We Bought A Zoo – Chicago Sun Times

‘Zoo’ Director Looks For Magic

Director-screenwriter Cameron Crowe is the man who gave the world the lines “Show me the money” and “You complete me.”

Those are in his 1996 movie “Jerry Maguire.”

Now Crowe hopes to give the world another trademark sentence in his latest film, “We Bought a Zoo.”

“All it takes is 20 seconds of insane courage, and I promise you that something great will occur,” says Matt Damon, as a guy who loses his wife and then buys a ramshackle house with a zoo attached to it.

Says Crowe, “I like the way that line sounded in my head. It’s very truthful. The truth is I love it when there’s a line in any movie that you can talk about later. I think that’s giving an audience a treat.”

It’s just that he doesn’t set out to create those lines.

“If you overthink them they will never happen,” he says. “I just look at something that stands out — like the bridge in a song.”

Making a movie full of zoo animals had its own challenges. “It’s not easy to put Matt Damon that close to a giant bear. He was in a car with the bear attacking the window.

“It brought up big life questions such as, ‘Is shatterproof glass really that shatterproof?’ And how would you know until it shattered?”

Which creature was the hardest to work with? Crowe says, laughing, “We had a tiny little beagle dog who was the hardest. When we said action, he took off running — and never stopped.”

Now that his days amongst the animal kingdom are over, Crowe has returned to the typewriter.

“It’s easy to write,” he says. “It’s hard to rewrite. Writing is part of exploring. But you gotta do the rewriting, because the magic happens between version two and three.”

He’s planning to work more now. “I’m doing a comedy in the spring that I’ll direct. It’s a guy story. It’s a girl story. I can’t tell you the middle part of it, but I did that rewrite and found the magic.”

Courtesy of the Chicago Sun Times – Cindy Pearlman – January 4, 2012