JETSS Exclusive | A rocky start to Natalie Portman’s latest film (read exclusive)

Natalie Portman (Photo: JETSS/Courtesy)
Natalie Portman (Photo: JETSS/Courtesy)

Interviewed by JETSS

When a Hollywood “Producer” speaks, everyone listens and such is the case with Scott Steindorff who graciously took time from his insanely busy schedule to speak exclusively with Jetss.

Steindorff, co-founder and President of Stone Village Pictures currently has 12 projects either filming, in pre-production, post-production or in development has worked with some the best actors in the business; Matthew McConaughey, Justin Timberlake, Ben Affleck, Anthony Hopkins, Nicole Kidman, Javier Bardem, Zac Efron, Harrison Ford, Liev Schreiber and Brazilian born Fernanda Montenegro and Rodrigo Santoro.

Adding to his resume Steindorff also produced two successful TV shows, Las Vegas starring Josh Duhamel (husband of Black Eyed Peas singer Fergie) and James Caan (Sonny Coreleon of The Godfather), and a Golden Globe winning mini-series ‘Empire Falls’ also with a stellar cast, Paul Newman, Ed Harris, Helen Hunt and the late Philip Seymore Hoffman.

Regarding his feature ‘Carnaval’ which was shot primarily in Brazil. Steindorff says, “I love carnival. My intention is to show properly to the world this incredible show.”

Moving on to one of Steindorff’s current projects, ‘Jane Got A Gun’ directed by Gavin O’Connor… starring Natalie Portman, Ewan McGregor and Brazil’s own Rodrigo Santoro. [After Jane’s (Natalie Portman’s outlaw husband returns home shot and barely alive, Jane reluctantly reaches out to an ex-lover,, whom she hasn’t seen in ten years, to help her defend her farm]. The film is slated for a U.S & U.K. release September 4th.

This film was not without controversy as actor Jude Law exits early on and director Lynn Ramsey was a “no-show” on the first day of production.  Steindorff:  I have millions of dollars invested, we’re ready to shoot, we have a great script, crew and cast, I’m shocked and so disappointed someone would do this to 150 crew members who devoted so much time, energy, commitment and loyalty to a project, and then have the director not show up. It is insane somebody would do this to other people. I feel more for the crew and their families, but we are keeping the show going on, directors are flying in, and a replacement is imminent.”

As evidenced by his comment above there was on-set drama, however the film is now finally complete. Amidst the chaos, Steindorff did what he does best… he produced!

Jetss: You are one of the busiest Producers in Hollywood with 12 films in pre/post or in-production.  When reading a script what do specifically look for to determine if you want to produce it?  And, have you ever turned down a script you wish you hadn’t?
Scott Steindorff:  I always look for the human element. It doesn’t matter the genre, the characters must have all the nuances all human beings have. And yes, I have!

Jetss:  How much “final say” does a Producer have and if there are multiple producers how is that worked out if opinions differ?  How would you resolve the issue if you were to have a conflict with a studio on casting talent or choice of director?
SS:  It all depends on the project. Each project has its own peculiarities and can be negotiated. A producer ultimately has to know how to manage people.

Jetss:  Do bidding wars over scripts happen often and how are they typically resolved? Can you provide us any accounts of this?
SS: It rarely happens theses day!

Jetss: You’re currently filming ‘Jane Got a Gun’ starring Natalie Portman and Ewan McGregor, tell us how you came to cast Brazilian actor Rodrigo Santoro?
SS:  We have actually completed production on ‘Jane Got a Gun’. I cast Rodrigo Santoro because he’s a great actor, and also a good friend of mine. And he did a terrific job, by the way!

Jetss:  Natalie Portman is both producing and acting in the film.  What is it like working with Natalie the producer vs. Natalie the actress?
SS: She’s an incredibly talented person. Natalie has been working as an actor since she was a child, so she knows a lot about all aspects of filmmaking, both as an actor as well as a producer.

Jetss:  SOPA (Stop on-line Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act) want to hold international and domestic ISP’s, site owners and users accountable if they do not re-direct and/or report offenders for trying to solicit unauthorized steaming of movies, music and video games?  Although the vote has been temporarily been postponed, huge corporations like Google, Facebook, Wikipedia, Yahoo, YouTube, Twitter and others are against the proposed bill and say it’s an extreme form of more government censorship.  What are your thoughts on the debate?

SS: It’s a delicate subject because although I’m a eternal defender of the first amendment, I’m also against piracy, because it affects directly all the people who work really hard to produce a product such as movies, music…so it’s important to have this debate to find a way to protect both sides.

Scotts’ Favorites:
Book: Master and Margarita
Film: Doctor Zhivago
TV Show: Two and a Half Man
Actor: Anthony Hopkins
Actress: Meryl Streep

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