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From director Jon S. Baird and screenwriter Jeff Pope, the biographical dramedy Stan & Ollie follows the great comedy team of Stan Laurel (Steve Coogan) and Oliver Hardy (John C. Reilly), as they set out on a variety hall tour of Britain in 1953. With their golden era behind them and an uncertain future, the two funnymen quickly reconnect with their adoring fans and the tour becomes a hit, but that doesn’t dissolve the tension between them or cure Oliver’s failing health, leaving the two men wondering just how much they mean to each other.
During this 1-on-1 phone interview with Collider, filmmaker Jon S. Baird talked about how the script for Stan & Ollie came his way, being a huge Laurel & Hardy fan, the importance of exploring the relationship dynamic with their wives, the perfect combination of Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly, why it was so emotional to see them in character for the first time, how appendicitis delayed the start of production, how Martin Scorsese’s advice impacted the film, why he ended up taking some TV projects in between films, and developing a project with Peter Dinklage that he hopes to get into production soon.
Collider - Script - Way - Interest - Story
Collider: How did this script originally come your way, and was there immediate interest, or did you have to consider whether or not to take on this story?
JON S. BAIRD: I had just done a movie, called Filth, which is the polar opposite to Stan & Ollie, in so many different ways. I’d just found a new agent, and he had sent me the script and said, “This just came through for your consideration. I don’t think it’s your kind of thing.” Obviously, he didn’t know me that well, at that point, because it really was my kind of thing. When I first...
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