When I found out Thank You For Smoking was to have a cast show on Charlie Rose, my heart skipped a beat. This is a true and rare honor. The idea that Buckley, Sacks, Eckhart, and I were going on simultaneously was all the more exciting.
Anyone familiar with the Charlie Rose show knows that besides it being one of greatest interviews on Earth, esthetically, it’s quite the minimalist experience. Two people, sometimes more, sitting in black limbo on wooden chairs, at a cheap circular wooden desk. It’s a show devoted to the conversation. Nothing more.
That said, the building in which they shoot the show is the most technically advanced structure I’ve ever seen - The Bloomberg Building. Located on the Upper East Side, the place is shaped like a horseshoe of glass. The place is littered with giant stadium sized digital boards of all shapes that feed you constant information. There are aquariums on every floor. A free kitchen unlike any I’ve ever seen (I took a bowl of cereal and some Oreos… thanks Mike). Post modern chandeliers that sometimes hang to the floor and glass windows that become opaque depending on your angle of view. Oh… and an escalator that corkscrews. Apparently, one of two in the world.
Charlie was very welcoming and conducted a thoughtful interview that traced the background of the project while speaking to its political values and sense of humor. I still can’t believe we all had the privilege. David Sacks was particularly thrilled. It was his life long dream to appear on that show. I spoke to Fox about putting the episode on the TYFS DVD. Fingers crossed.
The next day, I got to live out my NPR fantasy. Michele Norris on All Things Considered in the morning and Elvis Mitchell’s “The Treatment” that afternoon. It’s so intimidating to go on those shows. They’re so smart. Next time, I’m bringing Roget.
That afternoon, I showed the film to the National Board of Review and did a Q&A. They seemed to like the film a lot. It was a real pleasure speaking with them. One guy compared the film to Sturgis. I haven’t stopped blushing.
At this very moment, I’m sitting on a plane. I’m flying back to Los Angeles for the final press day and our Hollywood premiere at the DGA. I can’t quite believe this tour is coming to an end and that this film is about to be open. As Buckley said to me the other night, this baby is about to start walking and we’re going to have to let go.
What’s amazing to me is that beyond the good reviews we’ve been receiving, the film has somehow made its way into the social consciousness. The last Sunday Style section did a piece on our treatment of Birkenstocks in the film and how this relates to the politics of the granola sandal. Business Week just did a piece entitled, “It’s Hard Out Here For a Lobbyist” comparing TYFS to the recent lobbyist scandals. A Washington Post Op-Ed piece on White House lies used Nick Naylor to begin the discussion on spin.
This baby certainly is taking its first steps. However, that’s not an accident. It’s the work of some extremely talented people at Fox, who I couldn’t have been more fortunate to work with. I had always heard that they were the SWAT team of theatrical marketing and publicity, but experiencing it first hand and being the recipient of their hard work has been a pleasure beyond anything I could describe.
I’d like to take this moment to thank all of them. From the keys in Los Angeles and New York to all the reps across the US and Canada. You have made this experience so wonderful for me and have treated this film with so much care and respect. THANK YOU!
This is not the end of the blog. Just the perfect time to stop and express my gratitude. I think you have to make a film with the intention of making a good movie… not a financially successful one. While I would love this movie to become an enormous hit and make Fox everything it deserves for getting behind this film, I can’t help already feeling like I could die happy never making another movie. That’s how good this all feels. I really wish every person on this planet could get to feel how I do right now.
Has this all been too schmaltzy? If not, stop reading. If so, here’s a joke to lighten the mood:
A girl walks up to the checkout stand at a grocery store. The clerk begins scanning her items. She has one TV Dinner, one bottle of diet coke, one rental video, one carton of ice cream, and an US Weekly.
The guy at the checkout smiles at her and says, "Single, huh?"
The girl smiles back sheepishly and says, "Yeah, how did you know?"
“Because you're fucking ugly."
Why aren't you my friend on MySpace yet? -
Also, check out the photo from the MTV folks in Canada. They mocked up my own anti-smoking logo for Canadian cigarettes - Hilarious.