|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.’”