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People in Film | Kevin MacDonald
Posted December 14, 2010 to photo album "People in Film | Kevin MacDonald"
The Eagle director Kevin MacDonald, whether doing historical epics or Oscar-winning documentaries, has a keen sense of what is real.
Kevin Macdonald | Finding Solutions to Real Problems
Macdonald's next film, State of Play, was terse, topical thriller that generated drama both on and off screen. For his first Hollywood picture, Macdonald adapted the six-hour BBC mini-series about political corruption set within the newspaper industry — Macdonald's boyhood interest. "I thought the crisis in newspapers was something to be explored," Macdonald told The Guardian. "I love All the President’s Men and, in fact, all films about journalism. I thought we could make the last film about newspapers before they die.” Brad Pitt was set for the lead role.... until two weeks before shooting, when, citing script disagreements, he dropped out. Told Macdonald to The Guardian, "A week before shooting, I was left with this $2 million set of a newspaper room; it was dressed and ready to go. I was thinking it was all going to be knocked down unless I could find another actor.” That actor arrived in the form of Russell Crowe, who, paunchy and unshaven, was a far more believable version of Macdonald’s protagonist, whom he described to The Guardian as a "slightly closed-off, schlumpy kind of person." The film was generally well-received, although it became something of a poster child for the commercial challenges of the wide-release adult drama in today’s marketplace. Wrote J. Hoberman of the Village Voice, “State of Play is a deeply nostalgic movie. During the Depression, it might have been played for screwball comedy; 60-something years ago, it could have served as the basis for a private-eye story. Its heart, however, is in the '70s—the days when political conspiracy was hot stuff, investigative reporters strode the earth like so many grubby colossi, a journalist's greatest allegiance was to follow the story, and the promise of a shared byline was a bond stronger than sex.”