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The Hoax in our magazines


Richard Gere • Alfred Molina • Marcia Gay Harden
DIRECTOR: Lasse Hallström

Richard Gere as hoxer Clifford Irving THE CONCEPT:
The true story of how, in 1971, Clifford Irving (Gere) convinced his publisher McGraw-Hill that he had permission from the reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes to write Hughes’ memoirs, becoming one of the most audacious and outrageous hoaxes every perpetrated on the media and the American public.

U.S. RELEASE: April 6 2007, Nationwide • Rated: R


“I thought it was very surprising that no one had made this film. I immediately felt this was something I wanted to do because it was the true story of this man – such an astounding story – and it was written in a tone that had the dramatic and the comedic. Bill Wheeler’s writing was so well-observed of human behavior, you really heard these voices. He writes the way people speak.”

“I thought that it was really interesting for me, as an actor, to play someone who’s lying all the time. And he did it because it was fun. I don’t think that he thought he was hurting anyone. I think that he really felt like every step along the way he figured he was going to get caught, and he’d give the money back. It was a time when people did things just to shake it up. I believe Clifford thought of this as a Happening, as a kind of an art object, an expression. At the same time, I think it was fueled by a lot of frustration and maybe anger on his side that he was not getting the kind of attention that he thought he deserved as a writer.”

“What people will risk is shocking, what people will sacrifice for a moment of glory is fascinating to me. And the character of Edith is so colorful; I thought it would be kind of a far step away for me to try to enter her. That’s always exciting to do as an actor.”

“I haven’t met Clifford Irving yet. We didn’t really avoid him, but I never really encouraged a meeting, because I was nervous, and I think Richard was too, about being taken in some odd direction we didn’t want to go.”

“I think Edith is such a sad character because she wants so much for her husband just to love her, to admire her painting, to commit to her, and he is unable to do that. In every way he is a cheater and yet, in every way she loves him so much.”

“Clifford is obviously a highly manipulative person, and I had a good sense of what I wanted to do with the role. I’d done enough research. I don’t think this movie is pretending to be a documentary on him. Almost everything was taken from notes that he had given the producer when he was developing the script. He was very contradictory about many things that he said. He invented almost everything as he went along, and continues to I’m sure.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

Images above © Miramax Films
Feature © 2007 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #682, May 2007 cover

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