Home Entertainment ‘Bruce Springsteen was very nervous about his cameo’: Nick Hornby and Stephen Frears on High Fidelity

‘Bruce Springsteen was very nervous about his cameo’: Nick Hornby and Stephen Frears on High Fidelity

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‘Bruce Springsteen was very nervous about his cameo’: Nick Hornby and Stephen Frears on High Fidelity

Nick Hornby, novelist

Nick Hornby
Nick Hornby {Photograph}: Patrick McMullan/Getty Pictures

There was a model of High Fidelity in my head earlier than I wrote Fever Pitch. It wasn’t a high-concept guide: the unique thought was to write down a couple of relationship from a man’s standpoint. I bear in mind telling my agent about it and seeing her eyes glaze over as I mumbled about file outlets and relationships. I’ve spent quite a lot of time in file outlets however I’ve by no means labored in a single, so I primarily based it on individuals I’d seen and conversations I’d heard. The girlfriends had been archetypal.

The movie rights had been bought earlier than the guide got here out in 1995. Then it went very quiet and I assumed it was useless. By early 1999, I had a flat at Highbury Hill in London and there was a man beside the station who ran a kiosk. He was a fellow Arsenal fan so we had been at all times chatting. One morning, he gave me a slip of paper that learn: “Name Stephen Frears.” It had a cellphone quantity on it. This was an unconventional method and fairly hilarious. Stephen advised me, “We’re working in your guide!” including that John Cusack and two screenwriters – Steve Pink and DV DeVincentis – had been in London wanting to fulfill.

I favored what they had been doing with the script. That they had performed Grosse Pointe Blank, which I actually loved. I used to be shocked at how shut the film was to my guide – a few of Cusack’s fourth-wall monologues got here straight from my pages. It was very courageous of them to do this. They merely needed to re-create the guide! The Barry character was straightforward in prose, however who do you forged? I’d by no means heard of Jack Black: the position reworked the kinds of films he received provided. I’m proud to have performed a component in that.

I wasn’t involved concerning the story being relocated to Chicago. John, DV and Steve had grown up there. They had been 10 years youthful than me, so the body of reference for the music utterly shifted. The story felt prefer it was about them, utterly real and ideal. As a author, that’s the perfect you possibly can hope for: that individuals are that invested in it. The music price range alone for Excessive Constancy was the identical as the entire price range for Fever Pitch. Any English-based, unbiased movie wouldn’t have been ready to do this. All of us made compilation tapes for one another to take heed to. Stephen was out of his depth on the music, so it actually got here all the way down to John and DV.

The film wasn’t successful initially. It discovered its viewers over time and continues to. I took my son to see it proper earlier than lockdown and was actually happy about the way it held up.

Stephen Frears, director

Stephen Frears.
Stephen Frears. {Photograph}: Arun Nevader/WireImage

I liked Fever Pitch and I learn Excessive Constancy in a short time after, however I didn’t assume you would make a movie from it. There have been no automotive chases. I received a name from John Cusack asking if I might direct the film, and that it was going to be set in Chicago. I assumed: “Effectively, that’s a mistake, shifting the story’s location.”

Then I learn the script and realised it wasn’t. There’s a suburb of Chicago known as Evanston and John, DV and Steve had grown up there collectively. They had been writing about their very own lives. I had labored with John on The Grifters in 1990; by now, he had grown considerably as an actor. I needed Nick to stay concerned, however I’ve no recollection of how that message to him by way of the newsagent truly occurred.

The fourth-wall method was my resolution however it by no means felt like an enormous threat – the primary draft had it as a voiceover and it felt simply too straightforward to overlook that approach. The likes of Groucho Marx typically talked to the digital camera.

The blokes urged this new actor known as Jack Black for the a part of Barry. I met him and stated: “Nice, you’ll be effective.” Then I received a name a number of months later telling me that he didn’t need to do it any extra. I requested him what the matter was. He stated: “Effectively, you didn’t make me audition. Doing auditions offers me confidence.” It received sorted out and he was sensible. Spirits had been so excessive on set, everybody liked making it.

I stored out of the entire music, however stated that I might be the choose they usually’d must get songs previous me first. John, DV and Steve argued it 24 hours a day, continuous. In the meantime John had infinite cellphone calls with Bruce Springsteen to get him onboard for the cameo. God is aware of what they had been speaking about. Bruce appeared like a pleasant fellow, however he was very nervous. It undoubtedly put the wind up him.

The studio bosses in the primary left us alone to get on with making the film, however I bear in mind them asking: “Can’t Rob and Laura get married on the finish?” “No,” I stated. “Completely not.”

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