Question: I’d like to ask about a scene in Angie when Jules Massenet’s Thais plays in the background. I’m really interested in why did you chose this piece to be played there. Also, was this an existing recording or did Jerry Goldsmith conduct it for the movie? – George
Martha: In the script Noel (Stephen Rea) takes Angie (Geena Davis) to the ballet and she loves it. I wanted a short, stand alone “Pas de Trois” with two men mirroring Angie’s two boyfriends, and I wanted it to be an athletic, sexual dance that might appeal to movie goers who know as little about ballet as Angie does. An opera friend recommended the Meditation from Thais, a beautiful and well known piece in it’s own right and very danceable. I then approached ballet choreographer Michael Smuin, from San Francisco, and Susan Jaffe who was a star at ABT in New York. Susan and her husband, conductor, Paul Connelly, loved the idea and her dance partners Jeremy Collins (ABT) and Robert Conn (Toronto formerly ABT) took on the ballet. Paul conducted and recorded The Meditation specifically for our ballet. Then the three dancers flew out to LA for a short rehearsed with Michael Smuin before we shot the entire sequence at Royce Hall at UCLA in one day. It was an inspirational experience for me as the creation of such a stylized piece of art allowed me to express my themes imaginatively but also demands very precise work. The most amazing part of it for me was the commitment the dancers make to the work and the number of times they fall in rehearsal. Under all that beauty in the film are a number of black and blue marks! I had to be careful and shoot as few takes as possible as usually dancers don’t have to dance their performance over and over again. I loved the vigor of the work so much that I put in the sound of the toe shoes hitting and squeaking on the floor to bring home the humanness of the effort. The entire ballet was included on the Special Edition Laser disc with commentary, but for some reason the dance is not on the DVD. Letters to the company might inspire them to re-release the Laser version with it’s extra material on DVD.
As for Jerry Goldsmith all this was before he came on the picture. He was a wonderful composer and working with him was a whole other story.
Question: I loved the house that was used in the Tribute movie (the best of the four Lifetime movies). Where did you film the movie and what can you tell me about the house? — Nancy
Martha: The house we used for the exterior of the house in Tribute is one of the finest examples of Gothic Victorian Architecture in the US. It has always belonged to a family that lives south of New Orleans and they are actively restoring the house now. An interesting note, they had only had one other movie shoot there before and it was just several months earlier also starring Brittany Murphy! Most of the interior of the house was shot in another beautiful home in New Orleans belonging to actress Jennifer Coolidge (another coincidence). They were well along with their restoration.
Question: WHY WASN’T JULIA STILES IN THE SECOND ONE. SHE WAS GREAT. THE NEW PAGE IS’NT GOOD ENOUGH. YOU COULD TELL ATTRACTION BETWEEN EDWARD AND HER IS’NT FOR REAL, HE HARDLY COULD LOOK INTO HER EYES. PLEASE MAKE A THIRD ONE WITH JULIA STILES. – Betty
Martha: Many fans have asked me about the sequel to THE PRINCE AND ME. The fact is that I had nothing to do with the sequel and neither did Paramount, the co-financier with Lions Gate. The sequel was made by the original Production company Sobini and they are responsible for the content and casting of that film. Luke was attached due to a multi-picture deal he made on the first film. Personally I disagree with the story line and the message of the second film as it contradicts the empowering message of the first film. A true sequel in line with the original film would be a great idea!
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