Salman Rushdie

  • Aired:  04/23/13
  •  | Views: 16,493

Salman Rushdie recalls the fierce, behind-the-scenes negotiations that brought "Midnight's Children" to the big screen after 30 years. (6:31)

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

>> Jon: HEY, WELCOME BACK.

MY GUEST TONIGHT, ACCLAIMED

AUTHOR HE WROTE THE

SCREENPLAY FOR THE NEW MOVIE

MIDNIGHT CHILDREN BASED ON

HIS BEST SELLING NOVEL.

>> LIKE A WOMAN.

>> YOU DO GOD KNOWS WHAT

FIGHTING TERRIBLE WOMEN.

YOU EXPECT US TO BE LIKE

THEM.

LISTEN, HUSBAND OR NO

HUSBAND, I AM NOT THAT TYPE.

>> Jon: WE'VE ALL BEEN THERE.

PLEASE WELCOME BACK TO THE

PROGRAM SALMAN RUSHDIE.

(APPLAUSE)

HOW ARE YOU?

I WILL TELL YOU WHAT,

CONGRATULATIONS.

THIS IS AN AMBITIOUS,

AMBITIOUS FILM.

YOU WROTE MIDNIGHT'S

CHILDREN, AN INCREDIBLE

NOVEL.

HAD YOU ALWAYS, WHEN YOU

WROTE IT, DID YOU THINK TO

YOURSELF, OH THIS WOULD BE A

NICE MOVIE.

>> NO, YOU KNOW WHAT, BACK

THEN I WAS JUST A KID.

NOBODY KNEW WHO I WASMENT I

WAS JUST GRATEFUL TO GET

PUBLISHED.

AND FOR A FEW PEOPLE WHO

WERE NOT RELATED TO ME TO

BUY COPIES OF IT.

THE IDEA THAT IT WOULD TURN

INTO THIS HUGE THING, YOU

KNOW, BIG BEST-SELLER, ET

CETERA, ET CETERA, WINNING

PRIZES AND EVENTUALLY-- IT

TOOK 30 YEARS TO MAKE THE

FILM.

>> Jon: THAT IS ABOUT RIGHT,

HOLLYWOOD YEAR, 30 YEARS.

NOW YOU WENT-- WHEN THEY

CAME TO YOU, DID SOMEONE

COME TO YOU AND SAY WE WOULD

LIKE TO TAKE THIS FILM, AND

WE WOULD -- AND FOR THOSE OF

YOU WHO DON'T KNOW THE STORY

IT IS A BOY IN A BOAT WITH A

TIGER AND-- DO I HAVE THIS

RIGHT?

>> NO, THAT'S ANOTHER ONE.

>> Jon: THAT SAY DIFFERENT

ONE.

ANYWAY HE WINS A GAME SHOW

WORTH A MILLION DOLLARS--

(LAUGHTER)

AND --

>> THAT IS ALSO NOT RIGHT.

>> Jon: YOU KNOW, I AM

AFRAID I WILL HAVE TO LOOK

AT MY NOTES.

>> WOULD YOU LIKE ME TO HELP

YOU OUT.

>> Jon: PLEASE T SAY

BEAUTIFUL STORY ABOUT THE

REFLECTION OF SORT OF THE

BIRTH OF INDIA.

>> YEAH, IT'S ABOUT INDIA

DOS SOMETHING WHICH AMERICA

DID A LITTLE EARLIER WHICH

IS KICKING BRITISH OUT.

>> Jon: SURE.

WE ALL GET THERE AT SOME

POINT, EXCEPT CANADA.

>> BUT FOR THE MOST PART,

IT'S LIKE THE INDIA WE MAKE

OF AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE.

BUT IT'S ABOUT THESE BOYS

BORN AT THAT MOMENT.

AND IT IS ABOUT THAT

GENERATION.

AND THESE BOYS GET SWAPPED

AT BIRTH BY A SORT

OF-- MISLEAD MIDWIFE AND

THEY GET, THEY SORT OF HAVE

EACH OTHER'S LIFE.

THE RICH ONE HAS THE POOR

LIFE AND THE POOR ONE HAS

THE RICH LIFE.

AND THEN THEY ODDLY SORT OF

CONFRONT EACH OTHER AT THE

END.

>> Jon: IT IS SO MUCH

TOO-- THEY SYMBOLIZE NOT

JUST THE BIRTH OF INDIA BUT

ALSO ITS PAINFUL PARTITIONS,

THE WARS THAT ARE FOUGHT.

THERE IS AN AWFUL LOT OF

HISTORICAL CONTEXT TO IT.

>> FORTUNATELY, YOU KNOW, I

MEAN YEAH, BUT I DIDN'T WANT

TO -- DIDON'T THINK ANYBODY

NEEDS TO STUDY BEFORE THEY

SEE THE FILM.

BECAUSE REALLY IT IS

ABOUT-- .

>> Jon: BY THE WAY THAT IS A

SMART PITCH.

>> JUST SAYING, IT'S

OKAYMENT WE TELL YOU WHAT

YOU NEED TO KNOW.

>> Jon: SERIOUSLY, JUST TELL

THEM IT IS A TIG NEVER A

BOAT, THEY'LL GO, THEY'LL

GO.

>> YES.

BUT THEY SAW THAT ONE.

>> Jon: THEY PROBABLY DID

SEE THAT ONE.

TYPICALLY WHEN THEY DO THAT,

THEY WILL COME TO YOU AND

SAY WE WOULD LIKE TO BUY

THIS STORY.

>> YEAH.

>> Jon: AND REMOVE IT FROM

YOUR CONTROL.

>> YEAH.

>> Jon: INJURE RESPONSE TO

THAT.

>> WELL, THAT ISN'T WHAT

HAPPENED.

AS IT HAPPENS, THE FILM

DIRECTOR AND I HAVE KNOWN

EACH OTHER.

AND SHE-- I WAS THERE ON

BOOK TOUR.

WE HAD DINNER ONE NIGHT AND

IN THE MIDDLE OF IT, JUST

APP RO PROCEED OF NOTHING

SAID WHO HAS THE RIGHTS

OF-- WND AND I HAD SAID AS

IT HAPPENS I DO.

AND SHE SAID CAN I MAKE A

MOVIE OF IT AND I SAID OKAY,

AND THAT WAS THE DEAL.

>> Jon: REALLY?

JUST IN THE MIDDLE OF LIKE

WOW THIS IS A DELICIOUS

RISOTTO, BY THE WAY.

>> YES.

>> Jon: AND JUST THREW IT

OUT THERE.

>> YEAH, AND THEN WE HAD A

FIERCE NEGOTIATION AND I

SOLD HER THE OPTION FOR $1.

>> Jon: I'M GOING TO TELL

YOU SOMETHING, I DON'T KNOW

HOW LONG YOU HAVE BEEN IN

THIS BUSINESS YOU I KNOW

SOME GOOD JEWISH AGENTS.

>> DO YOU FEEL THAT A DOLLAR

WAS NOT ENOUGH?

>> Jon: I FEEL THAT A

DOLLAR-- I BELIEVE IN THE

BUSINESS WE REFER TO THAT AS

PUT KISS.

>> WELL, THEY DID HAVE THE

RIGHTS TO RENEW THE OPTION

FOR A FURTHER DOLLAR.

>> Jon: SO YOU REALLY DROVE

THAT ONE HOME, DID YOU?

>> YEAH.

>> Jon: AFTER YOU LIQUORED

HER UP YOU THOUGHT I WILL

REALLY NAIL THIS.

>> BUT YOU HAVE TO TAKE THE

AGENTS COMMISSION OFF THAT

TAXES OFF THAT.

>> Jon: HERE IS WHAT I LOVE

ABOUT THIS, WOULD IT ALLOWED

YOU TO DO WAS TO RETAIN

CREATIVE CONTROL.

>> ABSOLUTELY.

>> Jon: WHICH IS EVERYTHING.

>> WHICH IS EVERYTHING.

THAT WAS THE POINT, REALLY.

WE ENDED UP-- DAVID HAMILTON

WHO PRODUCED IT THE DIRECTOR

AND ME, THREE OF US, WE HAD

TO AGREE.

THAT WAS IT.

>> Jon: SO THIS DID GO THE

ENDIE ROUTE.

>> YEAH.

>> Jon: YOU GUYS GOT THE

MONEY, YOU WENT TO DO THIS.

>> YES.

WE WENT OUT AND THEY

BORROWED AND STOLE THE MONEY

BECAUSE WE DIDN'T-- WELL,

WITH THE EMPHASIS ON STOLE.

>> Jon: I AGREE, THAT'S

FINE.

I'VE BEEN INVOLVED IN THE

MOVIE BUSINESS BEFORE.

>> YES, EXACTLY.

AND WE EVENTUALLY PUT

TOGETHER JUST ABOUT ENOUGH

MONEY.

WE HAD, IT WAS THE MOST

DEMANDING SHOOT.

WE HAD 65 DIFFERENT

LOCATIONS IN 70 SHOOTING

DAYS.

>> Jon: THAT'S INCREDIBLE.

>> SO IT WAS MEANT TO BE.

WE ARE VERY LUCKY THAT WE

HAD THE CAST AND CREW THAT

REALLY PITCHED IN.

NOBODY WAS-- RZ.

>> Jon: WHERE DID YOU FILM.

>> IN A MIXTURE OF INDIA AND

VEY LANKA.

>> Jon: THE THING TOO IS THE

FILM STRUCTURE IS SO SO FIST

KATED AN DEVELOPED THAT THEY

CAN DO SOMETHING LIKE THAT,

A PROJECT OF THAT MAGNITUDE

AND --

>> WELL, YOU KNOW, I ALWAYS

THOUGHT IT WAS UNFAIR ON THE

BOMBAY FILM INDUSTRY TO CALL

IT BALI DOES WOOD BECAUSE IT

IS ACTUALLY BIGGER THAN

HOLLYWOOD.

HOLLYWOOD SHOULD BE CALLED

LIKE BOMBAY.

>> Jon: THEY'RE GOING GO FOR

THAT BOMBAY THEY'RE GOING TO

GO FOR.

WELL, THE RESULT IS

PHENOMENAL.

AND I URGE PEOPLE TO GO SEE

IT.

MIDNIGHT'S CHILDREN.

IT OPENS IN SELECT CITIES ON

FRIDAY.

AND IT'S AN INCREDIBLE WORK.

CONGRATULATIONS.

>> THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

>> Jon: YOUNG MAN.

SALMAN RUSHDIE, EVERYONE.

(APPLAUSE)

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