Phone Message Transcript: March 12th, 2003
[appearing on Anne's fan phone line]

"Hello guys, it's March 12, 2003, and it's enthusiasm again. But I guess you've learned to expect enthusiasm from me. I think even when I give you my darker messages there's a kind of pervasive enthusiasm for life that still comes through; and this time I want to talk to you about another movie that I had the pleasure of seeing, and it's a masterpiece, a quiet masterpiece, a subtle masterpiece, but nevertheless a masterpiece, and it's called "About Schmidt".

Harry Gittes is one of the producers. The other man is Michael Besman, and the film is brilliant. Jack Nicholson is the star of the movie, and he is nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor. I was really mesmerized by his performance. This is an actor in his prime, who could do practically anything he wanted with his immense talent, and he's deposited himself into the role of a prematurely elderly man and does it with such extraordinary finesse. Such extraordinary power. Such extraordinary sincerity. He absolutely captivates you from the first moment of the film to the end. I don't know if I've ever seen anything quite like it. You're drawn into looking at an ordinary life in a completely fresh way; and the film builds, and builds, and builds. Goes through his retirement and confronts, what is apparently the barrenness of his existence.

Jack Nicholson is incredible. I can't imagine this movie with anybody else but Nicholson in it. It's a tour d'force. It's not only a tour d'force, it's something that will mean things to all generations. I mean, this is a movie for the baby boomers, it's a movie for young people, it's a subtle comedy, in a way, but it's also a wrenching drama. It's filled with marvelous scenes.

Kathy Bates is also nominated for Best Supporting Actress. She's terrific in it. She's risky, and she's enchanting, and she's surprising; but it's really Jack Nicholson's incredible risky performance, too. It's just, that he would do this, that he would go out on this particular limb, at this point in his life, that he would play this decrepit and non-sexual man. That he would yield to that kind of a humble role, is really remarkable. I can't recommend it enough. It does the very opposite thing, really, of "The Hours", the last movie that I recommended. Of course "The Hours" was built with such exceptional people, and on madness and on the extraordinary. This movie focuses on the normal and on the mundane. It's really provocative and it's entertaining. It's thoroughly entertaining. It's at times also magical, and the end of it is nothing short of tragic. I really recommend it. I'd see it before the Academy Awards come up so that you can participate in all the madness of that special night and pull for Nicholson for the award. It is really something.

I had the opportunity, a few years back, to work for the producer Harry Gittes, and I didn't go for it, and I think, maybe, I made a mistake. Maybe I should have gone with Harry. I mean, this movie is really something to be extraordinarily proud of.

Okay, I have just a little bit of news. My book BLOOD CANTICLE will come out in the fall. I'll be on the road. I'll probably be in New York, maybe Dallas, maybe Los Angeles, maybe Miami. I hope to see a lot of you then. BLOOD CANTICLE, as I've told you, is probably the last time that I'll write about Lestat and his cohorts. It's the last time I'll write about the witches. It's my farewell novel and you can tell just by reading it, you won't have to tell by me that it's my farewell novel. I am moving on to other things. I no longer want to write from the point of view of the outcast. At least not the kind of outcasts that the vampires and the witches were. Maybe I'm going to pursue a different kind of outcast. I want to leave you with a question: Do any of you know who Lloyd C. Douglas is? Now I know you can rush to the Internet and find out in just a few seconds who he was, but before you do, think about it and tell me if you know who he is. Who is Lloyd C. Douglas? Now if you rush to the Internet and find out, then tell me what you think about what you found out. Does it ring any bells? Does it mean anything to you at all? I would really like to know. Okay guys, thank you for your messages. Keep calling me and telling me where you live. I love hearing your locations, it's exciting as on Larry King when they say "Here's Larry, from Rio De Janeiro" or "Jennifer from Chicago". Well, I have all of your guys Michael from San Diego, Jonathan from South Florida, Gary from Knoxville, Anna-Lise from Chicago, all of my many friends, thank you. And you writers out there; keep writing keep writing. If you don't write the classics of tomorrow, who's going to do it? I love you. Bye Bye."