THE MAKING OF THE ATLAS SHRUGGED TV MINISERIES
A fun loving, in-depth discussion from PRODOS.COM Internet Radio on the making of the Atlas Shrugged TV miniseries with: Academy Award winning producer, Albert Ruddy. Screenwriter, Susan Black. Australian movie expert, Bill Collins.
PRODOS: Back around 1982 or so, I read Ayn Rand's novel, The Fountainhead. More than six months passed until I picked up and read her grandest, most epic, philosophical thriller - as many would call it - Atlas Shrugged.
I couldn't imagine, at the time, anything could ever be grander than The Fountainhead; and that was the book which for me and many thousands of others "changed my life". It's a bit of a cliché, but it is actually, literally true for many of us around the world.
No, I couldn't imagine anything grander than The Fountainhead, but, of course, Ayn Rand could imagine it and she created it! I've now read Atlas Shrugged at least six times, and I always keep some spare copies about to hand them out to any poor, hapless victims who indicate any kind of flicker of interest in philosophy or in great literature.
And amongst Ayn Rand's fans - and I certainly number myself amongst one of her keenest fans - the most often asked question when Dr. Leonard Peikoff (Ayn Rand's intellectual and legal heir) hears when he gives any sort of talk on Ayn Rand's ideas, is: "When will there be a movie made of Atlas Shrugged?"
And it had gotten to the point, in fact, where no after-the-lecture question period could ever be complete without that question being asked. And, of course, Dr. Peikoff apologetically saying: "Well, there was something happening but . . . "
Well, of course, that question has now stopped being asked because the Atlas Shrugged TV miniseries is now in production! Al Ruddy, the Oscar-winning producer of The Godfather and many, many other movies of the big screen and television, is at this very moment creating history: creating Atlas Shrugged.
And he's on line now, from his office in Hollywood. A quiet-spoken, humble, sensitive New Age man. Welcome, Al Ruddy!!
AL RUDDY: (laughing) Well, thank you! I'm delighted to be here. I'm not sure the description is that accurate but I certainly have enthusiasm.
I'm only curious about one thing, if I may. You've read this book six times? How old are you?
PRODOS: How old am I?
AL RUDDY: I mean, to have read this book six times - it must have taken you years to read this book six times! (Laughter from both) You're obviously in a hospital at the moment.
PRODOS: (laughing) Yeah, I'm in a hospital recovering, and I'm reading Mickey Mouse comics just to recover!
Let me also introduce the woman who has probably the most daunting task of all. The scriptwriter for the Atlas Shrugged TV miniseries: Susan Black. Hi Susan!
SUE BLACK: Hi!
PRODOS: Thanks for joining us. It's a great pleasure.
And, of course, this segment couldn't be complete. We couldn't really talk about movies in any serious way without also having on line, Australia's best loved, and most expert movie presenter and reviewer, online from his office in Sydney: Bill Collins! Hi Bill!
BILL COLLINS: Hello there, Prodos. It's nice to be able to talk to Mr. Ruddy and Sue.
PRODOS: Oh Good, OK. (joking) Well, I'll be "Mr. Prodos" in that case, if he's going to be "Mr. Ruddy." Egos are very important here. Now, Al Ruddy, let me ask you first up - You met Ayn Rand, I think, in 1975 and talked to her about the idea of a movie?
AL RUDDY: Yes, I met Ayn Rand in New York. When I called up her agent initially and told him I wanted to meet Miss Rand with the idea of acquiring the rights to the book, he said, "Al, she will meet you just out of respect for you, but she will not give these right to anybody."
I walked into the room where her agent had his office at Curtis Brown. And it was a huge room with a number of chairs. And sitting in the middle of the room, all by herself in this small loveseat, was Ayn Rand. I literally plopped down in the loveseat next to her and squeezed myself in (Prodos laughs) and she was stunned at my (forwardness) and she said (feigning Russian accent) "Dahling, what books do you read?" And I said: "Ayn, I don't read a lot of novels, but I've read your book twice, and I'm desperate to make a movie of it."
And we got along swimmingly. We literally got to the point of drawing contracts up. And then things got a little 'bizarre'. I must say that at one point , and it was one of the most insightful moments in my whole relationship with Ayn Rand, was when I said: "I think you've written a spell-binding novel - as a great love story and as a thriller." I said " I must tell you that (although I'm that keen) I am not a student of the Objectivist movement. I'm approaching this book for what it is." She said: "Dahling, I never wrote this book to be anything on Objectivism. That came later."
PRODOS: Yes, that's right!
AL RUDDY: This book stands on its own as a novel. And it's a great novel! I mean, nobody in contemporary literature has ever created a lead female character like Dagny Taggert. Nobody! It's the greatest female - I mean forget women's lib and all that nonsense - I mean this is a spectacular, brilliant, sexy - everything that a contemporary woman should embody -- she wrote, this woman, forty years ago!
PRODOS: Thanks, Al. Sue Black, I mentioned earlier about the daunting task of making this into a script. My God, how are you approaching that?
SUE BLACK: It's a sweeping novel and, of course, brilliant. And one of my favorite books. It's also a really intimate story. People see it as very sweeping. It's very intimate because it's between these people - it doesn't really matter what's happening outside of their relationship, because they're convinced that, with their minds, they can change the world. To me, that's such an exciting idea!
PRODOS: Right. That excites you personally, does it - the idea that with our minds, we can change the world? Do you believe that ideas matter to that extent?
SUE BLACK: Absolutely! Absolutely! That's why the book was so exciting to me - these amazing characters, larger than life - but so convicted that they've literally turned things around when things looked like they could not be turned around.
PRODOS: Thank you, Sue. Bill Collins, as a big fan of Ayn Rand and as the man really who, I think, single-handedly has introduced The Fountainhead movie to the Foxtel Australia sequence of movies, would you like to comment on any of the things that Al and Susan have mentioned so far?
BILL COLLINS: I would imagine it would be a very daunting subject to try to and adapt Atlas Shrugged. I'm not saying it's impossible, but how do you cope with a mini series? How many episodes are there going to be? How long will it run?
AL RUDDY: I think we will be somewhere between 5 and 6 hours, Bill.
BILL COLLINS: You couldn't be less.
AL RUDDY: Nope. I mean six hours - Look, basically, the process is: how do you abstract the essence of what Atlas Shrugged is? Obviously, you're going to lose at least two thirds of this book in doing it in six hours. So you have to be very precise and analytical. And O.K., what is the theme of Ayn Rand's book? The theme is of man's mind - to run his life. And the subplot - if you stay with that theme and that subplot, and you're abstracting those acts, you will at least get the essence of what Atlas Shrugged is. What you hope to accomplish - Our real dream is that when we get through with this miniseries, many, many people in this world will say, "God, I've got to go out and get that book and read it!" That's what we're hoping to do. I think we can do a good job in presenting it. But you will never get the value that you will get from reading the novel itself. I think it will be a very theatrical piece. It will be very exciting. It's quite sexy. I think it has a lot of commercial elements that should make it a very successful miniseries.
PRODOS: Bill Collins, are you satisfied with what Al Ruddy just said?
BILL COLLINS: Of course I am.
PRODOS: (Joking) Would you like to make any suggestions?
BILL COLLINS: The only thing I'm thinking of, and I don't want to sound depressing - is that very few people in Australia have read Atlas Shrugged. I've only encountered three people who have read it. Because its very much a novel - when was it published? 1957?
PRODOS: That'd be right.
BILL COLLINS: And it's just around like The Fountainhead is around. The Fountainhead is more accessible to the public. I think that's good - but I'm glad about this project because I think that what Al and Susan are doing will make Atlas Shrugged more accessible to the public and that's a good thing.
SUE BLACK: To me it's more timely. I don't think anything's more important at this juncture of the planet and the Millennium, than this story about using your mind to make things work well.
PRODOS: Sue, that's a marvelous point. Let's take a quick break and we'll be back in just a moment at PRODOS.COM Internet radio - bringing you fresh thinking daily.
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PRODOS: We're talking about the Atlas Shrugged TV miniseries. Al Ruddy is the man who's producing it. Al, at what stage is the production at the moment?
AL RUDDY: We have completed an extensive treatment - the whole entire outline of what the screenplay is going to be. Susan Black is now in the process of writing the screenplay. We are talking to a number of directors. We have had major 'elements' calling who all would like to be involved in this project. Major female stars - actually 'bankable' movie stars, and very important film directors. I mean, Atlas Shrugged, in effect, certainly in this country, is the last, major un-produced literary work of this century.
PRODOS: Good point!
AL RUDDY: It has sold millions of copies. And to this date, so you know, sells 400,000 hardbacks a year in the United States. I mean, at every level - there are college classes that teach Ayn Rand. I mean it's perfunctory - Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead are required reading.
PRODOS: Indeed! In fact, there's even an annual Ayn Rand essay contest which offers $5,000 U.S. dollars for first prize, $3000 for second and a $1000 third prize. And, just to back up what Al Ruddy is saying, Atlas Shrugged was voted the greatest novel of the century in an internet poll last year; the second most influential book by the Library of Congress. I think it came in second only to the Bible.
AL RUDDY: Exactly right.
PRODOS: There are Campus Clubs around America, around Australia, around Europe - even in India. There are think tanks based on Ayn Rand, there are internet forums, there are web pages, there are factions and feuds. Everything is happening. Ayn Rand is, in a sense, lighting the world on fire. Sue Black, how are you feeling about the writing so far? Would you like to give us some personal reflections on it?
SUE BLACK: It's just such an exciting opportunity, obviously. I just wish that I could have met Ayn. I'm glad that Al did because I've pulled many stories out of him. In fact, when we met …
PRODOS: (interrupting) Has that influenced your writing? These stories Al has told you about Ayn Rand?
SUE BLACK: I just loved what an individualist she was. She didn't just write about it, she actually lived it! She clearly had her own point of view about everything. I think a lot of the world misunderstood her. I think a lot of people misunderstood Atlas Shrugged. I think a lot of people kind of say, "Oh, it's about greed" and it's really not. It's so brilliantly structured: she has a love story, she has a thriller, she has a very interesting philosophy, she's got politics. It's a cornucopia of things to work with.
PRODOS: Right! Is this one of the greatest challenges you've had in writing, Sue?
SUE BLACK: Well, I tend to think - the projects that I've done tend to be difficult. But also, I really think you're drawn to what it is that you're supposed to do. And the minute I met Al and saw he had the actual - her actual copy of Atlas Shrugged with her engraving on the front of it - and I like old books, I collect old books, and I said, "Oh, my God! This is the original, this is like Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged!" And we started talking about it and I said: "I don't know why no one's ever made this movie." And we started talking about it and we both saw it in exactly the same way. And it just worked out from there.
I see it as a huge responsibility to relate, correctly, the spirit of what she was trying to say.
PRODOS: Yes, well, your name is going to go down in history, of course.
SUE BLACK: "The Atlas Girl"
PRODOS: "The Atlas Girl"! Hey, I like that! (Laughter from all)
SUE BLACK: Not a bad footnote.
PRODOS: Not a bad one. You'll be immortalized on that one!
Bill Collins, of course, you've read Atlas Shrugged. Can you tell us, in your opinion, which are the most compelling characters and events that stand out for you in Atlas?
BILL COLLINS: That'd be like looking in the ocean and trying to pick the best wave, the most exciting wave.
PRODOS: I mean, I loved Francisco as a character, and I loved Hank Rearden. They're two of my favorites. I could never quite connect with John Galt, the main character, to tell you the truth, despite my high regard for him.
AL RUDDY: Well, he's much more cerebral in the book. I mean, Hank Rearden and Francisco are much more flesh, blood and bone characters. There's something about Galt that is on a much more cerebral level.
PRODOS: Yeah, it taken me years to get used to John Galt himself, and to warm to him, in a sense.
Bill, your favorite moments and characters?
BILL COLLINS: No, I have no favorite moments and characters. I am so overwhelmed by the totality of it, you know? And I'd just like to hear what other people have to say, quite frankly. (Everyone laughs).
PRODOS: All right. Well, this is the right moment for that.
BILL COLLINS: You see, one of the problems is that I have The Fountainhead in my mind all the time because I keep on presenting it on Foxtel and quoting Ayn Rand and that arouses my enthusiasm greatly. Ayn Rand certainly did a brilliant screeplay for The Fountainhead and it's a kind of model for capturing ideas. It's like an opera without arias.
PRODOS: Yes! Good description!
AL RUDDY: I want to tell Bill that not only do I share your enthusiasm for The Fountainhead, but I graduated from the school of architecture in Southern Cal before I got into this business. When I saw that movie, I was so touched by it. I mean, forget the fact that I fell in love with Patricia Neal.
PRODOS: Oh, what a beauty!
AL RUDDY: I could imagine myself in her bedroom with my hammer fixing her fireplace/
PRODOS: (Joking) Your hammer doing what? (Everyone laughs)
AL RUDDY: But it was an amazing movie and an amazing book and got me started on Ayn Rand right at that moment. When I saw it I said: "God!, what a concept!" Her voice - her message - in that movie was so unique and that whole thing about man's mind and the individual's mind was so compelling that I went out and got the book and I became a devotee of Ayn Rand.
BILL COLLINS: Was that your introduction to Ayn Rand's ideas?
AL RUDDY: Yes, yes, when I saw the movie.
BILL COLLINS: Patricia Neal told me that it was part of the contract for The Fountainhead that Ayn Rand's dialogue had to remain exactly the same, and that she would have to be called to the studio to make any changes. And she said because it was so difficult to get her to the studio, they said: "Oh we'll shoot it as it is."
AL RUDDY: I'm not sure about the conditions of the contract. I do know that it was a very pleasant experience for her. She came to California and I think she kind of fell in love with Gary Cooper. I mean she enjoyed herself out here. When I asked her, I thought she would be disappointed because I think it's a great story - do I think it was a great movie? No, not a great movie, a great story. And I thought she would not be as complimentary towards the film as she was, but she had a marvelous experience and thought very highly of the movie and the people who made it.
PRODOS: Al, I have a question for you about the controversy that I'm sure is surrounding and will continue to surround the making of this movie you're now in the process of creating.
There are probably so many people who are offering you everything from suggestions to warnings. Have you found that, for your own sanity - I'm not suggesting that you're totally sane by the way - but for your own sanity, have you found yourself saying: "Get off my back. Leave me alone. This is my movie, I'll do it my way"?
AL RUDDY: I will tell you. You are so right. People offer you everything but money in Hollywood. (laughter from all) I've been getting ideas from people that have come from all over the world who I have never met and whom I am not looking forward to meeting, to be very candid. But, I will say this. Look, obviously, the whole Objectivist movement which has cells - I mean there are East Coast cells in the United States and West Coast groups and they don't agree with each other. It's like people trying to interpret the Koran; I mean, this is the basis of almost a religion, as you know.
I've always said if you have ten Objectivists in the room and you ask them to pick out the 200 pages they think should be the movie, you'd get ten different movies.
PRODOS: Actually, Harry Binswager, one of the world's leading Objectivists, I was told he once said, "If you ask two Objectivists a question, you'll have three answers."
AL RUDDY: (Great laughter) That's very funny! (Everyone joins in)
PRODOS: Well, the truth of it
AL RUDDY: And they'd still be talking! (laughter)
PRODOS: Right! And still be talking - and loving it (a la Get Smart). But it's a new set of ideas. It is revolutionary and the challenge I suppose - I think your approach, Al, to me makes perfect sense because by focusing on the love affair, the drama, the story itself, well, all the philosophy and what-have-you is implicit in all of that, don't you agree?
SUE BLACK: Absolutely!
AL RUDDY: One of the things you have to remember - and I remember talking to Ayn about this - When Ayn Rand wrote this book, she prophesized the decline of industrial America because of the creeping socialism. Well, Ayn Rand had no way of foretelling the Information Age. I mean, there was a revolution! There's been a revolution in the world since this book was written. And the reason we don't worry about the rusting of the smokestack industries is because the truth, in fact, is that there was more wealth created in America in the last 20 years than in the preceding 3000 years!
So, in approaching how you're doing the book today, you have to - because we're not setting it in any period - this is not a period piece and it's not a piece of the future. It's a piece kind of "now" - maybe a year or two from now. So you'll have to take into consideration the environment that we live in today. So, blending the reality of the theme of what this book is really about and not being married to every page of what it's about - focusing on the theme of what it's about - and giving it a contemporary setting, is what I think the job is, the struggle is, and the excitement is.
You want to make it ring true today. Because, look, the whole collectivist thing, the whole altruistic thing that Ayn Rand talked about is still here. But obviously, the country is not in a state of total collapse as it was when she wrote about it. It could be going that way and that's where you're going with the piece.
PRODOS: And it's interesting that you've got all that in mind when making this philosophical thriller.
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PRODOS: Susan Black, you had a comment earlier and we sort of interrupted you.
SUE BLACK: I just think that Ayn Rand's ideas are so timely and the passion that she crammed into that book is the most alluring thing to me - whether or not you can fit every last word of it in - there's so much passion in the people - the characters -in this book.
PRODOS: Where does the passion come from? Is it the events, the characters, the ideas? Do you have an idea where you'd locate the source of that passion, Sue?
SUE BLACK: Well, I think it's a little bit of everything, but certainly the theme and the idea that you can achieve anything that you set your mind to is very, very interesting and passionate. But the characters that she created are so passionate and the situation she puts them in: She pits them against the entire world! That's so compelling - it's very exciting to work with.
PRODOS: Her characters are an amazing mixture or concoction. For instance, you've got someone like Francisco d'Anconia - an heir to the copper mining industry of the world, and he sets out to systematically destroy all his family's billions and billions of dollars of assets. Then you've got Ragnar, the pirate, who is from a noble family and he turns to piracy. Could you comment on some of the kind of juxtaposing of situations and the predicaments of the characters, Sue?
SUE BLACK: The characters that I guess enthrall me the most are Hank and Dagny and this journey that they go on against all odds. To build this thing that no one thinks will work. And all of the other people filter in and out of that. And to me that was the brilliance of her story. It's such a puzzle and a great thriller. It keeps you interested at all times. A brilliant interweaving of plots and characters.
PRODOS: As a woman, how do you see Dagny Taggart? Do you see her as someone to look up to?
SUE BLACK: Oh, I think she's brilliant! I love that she - in the beginning scene, when she's talking to her brother - and he's saying: "On whose authority or are you going to do this?" And she says "My own!"
I love the humor and the wry approach to Dagny. It's not just a depressing, hopeless, "Oh, the world is horrible." But they're in a depressing situation, but that she keeps fighting on, and that she and Hank together do this thing that they can't, one without the other, get this huge accomplishment completed, is really interesting.
PRODOS: Al Ruddy, I'm curious. Of course, at some point you're going to have to choose the lead characters and all that sort of thing. What sort of process is involved in that?
AL RUDDY: There have been a number of people who have come forth now. When we have the director in place - obviously, we would like to attract, always within the context of the right talent - the biggest stars we can. We're going to spend a lot of time . . .
PRODOS: (Interrupting, joking) You could have Arnold Schwarzenegger as Dagny, of course. (laughter from all)
SUE BLACK: He would look great in heels.
PRODOS: Oh, a darling!
AL RUDDY: He can't make it 'cause he keeps twisting his ankle all the time.
PRODOS: You were saying about getting the biggest talent for the lead characters.
AL RUDDY: Very rarely do you get something of such stature that so many major actors would like to become involved. There's probably no major star in this town who doesn't know Atlas Shrugged and who wouldn't like to be involved on some level. We've had calls, frankly, from four major stars, females, who all want to play Dagny Taggert.
PRODOS: You're not going to give us their names?
AL RUDDY: No, I can't. It wouldn't be right, actually.
PRODOS: My listeners are very discreet - they won't tell anybody! (laughter from all.)
AL RUDDY: I will only say this: One of them is not Arnold Schwarzenegger! (laughter from all)
PRODOS: I sort of feel reassured in a kind of funny way, about that.
Bill Collins, would you have any actors in mind for the parts? Anyone who appeals to you?
BILL COLLINS: For the woman, that's an easier part to cast, I think, than for the men. Number one, I can't find him, I can't see him because the ones who could play that part are all too old to do so now.
PRODOS: Like who, for example?
BILL COLLINS: I see people like Sean Connery, who's got presence, stature, you can believe in anything he says or does - the way you can believe in Gary Cooper as Howard Roark, or Raymond Massy or Robert Douglas in their parts in The Fountainhead. But, finding the men is going to be much more difficult than finding the woman, because there are several women who can cope with that sort of role and do it brilliantly.
PRODOS: Yes, there are some great strong women characters today. The men … I don't know. I'd like to see Mel Gibson in it. Can we get Mel, Al? Is that possible?
BILL COLLINS: No thank you! Too small.
AL RUDDY: (Joking) He has that slight Australian accent. That's a handicap.
PRODOS: (With his naturally strong Australian accent) Oh yes, that might put people off. They might think it's some sort of primordial, weird arthouse movie. (laughter)
AL RUDDY: We're trying to go a little more "up-town." (more laughter)
When I was going to do this book with Ayn Rand - and it's interesting what Bill said. When I met Ayn Rand, this was the cast I had proposed: I wanted to use Clint Eastwood as Hank Rearden, (Alain DeLong) as Francisco and Robert Redford as John Galt
BILL COLLINS: No (about Redford)
PRODOS: No?! (laughs)
AL RUDDY: Now they're all of another generation. But Bill's absolutely right. The three male leads are not that easy to find today. Maybe it's just because I'm older myself, I don't look at some of the younger actors as having the gravitas that, say, Clint Eastwood had when I wanted him to play Hank Rearden. I'm not sure they're out there today.
BILL COLLINS: They don't have the the passion - the word, gravitasse, I like the word - "passion" goes with that.
AL RUDDY: Everyone's been using the word here in the United States with the primaries going on. "That guy doesn't have the gravitas to be the next president." So that's all you hear.
PRODOS: And they're probably right about all of them too, actually. (Everyone laughs)
AL RUDDY: That's true! (laughing)
PRODOS: I wonder whether you might end up choosing a completely new talent or do you think you'll end up with an established one? Because I think originally with The Fountainhead, we were going to have Barbara Stanwyck and then we ended up going with Patricia Neal so that may end up happening with Atlas, no?
AL RUDDY: Frankly, when The Fountainhead was done, Gary Cooper was the big star. I mean, he was the one that made it all fly. They could have put Betty Boop in there with him, but Gary Cooper was the star. But I will say this, beyond a shadow of a doubt, this will have one, two, or three major stars. Absolutely!
PRODOS: Wow! I'm getting a chill up my spine here.
AL RUDDY: (Joking) You've gotta close the window.
PRODOS: Sue Black, I'd just love to hear about your experience in creating the script for this monumental TV miniseries before we sign off.
SUE BLACK: Well, I was thinking about what you said before about controversy. And I actually think that makes it more interesting and I think Ayn would have fun if she were alive amongst this much turmoil . . .
BILL COLLINS: She would!
SUE BLACK: . . . and everyone disagreeing about it. She would probably be in her element. I think that will make more people talk about it.
PRODOS: Absolutely! Bill Collins, I'm sure you're as excited about the prospect of seeing this movie as I am.
BILL COLLINS: Well, if I can get to Los Angeles, I hope I'll get a chance to talk to Al and Sue face to face and go further. I'll read the book again.
PRODOS: And we might get it on Foxtel, perhaps. That would be nice, wouldn't it?
BILL COLLINS: That would be a good idea. The Fountainhead has done extremely well and I'm thrilled about that. But this is a mammoth undertaking and I wish Al and Sue all the best because I'm sure all of us will be all excited about it.
PRODOS: Al Ruddy, do you have fun being a producer?
AL RUDDY: Well, I'll put it this way. There are moments of absolute joy and then there are other moments where - We just got through doing a marvelous movie for Turner called Washington Slept Here.
PRODOS: Yeah, I saw it in the filmographies. It sounds very interesting.
AL RUDDY: It's a script we created about four women who, at one time in their life, had an affair with the man who was going to be the next president of the United States. And we got Faye Dunaway, who's brilliant; Terri Hatcher, who's hysterically funny; Laura Lenny, who's a marvelous actress on Broadway doing Uncle Fanya now; and Nancy Travis and Tom Selleck. And it's one of those things that you work on for a long time and then you finally get it going and you walk on the set - Hey, I remember, I did a movie called The Longest Yard, a football movie with Burt Reynolds, where he plays football with the convicts. And it took me FIVE YEARS to get this movie made. And I walked on the set and Robert Aldrich - who did The Dirty Dozen and Whatever Happened to Babe . . . all these great movies - was directing it, and after the first shot, he looked at me and he said, "This must be great for you. After five years to finally get this movie made." I said: "It is, Bob, but not for the reason you think. The reason I'm happy to see it made is that I don't have to see it in my mind anymore every night like I did for the last five years!" Now it's going to be on film and I can take the film and run it.
I've had a great time making movies and making television. You get a chance to work with enormously gifted, talented actors, writers, cameramen, and directors. It's a marvelous experience. Probably not as easy as having a big radio show in Australia.
PRODOS: Well, you know we can't all have our own radio show, Al. They don't just hand them out to anyone, you know. (much laughter)
AL RUDDY: By the way, if either one of you guys comes to Los Angeles, I would love to meet you and we can all have lunch and …
PRODOS: (Interrupting) Aw, isn't that sort of a running joke, like "Let's have lunch"? … "Yeah, Let's Do Lunch"? Hey, Bill, that's Hollywood code for "Don't ever show your face around here, or we'll shoot you." (much laughter)
AL RUDDY: Oh, I didn't realize you'd been to Hollywood, otherwise I wouldn't have said it.
PRODOS: We're on to you guys!
Al Ruddy, thank you very much. It's been an honor speaking with you and we hope your TV miniseries will be a great success. I'm sure it will be. Sue Black, the lady with the most daunting task on planet Earth at the moment, thank you very much.
SUE BLACK: Thank you.
PRODOS: And Bill Collins, it's always a great pleasure and a delight sharing your views on this show.
COLLLINS: I can hardly wait to see this film!
For transcribing this PRODOS.COM interview from the PRODOS.COM Internet radio show: Special thanks to Kathleen Greenlee from The Unofficial Atlas Shrugged Movie Site www.atlas-shrugged-the-movie.com