make a drama? "" Yes, when it happens. "

Premiere of the film by Peter Farrelly and Bobby Farrelly & # 39; Dumb and Dumber To & # 39 ;, Los Angeles, America - November 3, 2014

Peter farrelly

Broadimage / REX / Shutterstock

The "Green Book" began when Farrelly encountered an old actor actor, Brian Curry, who had played small roles in his films. I was writing a script, a real story about a black concert pianist in 1962 who lived in Carnegie Hall. His record company sent him on tour in the south and he was afraid to go there. So he went to Copacabana and hired his strongest gorilla, an Italian racist with sixth grade education, to take him. The two hit the road together for a year.

"That's a home run!" Farrelly said. "I kept thinking about it, I called to see where it was." What's happening now with that script? "" Oh, we have not started it yet. "" Can I write it with you? I love this story. "

Read more:Review of "Green Paper": Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali Triumph in a moving update for "Driving Miss Daisy"

Curry and Nick Vallelonga, the son of goalkeeper Tony Lipp, began writing the following Monday. "Nick had been smart," said Farrelly. "Twenty years ago, he went to see his father. I knew the story and I knew Dr. Shirley. He filmed an hour and a half in video of Tony Lipp telling the story, with all his Tony Lippisms. It is not exactly politically correct in the story story. I do not want to say some things that say goodbye to Hollywood. The words he used were all pejorative for being gay, black, everything. But I had a love for Dr. Shirley and how she changed. "

The script was conducted by a character. "They are such opposites," said Farrelly. "They had a long way to go, all it took was to get to know each other, they both had preconceptions about each other that were inaccurate and false, both have walls up and cut the shit, that's the message here: we're all the same. But we did not set out to make a message. "

They stuck to the first months of the trip and ended up with Lipp taking his friend home for Christmas. "We reorder it," said Farrelly. "Everything is true: RFK, attacking the police, the YMCA, but it happened that we chose not to use."

Two months later, they felt they had a good script, and the film kept moving forward with several financial detours, one arrived just as they were preparing a start in New Orleans. "It's a miracle that it was done," said Farrelly, who managed to recover the Focus Features movie after a change of management and took it to Participant Media, where they put together a seven-week production in the 1960 period on a budget. of $ 23 million. , which meant that nobody was paid a lot. (Everything was filmed in Louisiana, including a snowstorm).

It was difficult to get to Viggo Mortensen. The casting director Rick Montgomery had Farrelly write to the right representative, explaining: "This is a way out for me, I'm not doing 'Dumb and Dumber & # 39;". The actor read the script, but Mortensen, born in New York, was not sure he could perform this beefy Italian stretch New Yawk. "I kept pushing him." No, no, you can do it. "I had no doubt," said Farrelly. "'You were Russian in" Eastern Promises, "I said, and it turned out that he won 45 pounds, and it sounded like him."

Universal photos

Of course, Farrelly could not avoid the funny moments, even while filming what he considers his first drama. The writers pushed it back, and kept the actors on the track. "None of us knew, until we started shooting, that it was really fun, until two of the best actors in the world made the words," he said. "He's killing me, we're laughing." Viggo had never done anything to get those laughs in. I could see he could get caught: "That's too much laughter; "Let's keep it real."

Both actors offered research points and evaluated anything that felt bad. Mortensen acknowledged that the tin plate did not appear until later. "If you have brilliant people around you," said Farrelly, "listen to them!"

Farrelly acknowledged that he and his co-writers were favoring Tony Lipp's point of view in the story, mainly because Don Shirley died in 2013. Octavia Spencer was then asked to become an executive producer, adding his point of view to Ali and the producer Kwame Parker. "We were worried about perception:" Why are you making the movie? "The answer is:" I hate fucking racism, "said Farrelly. "I hate it, I knew we had to share the story with the people, starting with Mahershala during two weeks of rehearsal, we went through all the lines, I had a lot of thoughts, it kept it real."

They kept some potentially problematic scenes, including one in which Tony introduces Shirley to Kentucky Fried Chicken. Ali endorsed the scene completely, saying he never eats fried chicken or watermelon in front of other people.

The director also retained the title of the "Green Book", which comes from Lipp's original video. "What the hell are you talking about there?" They searched Google and found out about "The Green Book of the black motorist". Only the older men had heard about it.

Read more:'Green Book': Will it save the blunt Oscar Contender from mouth to mouth?

After the easiest edition he can remember (the cut of "Something About Mary" made him vomit), Farrelly showed the "Green Book" to Spielberg, who pushed him with enthusiasm for the great Universal movie to release it. However, the state of the movie awards could be unstable, if it is considered its respectable but not stellar 70 in Metacritic (including a New York Times bread and some violent reactions from the African-American community) along with the controversial use of Mortensen. of the word n ​​in A question and answer session, for which he apologized.

At the Governors Awards last weekend, people kept coming up to Farrelly (who acknowledged that "The Green Paper" is hard to find in a 30-second TV ad) to tell him that he loved the movie, which premiered Limited way in 25 cities in To build word of mouth. It spreads, possibly too soon, during the five days of Thanksgiving holidays.

The head of Universal, Donna Langley, hopes that the talk about prizes will soon begin to turn the film into something that should not be missed. Many people love the movie. The "Green Book" is well within the comfort zone, not as "Fried Green Tomatoes" or "Accident", for older white voters who dominate the Academy.

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