Jerry Maguire – AOL WGA Chat

Hanging Out with Cameron Crowe: AOL Chat

Awards Moderator: Everyone, I’d like to introduce Cameron Crowe, writer and director of “Jerry Maguire.”

Awards Moderator: Cameron, how were you led to Rene Zellweiger?

CAMERON CROWE: She had instant chemistry with Tom Cruise the second she entered the room and the only question was whether that would translate to the screen. It most certainly did, in a big way!

Awards Moderator: Did the studio folks want you to cast a “name” actress instead?

CAMERON CROWE: I think they were just hopeful it would all work out. They saw within the first week that it was all working out… and they felt a wave of happiness…Not that their feelings really mattered that much anyway (Laughs).

Awards Moderator: Do you write with specific actors in mind?

CAMERON CROWE: It is always the character first, then a quest to find actors who believe in the characters as much as I do. Tom and all the actors really loved their characters and it shows. I feel very good about that.

Awards Moderator: What’s the difference between your life during “Singles” and your life during “Jerry Maguire?”

CAMERON CROWE: “Singles”… I was working in Seattle, which is where I live, so it was a smaller and homier experience. “Jerry Maguire” is more of a big city movie. I adapted to L.A. but I prefer Seattle much more.

Awards Moderator: What sort of stories do you like best?

CAMERON CROWE: I love stories that creep up on you and let you forget that you are watching a movie or video. They have a feeling that carries you away like you have been somewhere, outside of your home or the theater.

Lynne: So chemistry is an important part of getting what you write to the screen, and if you know who you want to play the part.

Awards Moderator: So personal stories, then.

CAMERON CROWE: Personal stuff is always best….I like to feel that someone is a little bit embarrassed about what they have written.

Lynne: How do you know how long something has to be ?

CAMERON CROWE: When you watch it for the first time, you get a real feeling.

Arctic Frost Do you find the characters evolve with the actors, and if they do, do they change much?

CAMERON CROWE: They always change and that is part of the adventure. Things get more serious … or they get funnier. It is all part of the ride that the actor takes you on.

Arctic Frost Oh how neat, and terrifying:)


Awards Moderator: I heard that you and Tom Cruise went to ask Billy Wilder to be in the film. How was it spending time with Wilder?

CAMERON CROWE: He is my absolute hero! The good news is I was in the room with Tom Cruise and Billy Wilder. The bad news is I don’t know if Wilder ever really looked at me. I realized after a few minutes that Billy Wilder was not going to act in my movie, but was looking to probably sign Tom Cruise for his next film.

Awards Moderator: Who are some of your other heroes?

CAMERON CROWE: James Brooks, who produced “Jerry Maguire”….Woody Allen…..

Awards Moderator: And some heroes outside of the film industry?

CAMERON CROWE: My parents really were very supportive …. my mom was a teacher who always took me to R-rated movies. She said they were much closer to real life and that the actors don’t make those words up, a writer wrote them.

Joyous©: Is Tom [Cruise] easy to work with? As nice off-screen as on?

CAMERON CROWE: It’s the best experience you could ever have directing an actor.

Awards Moderator: Okay, last question from Toni.

Toni: Did you ever dream that the phrase”show me the money” would take off the way it has?

CAMERON CROWE: Wildest dreams would be too optimistic a phrase. I am still in shock. I hope they realize that “show me the money” is really….show me respect and love…..along with the money. [Chuckles] But…..whatever. I am flattered.

Awards Moderator: Great, thanks so much for stopping by Cameron. Good luck with the Oscars.

CAMERON CROWE: Thank you!!!! This was great fun.

Courtesy of America Online, Inc. – April 6, 1997