Marc Platt on a few of his favorite productions

February 28, 2010

AS A STUDIO EXECUTIVE:

" Philadelphia" ( Jonathan Demme's movie starring Tom Hanks as a lawyer dying of AIDS): "It was based in part on an idea that I came up with. I did it with the group that had done "The Silence of the Lambs," but it was a very risky undertaking.…There were distribution challenges in many parts of the world, where its subject matter was taboo. It was a landmark not just because of the Oscars for Tom Hanks and Bruce Springsteen. It also was a great entertainment that changed the way people viewed a segment of the population. It put a face on a disease that at the time was still a dark secret kept from many people. It changed so many lives."

AS A FILM PRODUCER:

"Legally Blonde" ( Reese Witherspoon as a Beverly Hills party girl who conquers Harvard Law School) and "Rachel Getting Married" ( Anne Hathaway as a drug addict on a pass from rehab to attend her sister's wedding): " 'Legally Blonde' was such a close collaboration with Reese Witherspoon, [who created] a character who became and remains a role model, and the opposite side of that is 'Rachel Getting Married,' which is a smaller, art house movie, but contains such an honest portrayal of a different sort of character. In both cases there was a chance to participate in revelatory performances of range and power by actors people knew of but didn't really know."

AS A STAGE PRODUCER:

"Wicked" (The Wicked Witch of the West redrawn as a fighter for justice): "No one can ever predict a phenomenon, When I created 'Wicked,' I thought it was a really wonderful musical entertainment and would be successful on some level, though the theater is harder to predict than anything else. But in addition to entertaining people ... 'Wicked' provokes thinking and emotion that people carry with them out of the theater, causing them to re-examine what is true and what is not true, what they think about their lives and the world we all live in."

AS A TV PRODUCER:

"Empire Falls" (A four-hour adaptation of Richard Russo's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about a waning New England town): "That was a personal favorite because Paul Newman brought it to me, and he was a personal hero of mine as an actor and a human being. He was a man who not only talked the talk but also walked the walk, as a person, and to have the opportunity to produce something challenging and to assemble actors like Ed Harris and Aidan Quinn and Philip Seymour Hoffman for him - and it was, sadly, the last thing he ever acted in - will always be a memorable experience for me, and I'll always be fiercely proud of that."

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