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A Beautiful Mind

Russell CroweJennifer Connelly
Ed Harris • Christopher Plummer
DIRECTOR: Ron Howard
PRODUCER: Brian Grazer

A Beautiful Mind: Russell Crowe as John Nash

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Film Bytes By Judy Sloane
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"With A Beautiful Mind I never felt that what we were doing was reenactment. This is much more symbolic of John Nash's life, and yet I really felt that we had to be true to one goal, and that was to try and authentically capture and present the spirit of their lives and their journey, otherwise the story would be preposterous. If it were fiction, you'd give up on it and just think that it was contrived. If it weren't based on actual events, I don't think it would have been worth making. We weren't doing a biopic, it was a very creative interpretation but in the hopes of capturing the truth as much as we could in a couple of hours."
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"We treated Russell as a partner on this film. He's really smart, and I don't mean in a pretentious way. I think that of all the actors (I know) he understands screen impact extremely well, and he understands how to achieve it in a real way without making a lot of noise."
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"In talking to Ron I realized that we were not doing a documentary, and his intention was not to have me play the real Alicia Nash. He wanted a character that was inspired by her, just as the film is inspired by the events of their lives. He really wanted me to create my own version of her. I went to meet with her anyway, just for my own peace of mind. Just to be able to say, 'I'm going to be playing you in this movie, so is there anything that you want me to say about you in my portrayal?' But ultimately it was more of a friendly lunch chat, and she was more like, 'What's Russell Crowe like?' It didn't become the in-depth experience that I was hoping it would be!"
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RUSSELL CROWE on the day he brought out his Oscar and surprised a lot of extras:
"I've done some extra work in my time and I know how tedious it can be. We had 800 to 1000 people in the room (when we were doing the Nobel Prize ceremony scene), and we needed them to be as energetic in their first round of applause as we did in their fiftieth or sixtieth round of applause. Later on in the day when the cameras were on them, and Ron needed an enthusiastic round of applause, I exchanged the Nobel plague I was carrying for the little gold statue and we got what we needed. We are mercenaries, we make feature films, we make them anyway we can!"
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JENNIFER CONNELLY on a scene where she gets hysterical with frustration:
"I think it's human, that's why I liked the way Ron handled the character and the way he let me explore that in her. Otherwise, who cares if she's this infallible heroine who rides through it all with her husband and never dissolves into self-pity, doubt and rage - that's what makes her human. I think all of us can relate to those frustrations."
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RON HOWARD on whether the movie, because it's more of a character piece, is a hard sell:
"I'm not much of a prognosticator in this regard. I've been so wrong about the movies that I've done. I was so fearful that Apollo 13 was going to follow the path of The Right Stuff, which was a wonderful movie that found no audience. The entire time I was making Apollo 13 I was thinking, 'I'm going to enjoy every minute of making this movie because I don't know what to expect when it comes out.' But I think that this movie offers suspense, tension and surprise.
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RUSSELL CROWE on winning the Academy Award:
"I'm sure on a deeper psychological level there's a part of me that's relaxed a little bit more. I'm sure somewhere internally it's made me a little calmer about what I do for a living."
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Text by Judy Sloane. Page 2 of 2 • Back to PAGE 1Back to top

Visit the official A Beautiful Mind site • Images above © Universal Studios / Dreamworks LLC.
Feature © Visual Imagination 2001. Not for reproduction

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