Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Author Of Sideways Says "Screw You" To Sandra Oh

A lil' bit of controversy...

The cast of Sideways and author Rex Pickett (on the far right)
at the premiere of the movie in Los Angeles, 2004.

When books are adapted into films, it's not uncommon to change plots, characters and other details. The movie Sideways - in which Sandra Oh had a supporting role - was based on a book by author Rex Pickett, and as with most adaptations, the novel Sideways and the film version are different. This review of the book lists some of those differences.

It turns out that Rex Pickett is rather bothered by the change made to Sandra's character Stephanie, and he holds Sandra personally responsible for that. (FYI: In the book, Sandra's character is called Terra who is described as a "petite blonde" and who doesn't have a daughter. )

Pickett has now written a sequel to Sideways which he is currently promoting, and in an interview with Palate Press he talks about how he has written Sandra's character out of the new book completely to make sure that Sandra doesn't appear in the sequel, should it ever get made:

Maya and Terra, the women from Sideways who date Miles and Jack, were based on real women in Santa Barbara County. But in Vertical, Maya appears only briefly, and Terra is out of the story completely, having moved to Reno to become a lap dancer.

Pickett didn’t want to talk about the real Maya, but was happy to tell the story of his revenge against Terra.

“[Actress] Sandra Oh made a lot of changes to my script. She boasted about it on NPR[’s Fresh Air (listen to the interview here)],” Pickett said. “She changed the name of the character to ‘Stephanie.’ She changed her vehicle to a motorcycle. She added the mixed-race kid. I hate that bowling alley scene in the movie. I leave every time I see it.”

“[Director] Alexander [Payne] had just married Sandra Oh. He was in love with her. Alexander would never have taken those suggestions from anybody else. Then they had a bitter divorce, and she got half the money he made from Sideways, which was a lot of money because Alexander got points from the gross worldwide. But when she got the role on Grey’s Anatomy, that was afterward and she didn’t have to share that money.”

By writing her character out of Vertical, Pickett ensured that Payne won’t have to work with Oh again if he makes the sequel.

“Lap dancing, that’s a little wave to Alexander,” Pickett said. “I’m not happy that she changed the role. So it’s ‘screw you.’”

Yikes, dude!


Anonymous said...

WOW What a jerk. I won't go to see any of his movies even if I'm paid to do it.
If there are changes in a movie, then blame the person who accepts the changes, not an actress who is only fighting to play a good role.
And who is he to talk about someone else's marriage? Very tasteless.
A story always have at least two points of view.
And that's the way divorces work, if he doesn't like it, then he should criticize the laws, not a person who didn't make them.
He wanted to make Sandra look bad but the one who looses many many many points talking this way is him. And it's not even because of what he says, everyone has the right to give their opinions, it's the way he talks, it's disgusting.
He must be a really bad writer if he doesn't even know how to express himself without saying things like "screw" someone.
Guess someone is looking for free publicity for his work and can not have it without naming the real star: Sandra.

Anonymous said...

Well said!! I agree with everything you said.

Becky said...

Surely he sold his rights when they made the film, so technically his view means nothing. He sold his story to the film company and they can make any changes they want. He's taking it too personally, and is being very unproffesional.

Blaming one actress is ridiculous, and the remarks about her marriage and divorce are uncalled for. He sounds like a right arse.

Sandra's amazing, he should have been glad to have her in his film.


Emma said...

Well, if I needed a reason not to see the sequel or to read his book, he just gave me one.

Anonymous said...

The writer must be friends with the Ex-husband. To say he didn't like Sandra Oh's choices about the role a professional problem. The fact that the writer brought up Sandra Oh's divorce settlement shows a personal issue.

Anonymous said...

One of the most appalling interviews I've ever read. Clearly, he has no artistic integrity if he bases his next book around displeasure at artistic choices made for a movie, and certainly no class. Sandra was the highlight of an overrated movie. By writing her out, he pretty much guaranteed no sequel will be made.

At least Sandra has the last laugh in the form of respect and admiration from her peers and the public for her intelligence, skill and class.

Anonymous said...

Wow what a prat. I enjoyed sideways the film but have never read the book. I liked Sandra Oh's character. Oh well he's losing out.

Anonymous said...

Who would watch the sequel without Sandra anyways? The only reason I watched some of Sideways was because of her, and I still couldnt get through the entire movie because I found it so dull.

Pickett is pathetic. Like another commenter said, the only way he could garner publicity for himself was to use Sandra's name. If it wasn't that affiliation, no one would give a damn what he has to say.

Anonymous said...

That Pickett sounds like a LOSER - I doubt Payne would make a sequel anyways. Big deal if the movie is different to the book - it's called an adaptation.

Anonymous said...

what a douche

Anonymous said...

Bitch please,Sandra is freaking amazing.

Anonymous said...

I love the movie and have also read the book. It is perhaps the only time I have felt that a movie was better than the book. The movie had heart and depth and the dialogue and plot were more believable. By contrast, I found the characters in the book hard to like ... all of them. The men were shallow jerks and the women were trashy. The memorable "Life of Wine" soliloquy by Maya in the movie would NEVER be uttered by Maya in the book. I was hoping for a movie sequel, but have little desire to read the book's second installment.

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