Dont Look for Robin Williams to Enter the Political Arena Anytime Soon: Like Arnold [Schwarzenegger]? Im just using my movies [to get my point across]. But the idea of running? Oh, not for me, said Williams. Like my character, I believe I serve a better purpose just being able to make fun of everything. In many comics, the moment you chose a side even though people say, Youre a Democrat! Yes, Ive tried for a while and whats left of the Democratic party... And thats what Barry talked about. This is not about one party or another. Its about how the whole system sucks. Right now you have special interests running a lot of politics because it cost $200 million to run for most offices. For President definitely that much, and even for Governor it gets in the hundreds of millions just to run the ads. The ads are usually like, He slept with a chicken. Did the chicken die? Its not that bad?
Barry Levinson on Keeping Robin Williams in Control: Williams joked that Levinson was able to keep him in line through medication but Levinson claims it wasnt all that difficult. Its relatively simple. There is a script and as Ive always said, This is what is written, and if we can improve upon something at any given time well do that. A lot of times if I think that I have the take that I need, then sometimes well just try something else. Or sometimes Ill say to him, Did you ever think about blah, blah? And then well kick something around and do another take and something else may happen. And if its better and if its more interesting, great. If not, we can just move on.
The good thing about Robin is he has enough discipline as an actor to know where the boundaries are. Its not like hes just bouncing off the walls and whatever. He does know where we have to get to and what we have to accomplish. And if we can improve on those moments well do it, even though we didnt have a lot of time for this movie. It was only shot in 42 days and we didnt have a lot of time and it was only shot for $20 million. So, there wasnt a lot of time hanging around and doing that. We had to constantly keep moving and still we were able to, and Robin was able to, find things that would enhance the piece.
Researching Politics and the 92 Debate: Director Levinson admits to watching the 92 Presidential debate between Bill Clinton, George Bush, and Ross Perot but not really for its actual content. I watched it initially only for the fact we were going to have a three person debate with an Independent. I wanted to see how they laid out their video cameras because we wanted to have coverage that would be consistent to what was done, and not suddenly invent some different way of doing it. That would have been out of character for the piece. So, I was just looking at it for the credibility of it all. What was interesting in that particular debate was how many times they would begin to talk this one says it and then this one says it. There were interruptions; there were a number of things that went on. It was a much livelier debate than whats taken place in 2000 and 2004, certainly. My reason was just a logistical issue in terms of how we were going to deal with the cameras, etc.