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In Search of Heaven
Rich Cline chats to Todd Haynes ē page 4 of 5

safe ...back
Rich: Youíve worked with her before. Did you write Safe for her as well?
Todd:
No I didnít know who she was at the time. But Iím sure lucky to have her. My God! Sheís not just one of the best and most subtle and most intelligent and most risk taking actresses we have and maybe we have ever had. But sheís drawn to things that you donít think of as being popular or crossing over into more mainstream interests. And she has really succeeded in having her cake and eating it too, in being an incredibly popular, very well-liked American actress, but never giving in to the crap. And always playing these difficult, inarticulate, really weird women. And itís just raised the bar on whatís possible for actresses and for roles on screen about female characters. Yeah, itís just all good.
Rich: It must be quite tricky to work with someone like that and then to have to think of working with somebody else in another film. You must always come back to her, because she can play almost anything.
Todd:
She definitely can. And yet, you know, Iíve been really lucky. I loved working with those young actors in Velvet Goldmine. They were wonderful. moore, bale, collette
Rich: Toni Collette is one of my favourites.
Todd:
Sheís fantastic! And Christian Bale was so great to work with. All of them were great. Iíve been very lucky with all the people Iíve worked with. Iíll continue to work with Julianne Moore. But thereís a lot of wonderful people.
Rich: Can you say anything about what youíre working on now?
Todd:
Iím doing this movie about Bob Dylan, looking at him as a cluster of different people. Iím interested in that whole idea of how heís continued to reject all the phases heís gone through and the intense fixations itís generated in the public.
Rich: Everyone keeps putting him into a box.
Todd:
Yeah, and then he just sort of cruelly kicks it down the road and moves on!
Rich: How did you get started on that?
Todd:
I was into Bob Dylan in high school and hadnít really listened to him since. Then I left New York finally, and drove across country to write Far From Heaven in Portland, Oregon, where my sister lives. And I donít know why but Dylan became my soundtrack for probably the biggest change in my whole life since leaving Los Angeles as a teenagerómaybe thatís why I went back to Bob Dylan. But I wasnít happy in New York my last couple years there, didnít know to what degree I needed something radically different in my life, fell in love with Oregon, wrote Far From Heaven in the first 10 days I was in Portland, kept listening to Bob Dylan, came up with this idea, thought there was never in far from heaven a million years would he agree to it. We submitted the idea to him and he said yes. I found a house in Portland I fell in love with and I moved there. My whole life changed. And itís been fantastic; itís been such a good positive change for me. I love being there. I donít miss New York. I miss my old friends.
Rich: But it was your dream to move there!
Todd:
Yeah, I was there for 15 years. Yeah.
Rich: And now youíve left it behind.
Todd:
Itís been the best ever. Itís been great.

See also Rich Cline's reviews of FAR FROM HEAVEN, as well as
SAFE and SUPERSTAR.

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© 2003 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall
Note: A shorter version of this article, taken from the same interview, was published in QX Magazine, 3 March 2003.

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