Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Watch: Joaquin Phoenix Gets His Stoner Detective Groove On In Trailer For Paul Thomas Anderson’s ‘Inherent Vice’ Watch: Joaquin Phoenix Gets His Stoner Detective Groove On In Trailer For Paul Thomas Anderson’s ‘Inherent Vice’ David Fincher Will Direct The Entire First Season Of HBO's 'Utopia' In 2015 David Fincher Will Direct The Entire First Season Of HBO's 'Utopia' In 2015 Brad Pitt Says 'Fury' Co-Star Shia LaBeouf Is "One Of The Best Actors I've Ever Seen" Brad Pitt Says 'Fury' Co-Star Shia LaBeouf Is "One Of The Best Actors I've Ever Seen" First Look: Kristen Stewart & Nicholas Hoult In Drake Doremus’ Sci-Fi Film ‘Equals’ First Look: Kristen Stewart & Nicholas Hoult In Drake Doremus’ Sci-Fi Film ‘Equals’ John Cusack Says Hollywood Is A "Whorehouse" That "Eats Young Actors Up And Spits Them Out" John Cusack Says Hollywood Is A "Whorehouse" That "Eats Young Actors Up And Spits Them Out" New Image From 'Inherent Vice,' Paul Thomas Anderson Completely Changed The Ending From Thomas Pynchon's Book New Image From 'Inherent Vice,' Paul Thomas Anderson Completely Changed The Ending From Thomas Pynchon's Book Why 'You're The Worst' Turned Out To Be The Best TV Show Of The Summer Why 'You're The Worst' Turned Out To Be The Best TV Show Of The Summer Watch: Ellen Page And Kate Mara Are 'Tiny Detectives' In Hilarious 'True Detective' Parody Watch: Ellen Page And Kate Mara Are 'Tiny Detectives' In Hilarious 'True Detective' Parody New Look: Reese Witherspoon And Joaquin Phoenix In Paul Thomas Anderson's 'Inherent Vice' New Look: Reese Witherspoon And Joaquin Phoenix In Paul Thomas Anderson's 'Inherent Vice' Review: David Fincher's 'Gone Girl' Starring Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Tyler Perry, Neil Patrick Harris, Kim Dickens & More Review: David Fincher's 'Gone Girl' Starring Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Tyler Perry, Neil Patrick Harris, Kim Dickens & More 10 Female Directors Who Deserve More Attention From Hollywood 10 Female Directors Who Deserve More Attention From Hollywood Miles Teller Says Role In 'Divergent' Made Him Feel "Dead Inside," And He Took Movie "For Business Reasons" Miles Teller Says Role In 'Divergent' Made Him Feel "Dead Inside," And He Took Movie "For Business Reasons" While You're Waiting For 'Interstellar,' Here's Over 100 Behind-The-Scenes Photos From 'The Dark Knight' Trilogy While You're Waiting For 'Interstellar,' Here's Over 100 Behind-The-Scenes Photos From 'The Dark Knight' Trilogy First Look At 'The Dying Of The Light,' Paul Schrader Quits Film Over What Nicolas Winding Refn Calls "Artistic Disrespect" First Look At 'The Dying Of The Light,' Paul Schrader Quits Film Over What Nicolas Winding Refn Calls "Artistic Disrespect" New Images From 'Interstellar' Arrive, Christopher Nolan Says The Film Is A "Mirror" Of 'Inception' New Images From 'Interstellar' Arrive, Christopher Nolan Says The Film Is A "Mirror" Of 'Inception' Watch: Have A Threesome With Very NSFW Clip From 'Maps To The Stars' With Julianne Moore & John Cusack Watch: Have A Threesome With Very NSFW Clip From 'Maps To The Stars' With Julianne Moore & John Cusack The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes

Bruce Robinson Started Drinking Again To Write 'The Rum Diary'

The Playlist By Simon Dang | The Playlist February 23, 2011 at 3:26AM

Says The Film Has "De-Innoculated" Him From Directorial RetirementApparently, Bruce Robinson not only gave up his filmmaking retirement to tackle an adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson's "The Rum Diary" at Johnny Depp's request, he also gave up his sobriety.
4

Says The Film Has "De-Innoculated" Him From Directorial Retirement



Apparently, Bruce Robinson not only gave up his filmmaking retirement to tackle an adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson's "The Rum Diary" at Johnny Depp's request, he also gave up his sobriety.

The British writer-director of such films as "Withnail & I" and "How To Get Ahead In Advertising" had all but given up on filmmaking before Depp -- fulfilling a promise he had made to the legendary Thompson while alive -- approached him with the project, based on the Thompson's own experiences as a young journalist in Puerto Rico in 1960. Once everything had come together and Robinson was on board, though, the cult director notes that, after six and a half years sober, "the reason I started again was 'The Rum Diary.'"

"I was sitting in front of the typewriter with six-and-a-half years of sobriety under my belt," Robinson tells the Independent, in a fascinating feature profile. "And because of that title – 'The Rum Diary' – the creative side of me is saying: 'GO THERE.' The AA side is saying: 'DON'T.' The result was that I couldn't write a fucking line. Nothing, nothing, nothing. I said to Sophie, 'I can't get there. Maybe – this may be the deviousness of alcohol, but... maybe I can't write this unless I have some wine.' And, God bless her, she said, 'Well, you'll have to have some then.' I wrote the script pretty quickly after that. But I stuck to wine as a medicine. I drank a bottle a day. When I finished the script, I went back to total sobriety."

On another occasion Robinson recalled, they "were in a place called Fajardo. It was 100 degrees at two in the morning and very humid. Everyone's drenched in sweat. One of the prop guys goes by with a barrow-load of ice and Coronas. I said: 'Johnny, this doesn't mean anything.' And reached for a Corona... some savage drinking took place. When I was no longer in Johnny's environment I went back to sobriety."

The move was not without its risk as alcohol hasn't always been kind to Robinson over the years. He notes that, under the influence, he once "fell five storeys from the house in Camden Town" and that he's "done some terrible things in cars." These days he's more disciplined and in control, "I'll have a glass of wine very occasionally, at the moment. I will go back to the AA. But I do quite enjoy having a glass without freaking out."

So, after all this, would Robinson's retirement plans simply be kicking back a gear after his latest effort is released? "'The Rum Diary' has de-innoculated me. I now have this real desire to do it again," Robinson revealed, but don't expect him to be going to a studio any time soon. "When we started filming, my first dictum was to say, 'I am not going near a studio. If the camera doesn't fit, we'll knock the wall down.' The whole experience was like a dream. The producer of the film is Johnny. Which means that, so long as he is on the set, smiling, with his arm around me, I am fucking safe."

According to the article, the film itself -- which co-stars Giovanni Ribisi, Richard Jenkins, Michael Rispoli and the gorgeous Amber Heard -- is actually finished but won't be seeing a release through GK Films until September "to fit in with Depp's schedule." A fall festival unveiling seems likely but, prior to that, there are rumors of an appearance on the Croisette. Depp has even thrown his own plans into the mix recently talking about taking the film on a small college tour in the spirit of Thompson, who "used to go and do talks at colleges and things like that," but whether that is anything more than a pipedream remains to be seen.

This article is related to: Films, Actors, Bruce Robinson, The Rum Diary


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates