Without Cruise’s help, “In the Bedroom” could have looked very different.
Even before Harvey Weinstein was labeled a serial sex offender, the former mogul struck fear into the hearts of filmmakers for a different reason: his tendency to interfere in the editing process and overrule young filmmakers’ ideas.
In a new interview with him The New YorkerField recalled her shock when she learned that Weinstein’s Miramax had acquired her debut film, “In the Bedroom,” at the Sundance Film Festival. While the film received overwhelming praise at the festival, Field says she knew that Weinstein’s reputation for re-editing films could jeopardize its theatrical release. He says the film was ultimately saved by advice from an unlikely source: Tom Cruise.
“I cried in the bathroom,” Field said. “I called Tom Cruise and said, ‘Something terrible has happened.’ He basically said, “This is how you’re going to play. It will take six months and you will beat it, but you have to do exactly what I say, step by step.”
Field explained that Cruise told him to let Weinstein change the film as much as he wanted without saying no, and then wait until the cut film tested poorly with audiences. If that happened, Field should remind Weinstein of the strong criticism the original cut received and suggest releasing this version instead.
That’s exactly what Field did, and he says the plan worked exactly as Cruise said it would. In the Bedroom was a huge hit and received five Oscar nominations, with Field receiving nods for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay.
While Field is currently enjoying rave reviews and an award-winning season of “THE LIBRARY,” he’s still no stranger to the struggles that independent filmmakers so often face. His notorious struggle to finance his projects led to a 16-year gap between his second film, Little Children, and TÁR. In a recent interview with IndieWire, he talked about how the theater landscape has become increasingly hostile towards arthouse directors who want to see their films screened.
“I mean, nothing has changed in terms of filmmaking,” he said. “I think the world of moviegoers has changed drastically, and I probably don’t need to add to that. Others have said it at least as well or better than I have and have been attacked or revolted by it. But let’s put it this way. I went to the tech theaters in New York today and it was very depressing. Super depressing.”
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