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Paul Haggis Disavows Involvement with Scientology Book Project

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood January 13, 2011 at 8:52AM

While Paul Haggis is the subject of an upcoming New Yorker profile by Lawrence Wright, the writer-director (Crash) insists that he is not collaborating on Wright's book on the Church of Scientology in any way. His interview for the magazine article may be used in the book, however. Haggis, who was a practicing Scientologist but has since left the church, states:"I am a great admirer of Mr. Wright, but he has not asked me to cooperate with him on any book. I am certainly not collaborating with him on one. I have no financial or other interest in any book Mr. Wright may or may not choose to write, now or in the future."
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Thompson on Hollywood

While Paul Haggis is the subject of an upcoming New Yorker profile by Lawrence Wright, the writer-director (Crash) insists that he is not collaborating on Wright's book on the Church of Scientology in any way. His interview for the magazine article may be used in the book, however. Haggis, who was a practicing Scientologist but has since left the church, states:

"I am a great admirer of Mr. Wright, but he has not asked me to cooperate with him on any book. I am certainly not collaborating with him on one. I have no financial or other interest in any book Mr. Wright may or may not choose to write, now or in the future."

Wright adds:


“Paul cooperated with me on a profile for the New Yorker which includes his involvement with the Church of Scientology. I will expand on that material for the book. Both the article and the eventual book will explore the Haggis family’s experience inside the church and their decision to leave it. Haggis has been extremely helpful and candid, but he is certainly not a collaborator. The reporting and the writing is all my work. Haggis has received no compensation for his time."

This article is related to: Media, Books, Directors


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.