USA: HOLLYWOOD LEGENDS DUSTIN HOFFMAN AND ROBERT DENIRO TEAM UP FOR THEIR LATEST MOVIE, A SATIRICAL NEW COMEDY "WAG THE DOG"Record ID: 387396
- Title: USA: HOLLYWOOD LEGENDS DUSTIN HOFFMAN AND ROBERT DENIRO TEAM UP FOR THEIR LATEST MOVIE, A SATIRICAL NEW COMEDY "WAG THE DOG"
- Date: 22nd November 1997
- Summary: LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES (DECEMBER 17, 1997) (RTV - ACCESS ALL) ( * BEWARE FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY **) EXTERIOR OF PREMIERE THEATRE TELEVISION CREWS AND PHOTOGRAPHERS COUNTRY SINGER/ ACTOR WILLIE NELSON POSING WILLIAM H. MACY POSING DIRECTOR BARRY LEVINSON WITH MEDIA (SOUNDBITE ENGLISH) DENIS LEARY SAYING, "THE PRESIDENT WAS HAVING THAT FACE OFF WITH SADAAM HUSSEIN, WHICH WENT ON FOR, LIKE, FIVE DAYS, REMEMBER THAT? LIKE, BOTH DOING PRESS CONFERENCES EVERY DAY-TYPE THING? SO IT MADE ME WONDER, LIKE, HOW CLOSE YOU GET TO THE BONE SOMETIMES BECAUSE THE PAULA JONES STORY KINDA DISAPPEARED OFF THE FRONT PAGE DURING THAT SADDAM HUSSEIN FACE OFF, ONLY THE PRESIDENT KNOWS." (SOUNDBITE ENGLISH) WILLIE NELSON SAYING, "I DO THINK THAT WHOEVER CONTROLS THE MEDIA CAN HAVE US THINKING WHATEVER THEY WANT US TO THINK, YOU KNOW? THIS MOVIE IN ONE RESPECT CAN MAKE YOU START THINKING ABOUT WELL, WAIT A MINUTE, THINGS LIKE THIS MIGHT HAPPEN SOMETIME, OR MAYBE IT HAS HAPPENED IN THE PAST." (SOUNDBITE ENGLISH) MACY SAYING, "NO, I ALWAYS MARVEL AT PEOPLE WHO THINK THAT THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT COULD KEEP A SECRET, IT'S JUST LUDICROUS. THEY CAN'T COLLECT INCOME TAX AND YOU THINK THEY COULD HIDE A UFO? GROW UP, PEOPLE." DUSTIN HOFFMAN POSING WITH KIRSTIN DUNST
- Reuters ID: LVA9T6ADCU91KZ4H381T6SBJWSAK
- Location: NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK/ LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES
- Country: USA
- Duration: 00:01:23
- Story Text: - Hollywood legends Dustin Hoffman and Robert DeNiro have teamed up with Oscar-winning director Barry Levinson for their latest movie, a satirical new comedy, "Wag the Dog".
The film which co-stars Anne Heche, Denis Leary and country singer Willie Nelson, had its world premiere in Los Angeles on December 17th.
Hoffman and Levinson attended the premiere along with Leary, Nelson and last year's Oscar nominee William H. Macy, who has a cameo part in the film.
The story focuses on the machinations of power as a presidential spin doctor (DeNiro) teams up with a Hollywood producer (Hoffman) to manufacture a 'pretend' war.
The pair have collaborated in order to deflect media attention from a sex scandal involving the President of the United States and a girl scout, less than two weeks before election day.
Talking about "Wag the Dog", Hoffman said he could see similarities between Hollywood and Washington.
"I see the business aspect of Hollywood being similar to the business aspect of Washington and both having a lot in common with business...business is run by shrewd people who know how to manipulate and distort and win," he said.
Anne Heche best known for her part in the film "Volcano", plays a top presidential aide, a role originally written by screenwriter David Mamet for a man.
After director Levinson met with Heche about the role, he convinced Mamet, an artist who very rarely writes strong, central female roles, to change the character.
As a result, Heche was thrilled to be one of the only female actors to be able to deliver Mamet's trademark sharp-tongued dialogue on the big screen.
Dustin Hoffman and Robert DeNiro have wanted to work together for years, and came close last year, when Levinson cast them both in his film "Sleepers." They only had one scene together and both were keen to work on a comedy together.
Hoffman and Levinson had worked together on "Rain Man," a film for which they both won Oscars.
Leary and Nelson play members of Hoffman's team hired to create a fictional war with Albania and to rally the American public behind the non-existant cause.
Nelson said at the premiere he thought it was possible to manipulate the media as portrayed in the film.
"I think whoever controls the media can have us thinking whatever they want... this movie in one respect can make you start thinking about well... wait a minute, things like this might happen sometime, or maybe it has happened in the past," he said.
Leary is a trained actor who built up a big following for his working-class, in-your-face comedy.
He devised his 1992 show in London after being stranded in the city for five months following the premature birth of his first child. It gave him his big break and Hollywood beckoned, starring in "The Ref" and "Demolition Man".
Macy plays a federal agent who catches wind of DeNiro's tactics. He landed his Oscar nomination for his portrayal of the nervous husband whose best-laid plan goes awry in "Fargo".
Woody Harrelson has a cameo role as a deranged army soldier brought in to play the role of a war hero.
The production of "Wag the Dog" was marked by a modest 15 million dollar budget and an unheard of 29-day shooting schedule.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2014. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Embargoed:7th December 1997 12:00
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None