The ‘Players’ – performers:
(a) “If you want actors to listen to everything you say, get unknown actors. If you are lucky enough to work with film stars, you find there’s a reason why they’re film stars. They tend to be incredibly smart people… If you’re lucky enough to make a picture with these people, you’re gonna listen to what they have to say, and you’re gonna accommodate a lot of what they have to say…”
(b) “Movie stars like to shine. They like to have their movie-star moments. I will sometimes write a speech that I think I’m gonna cut out later, but it’ll attract the movie star… you have to realize, in trying to write a movie-star part, that it still has to be a good part. It has to be honest, the character motivations all have to be appropriate.”
(c) “Stars aren’t stupid. They wanna play someone who the audience is gonna be attracted to in some way, or repulsed by in some way, as long as that attraction or repulsion is interesting. And then they have to go on a clear arc of change. It doesn’t have to wrap up neatly, but as actors they wanna be able to show off what they can do.
Change is what drives drama, and change is what causes conflict… Why is that interesting? Why is that real? And let them go through some form of transformation that, for better or worse, is gonna inform their life and give the audience something to think about.”
Excerpted with quotes from (a) Peter Hyams & (b) Ron Shelton & (c) Justin Zackham
Tales from the Script (2010)