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Saturday, October 29, 2005
 

Steve Interview


http://www.philly.com/mld/dailynews/living/13017932.htm
Philadelphia Daily News
Posted on Fri, Oct. 28, 2005
Steve Martin discusses writing, and more
By HOWARD GENSLER

TORONTO - Steve Martin is running late.

He's at the Toronto International Film Festival promoting "Shopgirl," based on his own novella, and between the print media and TV interviews, he's way behind schedule, but we were able to grab him for a quick chat.

Q: You've written screenplays, plays, novellas, magazine pieces. Does the idea inspire the form?

A: Absolutely. If you have an idea, it just tells you what it is. When I first wrote "Shopgirl," it was simply a novel. Then later - much, much later - I thought of it as a screenplay. But in general, everything comes wrapped up on its own medium.

Q: Do you ever say to yourself, "I just wrote a screenplay, now I'd like to write a play"?

A: Sometimes I do do that, too. When I sat down to write "Picasso at the Lapin Agile," I definitely wanted to write a play. So I guess it works both ways.

Q: Any other forms of writing? A blog, perhaps?

A: No. The idea of writing every day, sort of thoughtlessly, would kill me. I spend so much worry over every sentence, I don't want to just put it out there.

Q: Was there a conscious choice by you to go against type in playing the lead? You're usually the lovable good guy. Here, not so much.

A: No, I never really had any qualms about it. The only other person I thought should play the role was Tom Hanks. And I asked him. After that, I wasn't just going to give it over to another actor and sort of be the writer guy.

Q: What's the driving force behind Mirabelle's choice? Your character and Jason Schwartzman's are so different. Yours is smarter, smoother, far wealthier...

A: The war is not really about personality, it's about age. It's about peers. Here are two people who are seeing each other who are not peers, and here are two people who are peers, who are at the same stage of their life of growing up. It's not a choice between two men, it's a choice between a lifestyle, a moment of your life, and what's more comfortable.

Q: Is it your plan to alternate between lighter fare, like "Cheaper by the Dozen," and more serious films like "Shopgirl"?

A: No, not really, although I find it works that way. Right now I'm very interested in writing something, but I don't know what. I need that interior time. I just finished "Cheaper by the Dozen 2," which is a very active experience, and now a little quiet time in front of the computer would be good.

Q: Do you have a next film?

A: No. I'm hoping "Pink Panther" [due in early 2006] is a hit, and we'll do another one of those.

Q: Any chance you'll do any more TV - or another album?

A: Probably not. It's a choice between movies, books and retirement, not movies, books and television.

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