Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Courting Sandra

Peter Stebbings, the director of Defendor, recently did an interview with Westender where he talked about how Sandra finally agreed to take the role in the movie after turning it down twice:

Peter Stebbings and Sandra Oh on the set of Defendor.

The film was shot in just 20 days, for about three million dollars — a shoestring budget compared to Hollywood fare. Remarkably, Defendor is visually impressive, far exceeding the expectations that usually greet a low-budget Canadian feature. It’s an unusual achievement for a first-time director, but Stebbings stopped at nothing to ensure his film would be a success. That included courting his high-profile actors himself.

“Sandra Oh [who plays Arthur’s therapist] turned me down twice,” Stebbings recalls, laughing. “I sent it to her manager; she turned it down. I brought it up again; she turned it down. Finally, I sort of wrote her a personal letter and offered to sweeten the pot with a handbag of her choice, because I’d read somewhere that she liked handbags, and I think all that did was make her giggle and make her manager giggle, but it kept the dialogue open, so I gave her a more comprehensive overview of how I would treat those scenes. She’s a busy girl at Grey’s Anatomy; she came up on the weekend and flew out on Sunday night. We shot all those scenes in two days.”

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