USA: HOLLYWOOD LEGENDS DUSTIN HOFFMAN AND ROBERT DENIRO TEAM UP FOR THEIR LATEST MOVIE, A SATIRICAL NEW COMEDY "WAG THE DOG"Record ID: 387398
- 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: NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (NOVEMBER 22, 1997) (RTV - ACCESS ALL) (SOUNDBITE ENGLISH) ANNE HECHE SAYING OF POLITICS AND ENTERTAINMENT, "WELL I THINK THEY BOTH NEED THE OTHER, I MEAN, LOOK AT THIS MOVIE, POLITICS GIVES US A SUBJECT MATTER AND I THINK POLITICS GIVES A LOT OF PEOPLE SUBJECT MATTER TO TALK ABOUT WHETHER IT'S TRUTHFUL OR NOT, AT LEAST IT'S FOOD FOR FODDER, UM, AND I THINK POLITICS NEEDS HOLLYWOOD, I MEAN, THERE'S NOTHING THAT CAN BE DONE WITHOUT A SHOW, THE PRESIDENT DOESN'T SPEAK WITHOUT THE CAMERAS BEING ON, CERTAINLY HE HAS MAKEUP ARTISTS COME IN AND MAKE HIM LOOK GOOD YOU KNOW, IT'S ANY POLITICIAN, IT'S ALL THE SAME, I MEAN, WE ALL NEED THE SAME THINGS." (SOUNDBITE ENGLISH) DUSTIN HOFFMAN SAYING, "AS FAR AS PRODUCERS ARE CONCERNED, BARRY GAVE ME THE HINT, OR GAVE ME THE KEY, I THINK, IN TERMS OF JUST BEING ABLE TO MAKE SOMETHING WORK NO MATTER WHAT THE SCENE WAS, HE SAID, YOU KNOW THE GUYS THAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT, THEY HAVE A DISINGENUOUSNESS IN THE SENSE THAT THEY DON'T, THEY'RE NOT EVEN AWARE THAT THEY'RE DEPRESSED, AS ALL PEOPLE ARE AT ONE TIME OR ANOTHER, THEY ARE ALWAYS OPTIMISTIC, EVERYTHING'S ALWAYS TERRIFIC, I MEAN, IF THEY JUST GOT HIT BY A CAR, THEY WOULD SAY, DON'T WORRY, THIS IS NOTHING, WE CAN FIX IT OR IF, YOU KNOW, THEY HAVE TWO FLOPS THAT OPEN TWO DAYS IN A ROW, HOW DO YOU FEEL? I'M TERRIFIC." (SOUNDBITE ENGLISH) BARRY LEVINSON SAYING OF POLITICAL FABRICATIONS, "I THINK YOU CAN GET AWAY WITH A LOT OF THINGS FOR A VERY SHORT PERIOD OF TIME. I THINK THAT YOU COULD MANIPULATE SOMETHING AND LET IT FLOAT AND IT MIGHT EXIST YOU NOW, FOR 24 TO 48 HOURS AND THEN ULTIMATELY WOULD BE REVEALED AS THAT, IN OURS, THEY KEEP GOING FROM ONE SCHEME TO ANOTHER, SO THEY ARE FOUND OUT VERY QUICKLY BUT THEY'RE ON TO SOMETHING ELSE AND THEY CONTINUE TO LET IT, YOU KNOW, UNFOLD."
- Reuters ID: LVA44U39UHH2EQ4ZL6BX6HRLUHN3
- Location: NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK/ LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES
- Country: USA
- Duration: 00:01:30
- 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.
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