|Dec 30, 2006
Tribune article, Fascinating article
The Chicago Tribune has a good Q&A with EN . Edward Norton concentrates his passion on performing
The Phillipine Daily Journal includes EN among the Most Facinating Inteviews. The text is pretty interesting too.
He is under-appreciated but in our book, he is one of America’s finest actors, impressing us with his intensity in such films as “Primal Fear,” “American History X” (he was chilling as a muscled white supremacist) and “The People vs. Larry Flynt.” This year, we liked him better in “The Illusionist” (talk about intense—watch him concentrate to summon spirits onstage) than in “The Painted Veil,” a film adaptation of W. Somerset Maugham’s novel set mainly in 1920s China.
When a window panel at a function room at the Waldorf Astoria accidentally opened and for a while no one could close it to prevent chilly winds from ripping through the room, Edward was unperturbed and calmly continued answering questions. He raved about how terrific the food was in Beijing and Shanghai where they filmed “The Painted Veil.”
“And then we went to the mountains in South Central China. In one town there was a restaurant that had a menu board every night. The menu varied between bamboo rat, cat, dog, raccoon and snake. We stuck to tofu and vegetables mostly.”
|Dec 29, 2006
Successful fundraiser, SF Chronicle
Business Journal has a short article on TPV premiere in Baltimore, which raised $365, 000 for Howard County General Hospital
premiere aids star's hometown hospital.
Franciso Chronicle has a great interview with EN.
BEHIND THE VEIL
Edward Norton returns to China -- a country close to his heart -- for a film that explores love's illusions [Thanks to morgan and Sarah for the info!!!]
|Dec 27, 2006
Box Office, top 10, EN interviews, China premiere
Today's HollywoodReporter.com has
more info (and better numbers) on TPV's opening: "Warner Independent Pictures opened the Ed Norton starrer
'The Painted Veil' in four theaters. Directed by John Curran, 'Veil' opened strong to an estimated $71,813 for the
four-day frame. The PG-13 film boasted a per-screen of $17,953".
Martin Grove places TPV on his top 10 list
(7) Warner Independent Pictures' "The Painted Veil" was a beautifully told story that brought to mind the sweeping
epic romantic dramas in exotic settings that Academy members have applauded in past years.
Shot in Mainland China, "Veil" is based on the classic W. Somerset Maugham 1920s set novella. Directed by
John Curran, whose "We Don't Live Here Anymore" was a Grand Jury Prize nominee at Sundance in '04, it was
adapted to the screen by Ron Nyswaner, an Oscar, Globes, BAFTA and Writers Guild of America nominee for
"Philadelphia" in 1994. The Warner Independent Pictures, Bob Yari Productions and Mark Gordon Company
presentation stars Naomi Watts, Edward Norton, Live Schreiber, Toby Jones and Diana Rigg. Produced by Sara
Colleton, Jean-Francois Fonlupt and Yari and by Norton and Watts, it was executive produced by Gordon, Curran,
Antonia Barnard and Nyswaner.
Typically, when writers adapt a book to the screen they find themselves trying to turn hundreds of pages of
manuscript into a 120 page screenplay. "Well, 'The Painted Veil' is a novella so it's very spare," Nyswaner
told me, "so I didn't have that problem so much. But, still, of course, even with a novella you can't put
every scene in it or the movie would be several hours long. I find that what you have to do is boil a book
down to its essence and really through development, and through working, if you're lucky, with intelligent
colleagues like I have really figure out what are the one or two things that this book is about and make a
movie about those one or two things. You simply have to give up detours and side trips that a novelist can
take. You just can't take them in a movie. There's no such thing as something that doesn't really matter
in a movie. You know, every moment matters in a movie. It has to be part of the same narrative..."
In the 10 years that Nyswaner worked on the project, he said, "I've written 25 drafts, I guess. So it's
taken a significant part of my life. It would be hard to put it into months and years. There's several years
worth of work in this script. And as people came and went through it -- whether they would be producing
partners or actors or directors -- I did drafts for them. And much of that stuff then had to be abandoned
when somebody new came along. It wasn't really a process of honing, it was trying something and then trying
News has posted an article based on their interview with EN that aired on CBS Sunday Morning this past
weekend. The Real Edward
Norton Revealed. NPR's
All Things Considered yesterday
featured an interview with EN and the audio is posted on the website. Also, don't forget to check out the
related NPR stories further down on the page
Edward Norton on 'The Painted Veil'
CanMag has also posted an interview with EN.
The Shanghaiist has a small
article on the China premiere of TPV which
was at the Shanghai Museum on Friday night. Although EN gave an interview to Sina in Beijing on TPV
the same day, neither he nor Naomi Watts were present at the premiere.
CCTV has an article
featuring comments by the Chinese costars about TPV.
Painted veil brings cross culture cast
|Dec 24, 2006
TPV opening weekend first look
Merry Christmas Eve!!! The Associated Press has written up the studio
estimates for the weekend box office. How did TPV do during its
first weekend? "Warner Independent's "The Painted Veil," with Naomi Watts and Edward Norton in an adaptation of W. Somerset Maugham's romantic tragedy in 1920s China, premiered with $44,000 in four theaters." So there are the results, but what does it mean? I have no idea. I don't know what the expectations were for the NYC/LA opening, plus it actually opened on Wed rather than the usual Friday, plus it's a holiday weekend so I'm sure that there are some historical expectations it has to contend with so I guess we'll have to see how the trade papers report the box office.
|Dec 23, 2006
Another TV appearance, EN video clips, TPV interview
EN is the Sunday Profile on CBS Sunday Morning
Clips of an EN interview are posted on
Video Archive [Thanks to Abby for the info!!!]
The Associated Press has posted an article based on EN's Dec 21 interview in China with Sina.com Chinese movie crews impress Ed Norton
|Dec 22, 2006
Hollywood Reporter article
The Hollywood Reporter has an excellent article today on EN. This article focuses entirely on his work, the past year and the upcoming projects, and it reveals some things that don't necessarily come out in the standard interview. The lack of promotion of TPV is brought up (it was only mentioned before in an
Times story and
another HR article). EN talks about the mistake of
bringing Down in the Valley to Cannes before it was finished. The article states that EN is 80 pages into the screenplay of Motherless Brooklyn (we only previoulsy heard that he's writing the screenplay but
not really much beyond that). It also contains the first comment by EN himself on the Barak Obama doc : "He also is excited about producing an exclusive documentary tracking Illinois Sen. Barack Obama's run for the presidency, which Norton hopes will be 'a defining political study,' he says. 'It's about trying to look inside the American political experience.'" All and all, a great article
Norton's busy year embodies indie spirit
The New York Times
has posted its review of TPV: A Plague Infects the Land, as Passion Vexes Hearts
|Dec 21- evening update
New TV appearance
Tomorrow night, EN will be a guest on PBS's The Charlie Rose Show [Thanks to DM for the info!!!]. Don't forget to catch EN tonight on the Tavis Smiley Show.
|Dec 21- Early AM update
EN in China, more TPV articles, Obama doc
Sina.com has posted photos of
EN in China (dated today). It appears that he is doing a press conference to promote
TPV which I believe is being releases in China at the same time as in the U.S.
[Thanks to yabush for the info!!!].
has an article on EN Inside
Ed Norton's Head. Movieweb
has an article with EN and Naomi Watts Naomi Watts and Edward Norton on The Painted Veil
FOXNews.com has an article
on the upcoming documentary on Senator Barak
Obama that is being produced by Class 5 Films, EN's production company. The way I first found
out about this project was a brief mention in EN's bio on
The Painted Veil website, with
very few of the details given. The
FOXNews.com story does give the
name and background of the filmmaker, Amy Rice. However, the story itself seems a little less than
"fair and balanced". This documentary is, in the words of FOXNews.com, "all part of a project to
make [Obama] the star of a
documentary about himself."
Plus, they mention the political ambititions of the filmmaker's brother and
connections to other actors. So the article kind of intimates that this is a kind of a Democratic
propaganda tool hatched by the liberal Hollywood elite. But political documentaries are nothing new,
there was D.A.
Pennebaker's classic The War Room (Clinton's presidental campaign), A Perfect Candidate (a great doc on
the senate race between Oliver North and Chuck Robb), and (Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's
daughter) Alexandra Pelosi and her travels with presidential candidate George W. Bush on the campaign trail in the
humorous Journeys with George, just to name a few I liked.
In fact, I just rented one a
few days ago from Netflix, Street Fight. Street Fight looks at the 2002 Newark mayoral race
between incumbent Sharpe James and challenger Cory Booker. This is more than you wanted to
know, but it bothers me that Fox News already seems to have written it off as biased
before it's even completed. As in any documentary, it's the final product
that matters and that should and will be judged
FOXNews.com: Barack Obama: Ready For Close Up.
|December 21, 2006
More EN articles
The New York
Observer.com has an excellent interview with EN.
Finally Paints Veil. Reuters
has another good (but short article) on EN Actor
Edward Norton takes on romantic turns. Also, there's an interview with Naomi Watts in
The NY Post- Peeking Behind 'The Painted
Veil' With Naomi Watts
|December 20, 2006
Longer Premiere interview, More TPV interviews, Reviews
Premiere Magazine did an interview with EN and used only a little bit of EN's quotes in the Jan/Feb 07 Premiere
issue (see Dec 17 post). Premiere.com has the
IFILM has posted three video clips from
TPV [Thanks to Susanne for the info!!!].
Movies Online has posted an interview with EN
and one with Naomi Watts and director John Curran
has an article on TPV screenwriter Ron Nyswaner
a piece of his soul. Plus, Landmark Theatres
has posted an article written by TPV director
John Curran on the film. Someone at
must have set their TiVo because their latest headline
BUYS RICE FIELD FOR FILM came straight from EN's spot Tues morning on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.
I have no problem with that, but at least mention the source of your info.
Reviews galore on TPV have just been released:
LA Daily News,
|December 19, 2006
has an interview with EN called
A good average.
Newsday also includes a
review on The Painted Veil
(although both are already on the web, they have tomorrow's date so if you're looking for the print version, bear that in mind).
|Dec 18- Late Afternoon Update
EN Q&A, Veil reviews, and Sylvester Stallone???
A great transcript of a Q&A with Edward Norton that was done after a Toronto screening of TPV has been posted on
AICN [Thanks to Hugh and Amo for the info!!!]
Two more TPV reviews: MSNBC: ‘Painted Veil’ lifted by great performances and
Associated Press:'Painted Veil': Dour but Worthy
While promoting Rocky Balboa, Sylvester Stallone stated that he "wants to revive his long-held dream project, directing a biography of Edgar Allan Poe, with a young actor in the role he wrote for himself."
“The problem is, there’s only about three or four young actors in Hollywood who can pull this off, because he has to hold the screen for 20 minutes just reciting `The Raven,’ going deep, getting really raw. Robert Downey Jr., Johnny Depp, maybe Edward Norton. If I can get someone like that, I can pull it off. I hope one of them sees `Rocky Balboa’ and likes it.”
|Dec 18- Early Morning Update
Hollywood Reporter, TPV Baltimore Premiere, International Incident
has expanded upon the subject that I mentioned in my first Dec 18 post: why hasn't The Painted Veil
garnered more attention.
Hollywood Reporter describes some problems between Warners and the producers and filmmakers.
Yari clash over 'Veil'
has an article on last night's benefit screening of The Painted Veil.
Unfortunately, it is a very short article and completely misses the fact that $375,000 was raised for Howard
County General Hospital (but it does have a nice pic).
unveils his new film.
Baltimore's movie palace The Senator rolled out its red carpet last night for movie star Edward Norton and
director John Curran, who brought their new movie, The Painted Veil, for a screening to benefit Howard County
General Hospital. Although this Maryland premiere landed smack in the middle of the award-screening season,
Curran said, "This is one of the fun ones. I've been hearing about this screening at the Senator for a long time,
and ever since I have, I've wanted to come to it. I wanted to see this movie right in the heart of Nortonville."
Norton told reporters the theater was filled with people he's known all his life. Norton's friend, Dr. Harry
Oken, and his wife, Janet, organized the event. Members of the Norton family included his brother and sister,
Jim and Molly Norton, and his uncle, Teddy Rouse. Also attending were Dr. Henry Brem, who was Norton's mother's
doctor, and his wife, Rachel. Norton said he would have loved to bring his previous hit, The Illusionist, for
a similar benefit in Baltimore if the timing had been right; he already has a movie in mind to premiere next
year at the Senator.
Unless he has a new movie that is about to begin, the movie he is talking about in the above article would be
Pride and Glory
Just after I had finished my update, I came face to face with a Reuters story entitled
Norton film sparks international incident. I was very surprised, until I realized that this was just the
Reporter article with a more sensational title. I guess you could call it an international incident, but to
my knowledge, no ambassadors have been recalled and there has been no talk of regime change. But it is Robert
Gates's first day as SecDef, so we'll have to wait to find out his views on the right of final cut. I don't
remember if that topic came up during his confirmation hearings.
|December 18, 2006
LA Times,New York Magazine
Times has an article about The Painted Veil, examining why "Little attention surrounds a
year's-end film some consider a natural Oscar contender."
in need of a lift
New York Magazine has a Q&A with EN. This is the article
that is quoted below in the UPI article on the cancelling of gift baskets.
The Good Guy: Edward Norton
Don't forget about EN's appearances: late Mon Dec 18/19 EN on The Late Late Show and Tuesday EN on The View
|December 17, 2006
Premiere Mag, Painted Veil pics, Global Green Awards
The Jan/Feb 07 issue of Premiere Magazine includes EN in their section on
"Show Stoppers: Premiere Salutes The Finest Performances of 2006". It includes a pic and some
comments from EN about The Painted Veil. The mag also includes a pic of EN and Down
in the Valley costar Evan Rachel Wood from the Premiere Women in Hollywood event where
he presented her with the Chanel Spotlight Award for Emerging Talent. I've scanned both:
Premiere mag scans
Thanks to Katherine, who was nice enough to send a scan of the invite to the Painted Veil premiere on
Thanks also to Suzanne who sent several full size pics from the Painted Veil premiere, which
I finally was able to post.
EN will be a celebrity presenter at the Designing a Sustainable and Secure World Awards
for Global Green USA on Monday Decmber 16 at The Roosevelt Hotel in NYC.
More info at Global Green website
[Thanks to Robin for the info!!!]
From UPI Intternational:
Oscars, Golden Globes cancel gift baskets
LOS ANGELES, Dec. 17 (UPI) -- When the Hollywood ceremonies for the Golden Globe Awards and the Oscars
take place next year, those in attendance will not be given the typical gift baskets.
The two awards shows confirmed that in 2007 the extravagant gift baskets, that typically contained
everything from electronics to jewelry will no longer be presented to celebrity guests thanks to their
controversial nature, the New York Daily News reported.
After being hit with a series of legal questions from the Internal Revenue Service, the Academy
chose to forgo offering its baskets, valued up to $100,000 each, to help their recipients avoid
unwanted tax problems.
The Academy and the Golden Globes were also pressured by actor Edward Norton, whose recent
comments in New York magazine drew attention to the elaborate practice.
"A lot of people (in) our generation just said, 'I'm sick of this. It's not who we are -- it
makes us look ridiculous and out of touch. If these evenings are going to be a celebration of our
craft and what we express about what's going on in the world, then picking through $35,000 gift
baskets is disgusting and shameful,'" the "Fight Club" star said.
|December 14, 2006
Painted Veil premiere and reviews
The Painted Veil premiere was last night at the Arclight Cinema in
Hollywood. EN, Naomi Watts, Liev Schrelber, Toby Jones, and director John Curran were present.
Thumbnails are posted on Wireimage, but Susanne was kind enough to send larger pics which I will
Variety.com has posted a review of
The Painted Veil Variety review
RollingStone.com's review of The Painted Veil leads off with this amazing sentence "Edward Norton, who has given two award-caliber performances this year, in Down in the Valley and The Illusionist, now delivers a third." RollingStone.com review
|Dec 13- PM
EN on Tavis Smiley Show
A very long day. EN will be on the Tavis Smiley Show on Thur, Dec 21. Check your local listings - in some areas it may air the next day
[Thanks to Julia and Abby for the info!!!]
|Dec 12 - PM update
Just a quick post (more tomorrow) - The Hollywood Reporter has an
article on The Illusionist For Oscar voters, seeing 'Illusionist' could be believing. Here's an excerpt
In the case of "Illusionist," Norton was the first actor cast. "I did actually think of him first the second I was done writing," Burger said. "He's such a great actor and such a great chameleon in a way. He just sort of disappears into all of his roles and takes on the skills of his particular role so thoroughly. And Edward also has a sense of mystery or you feel like he has a secret. In any of his roles there's something going on behind those eyes and he's not telling you everything.
"He read the screenplay and liked it and then came on board. We shot in April of 2005 and he came on in about August or September of 2004. The next was Paul. I had lunch and met Paul for the first time on the day that 'Sideways' was released. Fortunately, he told me that this was the movie that he wanted to make next, which was incredibly flattering and lucky for us. We haven't seen Paul doing this kind of role before. You always see him doing these eccentric neurotic characters whereas here he's the figure of authority (as the Crown Prince's chief investigator). But he's such a great actor. He may not have been given the chance to do it before, but you can definitely see that he can do it. There's a real quiet power to him and a real gravity."
|Dec 11 - PM update
Gorgeous and Green
EN is one of the celebrity hosts of "Gorgeous and Green" benefitting Global Green USA Tuesday night (Dec12) in San Francisco. It is described as an "ecofabulous party" featuring an "ecocouture fashion show", "ecofabulous design exhibits" and a "spectacular silent eco auction" (but there will be vodka). I'm hoping that EN will have the courage to take a stand against the "ecoextraordinary" gift bags.
Gorgeous and Green [Thanks to kathryn for the info!!!].
|December 11, 2006
Variety.com has a section on lead actor dark horses and EN is one of those mentioned (the others are Christian Bale, George Clooney, Will Ferrell, Jude Law, Ken Watanabe and Patrick Wilson)
Pic: "The Painted Veil"
Why: "Veil," which he also produced, is a sweeping, romantic tale on foreign soil -- somewhat similar in tone to "The English Patient" -- and there's no doubt voters have a soft spot for those types of pics. Also, Norton co-starred in the impressive "The Illusionist," so there might be reason to nominate him for his cumulative accomplishments.
|December 9, 2006
Sunday's New York Times has an article entitled
Another Encore for the Most Adaptable of
Authors, which gives an excellent look on how The Painted Veil made it to the screen. Since the
NYT mades you register to read their articles, I've put some of the more relevant excerpts below.
Another Encore for the Most Adaptable of
All these limitations the new “Painted Veil” turns into opportunities, so that it’s one of those rare
Hollywood movies that are actually better than the books that inspired them. “I like to think that we didn’t
change the book so much as liberate it,” Mr. Norton said in a recent interview. “We just imagined it on a
slightly bigger scale, and made external some of what is internal in the novel.”
Maugham is not quite the hot property that he used to be, however, and making the movie took forever. Mr.
Norton, who is also a producer of “The Painted Veil,” got involved with the project back in 1999. The script
had already been bouncing around for a few years, shepherded by the producer Sara Colleton, and was going
through almost countless drafts. There were strictly faithful versions, versions that took more liberties
with the novel, and at one point even a feminist version.
It was Mr. Norton’s idea to enhance the role of Walter and include an element of redemption and forgiveness:
in the movie, unlike the book, he eventually makes his peace with Kitty, and the two even fall in love. He
almost literally melts before the viewer’s eye. It’s a development so natural, so in keeping with the book’s
larger theme of transcendence, that you wonder why Maugham didn’t think of it.
“The novel is almost unremittingly bleak,” Mr. Norton said. “And the reason is I think Maugham had a pretty
dim view of the potential of British colonials to change. But I went on the assumption that if you were willing
to allow Walter and Kitty to grow, then you had the potential for a love story that was both tragic and
Mr. Nyswaner, the screenwriter, said: “Edward had this running joke with me that we couldn’t make a movie
in which he was off screen all the time. But he was right — you have to have scenes for the male star. This
was a case where the conventions of moviemaking actually helped.”
It was also Mr. Norton’s idea to enlist Ms. Watts for the part of Kitty, and that proved to be the deal
clincher, but only after Ms. Watts became a bankable star with “Mulholland Drive” and “21 Grams.” She in
turn suggested Mr. Curran, who had directed her in “We Don’t Live Here Anymore” (2004), a tale of two
disintegrating marriages. That movie convinced both Mr. Norton and Ms. Watts that he had a knack for depicting
dysfunctional relationships, but as it turned out, he made an even greater contribution to “The Painted Veil”:
he helped make China not just a backdrop to the story, as it is in the novel, but an essential part of it.
That the movie would be shot on location in China was a given almost from the beginning. “There is no way I
was going to make a movie that looked as if it had been shot in Canada,” Mr. Curran said. And instead of just
building a set for the cholera-stricken village, he held out for an actual piece of unspoiled Chinese
landscape, not an easy thing to find these days.
“Even the Chinese crew members were amazed at the place we found, Huang Yao,” he said. “It was like going
back in time.”
It was also Mr. Curran’s idea to set the film specifically amid the events of 1925, when the Chinese
nationalist movement was just beginning, and Mr. Norton, who had studied Chinese history at Yale, immediately
agreed. He even worked with Mr. Curran and Mr. Nyswaner to add some scenes based on Jonathan D. Spence’s book
“To Change China,” about the often bumbling efforts of Western advisers there.
“We’ve let Walter become the proxy for the arrogance of Western rationalism,” Mr. Norton explained, talking
about how Walter is baffled when the Chinese are insufficiently grateful for his help in fighting cholera.
“Walter means well, but he’s the folly of empire, and that adds a whole new dimension to what happens in the
story. It’s a metaphor for the way empires get crushed.”
Mr. Nyswaner said: “Edward became passionate about the film. I tend toward despair, but he has this dogged
optimism, and it’s because of him that the film ever got made.”
A movie about a love affair and a cholera epidemic in China in the ’20s is “such an unlikely project when
you think of it,” Mr. Curran said. “Imagine the hurdles of getting it set up — all those executives looking
with glazed eyes.”
Mr. Nyswaner said: “At least 50 percent of our energy went into negotiations and fending off powerful
people’s suggestions. We even got notes from the Chinese government. In the script there was a prose
description of some mountains as gloomy, and the government said, ‘We don’t have gloomy mountains here — our
mountains are joyous.’ ”
More from TPV screenwriter Ron Nyswaner can be heard in a podcast courtesy of the LA Times
Podcast: Nyswaner reveals
secrets of 'The Painted Veil' screenplay
Comingsoon.net has posted an
interview with Illusionist screenwriter and director Neil Burger
The Magic of Neil Burger
[Thanks to Robin for the info!!!]
|December 8, 2006
Stage has posted a great interview with
EN called Grand
More EN TV appearances: EN will be on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson late night Mon/early
morning Tue December 19 as well as
The View on December 19 [Thanks to Chris for the news!!!]
As I mentioned in the Nov 30 post, EN and Naomi Watts are featured in the December/January issue of Black
Book magazine and the issue is finally on newsstands. It is a cover story and one version of the cover features
EN and one features NW. Yesterday, I went to four different bookstores, two in DC
(Barnes and Noble on E Street, B Dalton at Union Station) and two in Maryland (Borders in Columbia,
Books-A-Million at Arundel Mills) and all I can find is the NW cover. However, I did get an email from Anna,
who has actually purchased one with an EN cover, so it does exist.
official website has the pics and the text of the interview, which doesn't seem too smart from a business
standpoint but you can at least read it until you can find an EN cover.
News and Observer can't tell the difference
between Edward Norton and Edward Burns. EN is not in The Holiday.
I was able to see two good documentaries in the past two days that I thought I might mention. The first is
Abduction: The Megumi Yokota Story (now playing at DC's
E Street Cinema).
Back in 1977, a 13-year-old Japanese schoolgirl was kidnapped by North Korean spies (strange but true). The
documentary follows Megumi's parents and the relatives of other abductees, who try to pressure the Japanese
government to find out the fate of the abductees during the time Prime Minister Koizumi tries to normalize
relations with the North Korean govt. The second is
The Life and Death of the Peoples Temple (now showing at Baltimore's
Rotunda Cinematheque) which is about the largest mass suicide in history.
It follows Jim Jones, from boyhood to charismatic preacher and the events leading up to the events in
Guyana. It features interviews from former Peoples Temple members and gives insight on why so many people
followed Jones, and the secrets that many didn't find out until it was too late to leave.
|Dec 6 -PM update
National Board of Review
The National Board of Review of Motion Pictures announced their
award winners today. While EN and The Painted Veil did not
receive any awards, TPV was listed as one of the top 10 best films of 2006.
The Illusionist was included in the list of top independent films
|December 6, 2006
Obama documentary, Pride and Glory premiere, EN in Madrid
EN's production company Class 5 Films is producing a documentary on Illinois senator (and possible
Democratic candidate for President in 2008) Barak Obama. This new info didn't come via the
entertainment trade papers or any other news source, but was actually hidden away in his bio on the
official Painted Veil website.
has an auction for two tickets to the Pride and Glory premiere as well as the afterparty. No date
has been set for the premiere (I don't think the film has a release date yet). So if you've got the cash to spend,
good luck (and why haven't I met you before?)
I mentioned EN's trip to Madrid a few weeks ago to promote The Illusionist and two
very helpful people emailed links to some of the coverage of EN's visit.
Hola.com has posted
a video of some of his press conference, El Confidencial
has posted an article (in Spanish) and there are several pic from the photocall pic 1
pic 2, and
pic 3 [Thanks so much to Eddie for the
info!!!]. Also, there is another video from the press conference up at YouTube
as well as pics from the Dior party and press conference up at Filmmagic
[Thanks so much to DM for the info!!!]
|December 3, 2006
EN TV appearances
EN is scheduled to be on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on 12/11/06 and
the Ellen Degeneres Show on 12/12/06 [Thanks so much to Chris for the info!!!]
|November 30, 2006
Gotham Awards, EN in Madrid, HR article,
Last night, EN and Kate Winslet were among those who received a tribute at the Gotham Awards, which honors "innovative films" (not exclusively, but mainly independent films). It would be nice to know the text of his comments, but I haven't found anything. There are some
thumbnails of EN at the event up at Wireimage.
Also going through Wireimage, I found some pics of EN at a photocall for The Illusionist on November 15 at the Villamagna Hotel in Madrid. On the same day, he also attended the Dior Gala Dinner. I was very surprised since I check the news a few times a day and never saw mention EN's trip to Madrid.
Yesterday's Hollywood Reporter had an excellent interview with The Painted Veil screenwriter Ron Nyswaner, who received an Independent Spirit Award nomination for the film (as I mentioned below, EN
received a nomination as well). The interviewer also speculates on TPV's Oscar chances. I'm going to post the entire article but I wanted to include some excerpts below. One deals with EN's involvement and the second deals with an upcoming project they are doing together Buffalo for the Broken Heart. Spirit nom for 'Veil' raises Oscar hopes" [Thanks so much to Robin for sending the text of the article!!!]
About five or six years ago, he continued, "Edward Norton became
involved. Edward liberated me from feeling obliged to do a faithful literary
adaptation. As a matter of fact, Edward wasn't really interested in
being part of the movie if we were going to stick to that path. I remember
Edward saying to me something which really moved me. He said, 'It's not
my way of operating that I just come on to a project, take it over and
then make it what I think it should be. So if you want to stay on the
path that you're on, I'll step aside. But if what I'm suggesting to you
interests you, then we can work together.' I was really excited by
that. So Edward has really been part of the writing and shaping of the
movie since then.
[Further down in the article]
And about three years ago it did start to happen: "Edward presented the
script to Naomi and she got very excited. And then about a year and a
half ago we found our director, John Curran, and things really moved
quickly since then. Then under the guidance of Bob Yari Films and Warner
Independent suddenly that all came together and we moved forward to make
the film. So it seems like a long time to me, but actually I think for
John Curran it seems like a very sort of whirlwind affair. I find it
funny that we have these opposite experiences."
[Further down in the article]
"For example, I'm doing a script now with Edward Norton. He's producing
it and is going to direct for Universal Pictures. It's based on a
memoir called 'Buffalo for the Broken Heart' ('Buffalo for the Broken Heart:
Restoring Life to a Black Hills Ranch' by Dan O'Brien). I took that
book and I took my several days worth of interviews with the rancher that
it's based on and I created a time-line of the man's life. I wrote down
everything he told me and everything from his book in chronological
order. I call it a time-line and I do it on every project that I do. So I
basically see a main character from birth to death and every event that
has occurred to them. And then if there are other significant
characters, I do the same with them. So when I start to write, I really know the
people that I'm writing about. Then when you start writing scenes, well
in creating all this you've already imagined so many scenes that you're
not really starting from scratch."
EN and Naomi Watts are featured in the December/January issue of BlackBook, which
has two different covers. One features EN, the other NW [Thanks so much to Brent for the info!!!].
OscarWatch.com has posted "For Your Consideration" Ads (obscenely expensive ads run in trade magazines in hopes that the film might snag a few nominations) for The Painted Veil and The Illusionist [Thanks to Kyle for the info!!!]
I hate bringing this next event up because it is SOLD OUT. There is a benefit screening of The Painted Veil on December 17th at the Senator Theater in Baltimore. Both EN and director John Curran will be present. When I tried to find out about it to post the info, I learned it was already sold out. EN used to go to the Senator Theatre when he was a kid, and he has held several premieres of his films there to benefit causes that mean a great deal to him. I am mentioning it because there is always an outdoor ceremony beforehand where a section of cement is unveiled, to celebrate the premiere. So it would be an opportunity to see him in person, but not to actually attend the premiere itself.
Author William Diehl passed away at age 81 on November 24. He wrote the novel Primal Fear. It was later made into a movie featuring EN in his film debut, for which he received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
|November 28, 2006
Independent Spirit Award
Today EN received a nomination in the best male lead category for his
work in The Painted Veil
|November 19, 2006
LAST MINUTE NEWS: TV ALERT
EN is on AMC's Sunday Morning Shootout
|November 17, 2006
EN a Spitzer transition adviser
Today's NY Sun has an interesting article
Dramatic Expansion Set by Spitzer In Advisers for New Administration. Here are some excerpts
The governor-elect of New York, Eliot Spitzer, has expanded his transition team by more than 300 advisers, turning to a diverse group of corporate leaders, environmentalists, prosecutors, professors, union leaders, politicians, religious figures, and even a movie star, Edward Norton, to guide his new administration.
[Further down in article]
Most famous of all is Mr. Norton, the actor who is one of more than a dozen members of the housing committee.
Mr. Norton, who is a board member of Enterprise Community Partners, a group that supports low-income housing, contributed $15,000 to the governor-elect's campaign and has become something of an in-house celebrity for the Spitzer camp.
|November 10, 2006
"The Black Ball" to Benefit Keep A Child Alive Hosted by Alicia Keys and Iman - Show
Last night, EN attended and apparently made a presentation at "The Black Ball" to benefit Keep A Child Alive. It was hosted by Alicia Keys and Iman and held at Hammerstein Ballroom in NYC.
Billboard.com has an article on it- Keys, Bowie Duet At African Charity Gala.
There are some pics up at Wireimage.com if you search
"Edward Norton". They also posted some pics of a press conference for
The Painted Veil on 11/5.
|November 8, 2006
IGN has posted an article stating that
The Illusionist will be released on DVD on January 9, 2007. The only downside seems to be the
lack of special features. According to the article, it will only include The Making of The Illusionist,
Jessica Biel on The Illusionist, Theatrical Trailer (so no commentaries or deleted scenes). I can
understand that it's an independent film so you're not going to get a lot of frills, but it did very
well at the box office. Why do the DVD on the cheap?
|November 7, 2006
Painted Veil website, release date change
The official website for The Painted Veil has
opened. It contains an image gallery, downloads (wallpaper and a screensaver), synopsis, cast/crew bios,
about the production (which appears to be the production notes) as well as the trailer and two TV spots.
The release date for the film has been pushed back by a few days to December 20.
|October 24, 2006
On Monday, the Independent Film Project announced that EN and Kate Winslet will be honored with 2006 Gotham Tributes at the Gotham Awards, which will be held on November 29 at New York's Pier Sixty at the Chelsea Piers (oh, and they also announced the nominees)
(Source: Hollywood Reporter 10/24/06).
|October 21, 2006
Painted Veil trailer, Charity Folks auction, Infamous premiere
The day after I left on vacation, the Painted Veil trailer made its debut all over the web. Thanks so
much to all the people who were kind enough to send me the news. I only wish that I had been able to post
the news faster. The trailer itself is visually stunning, and gives you a beautiful view of the picturesque locations
of China, where it was filmed. You can check out the trailer on YouTube,
Comingsoon.net, JoBlo and
Thanks to Kamila, Hugh, Danille, Momena, Brent, Amo, h, and Robin for emailing me about the trailer!!!].
Charity Folks has a listing
for two tickets for the Painted Veil premiere auctioned off by Naomi Watts to benefit Film Aid International. However, you're
going to need some cash- the auction runs until Nov 6 and today the next bid is $1000.
Painted Veil Premiere auction
[Thanks to Lisa for the info!!!]
EN and Naomi Watts were present at the premiere of the Truman Capote biopic Infamous, starring Toby Jones, who
costars with them in The Painted Veil.
|October 8, 2006
NY Times, New Yorker Festival
In today's New York Times, there's an article on sleeper films which
includes several paragraphs on The Illusionist.
Looking for Sleepers in a Wake-Up World
I've included the section below:
Another Sundance movie qualifies as a more authentic, if modest, sleeper, because it never
generated the same buzz. “The Illusionist,” starring Edward Norton, Paul Giamatti and Jessica Biel,
is a tale of romance, magic and political intrigue in late-19th-century Vienna. Most Sundance hits
tend to be gritty contemporary tales, and this movie didn’t fit that mold. “It didn’t catch fire at
Sundance,” Mr. Dinerstein admitted.
Michael London, the film’s producer, elaborated: “The movie has crowd-pleasing elements,
especially the trick ending. Audiences love to be fooled. But those crowd-pleasing elements
were at odds with the very nature of Sundance.”
Universal was interested in buying “The Illusionist,” Mr. London said, but the studio could not
come to terms with Bob Yari, who had financed the film. “The deal never closed,” Mr. London said. “And
so two months later we were a cursed movie.”
The other studios, Mr. Dinerstein said, “all felt it was too challenging to market.” Period films
usually have a limited audience. In addition, although the actors were well respected, they were not
considered surefire box office draws.
With no offers on the table, Mr. Yari decided to release the film himself. “At first we thought
it was crazy,” Mr. London said. “But in a way it doesn’t matter who is distributing a movie if audiences
respond to it.”
Mr. Dinerstein chose to open “The Illusionist” the same weekend in August as “Snakes on a Plane,” which
turned out to be the opposite of a sleeper. It was a movie that had generated a huge amount of Internet
chatter but turned out to be dead on arrival.
“I saw a great opportunity in opening against ‘Snakes on a Plane,’ ” he said. “That movie appealed to
a younger male audience, and we were going for women and what I might call a more rarefied audience.
“The counterprogramming worked,” Mr. Dinerstein continued. “A month earlier no one expected anything
from our movie. Suddenly I was getting calls asking, ‘Where did this come from?’ ” “The Illusionist”
grossed about $25 million in its first month and is still playing.
“There is so much clutter that it’s harder for word of mouth to spread,” Mr. London said. “But that
makes it even more rewarding when it does happen.”
Yesterday, EN was scheduled to participate on the New Yorker Festival's panel Fiction into Film.
If you managed to get a ticket and attend this event, please let me know how it went.
|October 7, 2006
Entertainment Weekly, Premiere Magazine
Another quick post- This week's Entertainment Weekly (Oct 13, 2006 "The Photo Issue" with
Kirsten Dunst on the cover) features a full page pic of EN on p97 along with a description of the photo
session by the photographer. It looks like it session was for EN's EW interview
Spotlight: Edward Norton that was published in May 2006 coinciding with the theatrical release of
Down in the Valley (now on DVD!!!) Below are the comments that accompany the
April 22, 2006 New York City
Photographed by Platon
"[Edward] was very soulful, and all the pictures had that sort of heaviness to them," says one-named
photographer Platon. "Hardly any words were spoken during the shoot. I was surprised at how quiet he was.
But Platon didn't hold that against him: "You just have to roll with the person and their frame of mind.
I have to be neutral and allow their personality to saturate the picture. He's so introspective that the
right thing to do is let him close his eyes and just zone into himself."
The Painted Veil poster that I posted about yesterday is in the November issue of Premiere Magazine
(with Daniel Craig on the cover) as a full page advertisement.
|October 6, 2006
Painted Veil poster, website, photos
Quick post before I head out to a meeting. Hugh found The Painted Veil poster on one of the
IMDB forums Painted Veil poster
On the poster is the web address www.thepaintedveilmovie.com.
The official site is not set up yet so the web address takes you back to Warner Independent Films
section on The Painted Veil which also includes a number
of new photos [Thanks so much to Hugh!!!]
|October 1, 2006
Interview Magazine, Painted Veil, Other stuff
Edward Norton interviews NY Attorney General and candidate for NY Governor Eliot Spitzer in
October's Interview Magazine ("The Times They Are A-Changin'" cover). The interview also
includes pictures of EN and Spitzer taken by Glen Wilson, the same guy who tends to do a lot of
EN pictures. I've scanned the article EN interviews Eliot
Spitzer [Thanks so much to Robin for the info!!!]
Sina.com has posted a page on The Painted Veil.
It's in Chinese, but it does contain some pictures from the film and a poster (created by Sina?).
[Thanks so much to huihui for the info!!!]
I have to apologize because I've basically been barely functioning for the past six weeks. I've been
overwhelmed with a lot of work (and other things) and once I finally caught up, I ended up geting stuck with
a lot of someone else's work because they had also been overwhelmed. So I would get emails about the site and
think to myself I'm going to handle this later and then forget completely about it. I honestly haven't even
finished watching EN's Late Late Show interview and that was on two weeks ago. Things seem okay now.
When I have had a chance to post in the last few weeks, it's been about how The Illusionist has been expanding from a few theaters to
more and more as the weeks go on. But I noticed something a little remarkable. Yesterday, I went to see
Jesus Camp (an amazing documentary) at Landmark Theatre's
E Street Cinema in Washington DC. The Illusionist started playing there on Aug 18th. Six weeks later,
it's not only still at the E Street Cinema, it's still screening five times a day. Granted, this is the
the heart of Edward Norton Country (EN grew up in nearby Columbia, MD), but I don't think that alone can account
for this success.
|Sept 17, 2006
EN TV appearance
Another quick posting- EN is scheduled to be on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson on
tomorrow late Monday/early Tuesday September 18/19. Just an interesting fact- another one
of the scheduled guests is My Name is Earl's Ethan Suplee, EN's costar in
American History X
|Sept 15, 2006
"The Illusionist" weaves magic at box office
Just a quick posting. Right before I was about to shut off my computer, I saw this great article
on the success of The Illusionist. I had to post the whole article
The Illusionist" weaves magic at box office
By Bob Tourtellotte
1 hour, 46 minutes
It took a little magic and a lot of money, but "The Illusionist" has steadily
moved up box office charts in recent weeks with the backing of an upstart
distributor for a movie that Hollywood had refused to touch.
While heavily hyped major-studio movies such as the football drama
"Invincible" open in 3,000 theaters in their first weekend then fade away, "The
Illusionist" has emerged as one of those rare films that opens in a handful of
venues and gains momentum week after week.
Its backers at the Yari Film Group credit the film's creative quality and
critical success -- "The Illusionist" scored a 75 percent "fresh" rating on
review Web site rottentomatoes.com -- as well as a guerrilla-style marketing
"In early screenings the film played through the roof, and you started to
smell there was something special here," said David Dinerstein, a former studio
executive hired by Yari to lead the campaign for "The Illusionist."
"The Illusionist," about a 19th-century magician (Edward Norton) and his love
for a woman (Jessica Biel), debuted at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival looking
for a Hollywood studio to scoop up distribution rights.
But at $14 million, the film's production costs exceeded those of most indie
flicks. Sundance films generally are quirky and made for art houses, and their
low budgets often mean sacrifices in picture quality, sets and costumes.
"The Illusionist" features a more mainstream story and is set in
turn-of-the-century Vienna with lavish sets and costumes and well-known stars,
including Oscar nominee Paul Giamatti.
Bob Yari, who in recent years has taken a real estate fortune and returned to
his first career, moviemaking, said every major studio looked at "The
Illusionist" and passed because it did not fit the mold of a typical independent
Yari Film Group is new to film distribution, but Yari is no stranger to
Hollywood. His companies have made or co-produced more than 25 movies, including
"Crash," which won the Oscar for best picture in March.
He also has been the subject of widely reported lawsuits and complaints by
former partners who deride his business tactics.
Regardless of his legal troubles, Yari had a unique problem on his hands with
"The Illusionist" -- a mainstream movie looking for distributors in the
Conventional wisdom might have suggested that Yari dump the movie and cut his
losses. But he decided to release it on his own and spend millions more on a
marketing campaign that used preview screenings and other tactics instead of
expensive television commercials.
On average in 2005, Hollywood's major studios spent $36 million to promote
and advertise one film, according to the Motion Picture Association of
Independent distributors typically spend $5 million to $10 million, and that
is only when titles become hits. Yari and Dinerstein would not say how much they
spent on "The Illusionist," but their strategy is working.
This week after a month in theaters, "The Illusionist" will add 76 venues to
bring its total to around 1,430 and boost its total box office revenue above $20
It is no blockbuster by Hollywood standards, but for an indie film that
earlier this year had no distributor, it is magic.
|Sept 14, 2006
Down in the Valley coming to DVD!!!
Down in The Valley will be available on DVD on September 26.
According to THINKFilm (the film's distributor), the special features include: Filmmaker and actor Q&A,
Deleted Scenes, Theatrical Trailer, etc.
Considering how much preparation time and work EN puts into his films, I'm always a little disappointed when
a DVD release does not have a commentary track. However, this is an independent film, so I imagine that the
limited special features are a matter of budget. At the same time, EN has had a lot to say about the state of
independent filmmaking today and a commentary on his first independent film would have been a good forum.
Down in The Valley was a product of the Sundance Institute's screenwriting lab.
It's surprising to me that the Sundance Institute hasn't done more to spotlight the film as a success story that
began under their program (yet another one of my nonproductive tangents).
Pre-order Down in the Valley DVD
|Sept 5, 2006
EN at Deauville, New Yorker Festival, Illusionist weekend
EN and director Neil Burger were present at the Deauville Film Festival where
The Illusionist opened the festival. Thanks so much to everyone
who emailed me about it. Hopefully, I'll get my act together a little later in the day with
all the news (it was hectic at work up through Fri afternoon and this labor day weekend, I was away
from the computer).
EN will be a part of this year's New Yorker Festival. He will be one of the participants on a panel
Fiction into Film (Theories of Adaptation) at along with
Michael Cunningham, Jhumpa Lahiri, Mira Nair, Sarah
Polley, and Liev Schreiber and Deborah
Treisman (moderator) on Saturday, October 7 in NYC. Tickets are $25 and they go on sale THIS
THURSDAY Sept 7 at 12 noon EST through Ticketmaster.
Saturday schedule.Tickets will go
fast and $25 is a very reasonable amount to be able to see EN in person, much less listen to him speak.
In EN's bio for the panel, the fact that he is currently adapting the novel Motherless
Brooklyn into a screenplay is listed above anything else. If you are able to go to this talk, you'll probably
get a chance to hear EN talk in detail about this project to an extent that we have not heard anywhere else
(possibly the challenges of changing the setting from modern times to the 1950s). EN was part of a panel about
acting called "The Method" in the 2004 New Yorker Festival. Unfortunately, I won't be able to attend this
one either, but I think that you should definitely try to go if you can. [Thanks to anonymous for the info!!!]
According to the AP, The Illusionist had another good weekend, making it
to Number 5 at the box office
this weekend with an estimated $8 million.
Last updated on Thursday, April 17, 2008
Background from Keeping the Faith official website
If you have new information on Edward Norton (and you can provide a
verifiable and reputable source), please email me-
Note: Articles and images have been posted without permission for noncommercial and nonprofit use
with no intention of copyright infringement. The purpose of this reprinting is to disseminate correct information about the
actors, films, and studios. I have included author names and links to sources whenever possible.