Phone Message Transcript: Dec. 28, 1997
[appearing on Anne's fan phone line]
"It's the middle of the night here, I think the date is December 28, 1997. It's going to be Sunday in the morning when everybody wakes up.
I am having a dream. I am having the most beautiful sort of day night dream. I am dreaming that in 1998 some beautiful motion pictures are going to be made based on my books. Somebody is going to drive up in a car. I don't know who it is, but it will be a wonderful person with a great deal of money, Hollywood money, and Hollywood power. It will be somebody like David Geffen though it probably won't be David Geffen, and this person will say "Anne, we really want to make your book VIOLIN into a movie. We know that it is a very romantic story about creative power and creative maturity, as well as being a very good ghost story. And so we want to make it, and we're going to get the actress Judy Davis to play Triana. We think Judy Davis is an absolutely wonderful in ABSOLUTE POWER and BLOOD AND WINE, and in many other wonderful movies. She's just absolutely marvelous. She's a woman who can look both old and young at the same time. She can look incredibly feminine and incredibly seductive, and yet she can look as if she suffered. She has lines in her face, and shadows in her face that make her exquisite. So, she is perfect for Triana. And we'll put her behind the lace curtains of your house at 2524 St. Charles, where she sees the ghost, and we will make her into Triana". Then, these people are going to say to me, "Now, for Stefan, we need somebody brooding and romantic and beautiful who can play this ghostly violinist who haunts Triana, and so we are going to chose Ralph Fiennes and Ralph Fiennes wants to do it". These people are going to say in my dream. "Ralph Fiennes wants to do it as much as Judy Davis does". Now, Ralph Fiennes, as you know, is fantastic in SCHINDLER'S LIST and in QUIZ SHOW, and he was wonderful in THE ENGLISH PATIENT. But if you want to see what he is like as a romantic 18th century hero, go back to a British production done at Shepharton Studios, Paramount Pictures, of WUTHERING HEIGHTS, in which he plays Heathcliff, the all time romantic Byronic hero Heathcliff. And when you see him as Heathcliff then you will know how fantastic he will be as Stefan the violinist. And it's going to be an absolutely wonderful, wonderful production. We'll do it in an elegant way. The way Merchant-Ivory productions are done or the way something would be done by Bernard Rose. We'll do it in a very elegant and fine way and, of course, you will have only the top most people in the supporting cast. We'll have absolutely incredibly fine people. Everybody will be of extraordinary quality.
Then, in my dream, another car will drive up and this car will have more people from Hollywood in it, and these people in my dream will be from Warner Brothers and they will say, "Anne, we know you are very happy that VIOLIN is being made into a movie, but we want to tell you that we are also going to make THE VAMPIRE LESTAT, because we know that this is the second of your books in The Vampire Chronicles and it is one of the many books which we, Warner Brothers, control, and we know that is really destined to become a movie. We're going to do it and Leonardo DiCaprio is going to play Lestat". Now this is my dream, you understand. In my dream, these people tell me Leonardo wants to do it, and they agree with me completely that Leonardo is absolutely, stunningly brilliant. He was brilliant as the boy in WHAT''S EATING GILBERT GRAPE?, and he was brilliant in the TITANIC, for which he's been nominated for a Golden Globe, and that he is the perfect age to play the 20 year old Lestat, who is both man and boy, vampire and human. And they say, "When we read the book THE VAMPIRE LESTAT we realize that the most important other person, the real adversary of Lestat in this book, is, of course, Armand, and we are going to get Johnny Depp to play Armand, because Johnny Depp has a face young enough to play Armand's who is really only about 15 or 16, and at the same time Johnny Depp can get the innocence and the hurt and the vulnerability and the sensitivity of Armand". And I, of course, am going to be absolutely thrilled and they are going to say, "Guess who is going to play Gabrielle, Lestat's mother, who gets made a vampire?" And I am going to say, "Well, Judy Davis, I hope". And they'll probably say, "Yes, yes, Judy Davis, who did so will in VIOLIN. We're going to get her to play in THE VAMPIRE LESTAT, and she will play Gabrielle".
And I will be so overcome with happiness and then I'll say, "But wait, what about Marius? Marius, the ancient vampire, the maker of Armand? This is one of the most important characters. This character is basically the end of the journey for Lestat. It's in this character that he finds the mentor, the teacher, the one with the keys to history. Who are you going to get to play Marius?" And they are going to say, "But who else but the greatest actor of our time, Gary Oldman. Of course, Gary Oldman". And I am going to say, "Oh, that's fantastic because Gary Oldman is the greatest actor of our time and every one knows how gorgeous he looks when he is made up, as in THE SCARLET LETTER or when he played Beethoven in IMMORTAL BELOVED". And they are going to do a fabulous job on this. we are all going to sit around in the living room of my house, all of these wonderful movie people, talking about how these movies are going to be made, and talking about how simply wonderful it's going to be, and how absolutely fabulous, and how I never have to worry again about this dream of mine that my books will be made into films. And, of course, some reporter will naturally come and stand on the steps and ask, "Anne, why after your disappointment with INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE, not your disappointment in the film, but your disappointment afterwards that nothing of yours was made for so many years, why are again getting your hopes up about all this, even though all these wonderful people with money are telling you that they are going to do it?" And I am going to say, "Because I really love films. I grew up on Antonioni and Fellini and Truffaut and film makers like that. Because I saw THE RED SHOES and TALES OF HOFFMANN when I was a kid, Michael Powell's great English films, and because I believe film can be a great art form. And even though my tough part is over when it comes to my books, and even though my readers make me the happiest person in the world, I still want to see these books become great films."
In 1969, all of us saw magic. We saw a book called THE GODFATHER made into a fantastic movie by Francis Ford Coppola, and those of us who went through that, we all believe and cherish this idea that our books, no matter how difficult or long or complex or full of history or full of incidence, can be made into great movies. We believe that if Coppola can do it with THE GODFATHER it can be done. And so that's why I am ready to hope again and dream again and be happy again. Then, my dream ends with everybody going away to make these movies, everybody. And of course, as I am waking up, as I'm waking up from this dream and these people are driving away, I also get a call from my friend James Cameron, who's on top of the world because of the success of the TITANIC, and in my dream the dream James Cameron tells me that he is in fact working on THE MUMMY, that even though it is out in the news that he is going to make TRUE LIES 2, he's really working on THE MUMMY in the back ground, and that soon THE MUMMY will be a great film and will be released by him. And I think, "Ah, jim, that's just too fabulous". And when they say, "Well, who do you want to play the mummy?", I say "I don't know, I mean the person playing the mummy has to play Ramses II of Egypt; he has to play an immortal who drank the elixir of life. It can be any number of very, very splendid actors. I don't feel terrible possessive of this role, so much as I am optimistic. Whoever you chose it will probably work. What if it's Antonio Banderas, for example? That might be an absolutely wonderful choice. I don't know, I will wait and see what you come up with. What if it's Kenneth Branagh, the fantastic Shakespearean actor, who's such a genius? That would be great also. Kenneth Branagh could do it. Like I said, there are any number of people, so I leave it to you. I leave it to you to show me. Ralph Fiennes, of course, could do it. Ralph Fiennes could do anything he wants, he's so good. And as my dream ends I hang up off the phone from James Cameron and I am supremely happy, and the only thing that I want when I wake up the next morning is some way to send flowers to Leonardo DiCaprio to congratulate him on his real life success in the TITANIC. To say, Leonardo, you are the brightest star in the horizon and even if you never play Lestat or you never care about my books, you are still absolutely wonderful. And I have the pleasure of being out here waiting for a new movie that you make in the future. so, that's the end of my dream talk.
Now, for those of you who have asked me a few questions, let me tell you first before this machine cuts me off, you can leave me a one minute message. Even if it does cut me off, it won't cut you off. But let me answer a few quick questions.
RAG AND BONE is going to start shooting again in the fall. We'll probably see a pilot film of it in the fall. It was already shot here in New Orleans. Dean Cain is absolutely splendid in it. Robert Patrick is very good in it. It is being made for CBS by Sony Tristar and the show runner is James Parriot. We have a wonderful supporting cast with it. I've seen the pilot. The pilot is excellent. There are going to be a few changes made in the pilot and then I think the episodes will start shooting down here in New Orleans. They'll have a production office. They'll go back to work. They will be back in business.
I can't think of much else to tell you. I am going to erase the machine by telling you goodbye and that I love you. I hope you have an absolutely wonderful 1998. Keep leaving me messages. Keep telling me what you think about VIOLIN. Keep giving me ideas for films and, oh, I recommend THE SAINT with Val Kilmer. I think it's a marvelous film and SLING BLADE by Thornton, Billy Bob Thornton or Billy Joe Thornton, Billy Bob, Billy Joe. He's a great actor and he did a fabulous job in directing and making that film. It is wonderful and let me draw your attention to a song by David Lim on the soundtrack called THE MAKER. I think it's a wonderful song. I am looking very much forward to 1998. I am doing the very last changes on armand. God love you, god bless you, god keep you. I love you all."