overnight-duffy

With The Boondock Saints 2: All Saints Day on the verge of hitting theaters (it opens this Friday), one of things that’s continued to fascinate me is the story of how Troy Duffy was able to remake himself in the aftermath of The Boondock Saints and Overnight, the 2003 documentary that chronicled Duffy’s rise and fall. Duffy was just a bartender when, in 1997, Harvey Weinstein agreed to purchase his Boondock Saints script for $300,000 and let him direct the movie with a budget of $15 million. However, as portrayed in the film, Duffy is an egomaniacal lout, obsessed with the heights of his talent and abusive to his friends. He goes on to lose his deal, his friends, and his Hollywood connections, although the massive success of The Boondock Saints on DVD has brought him to the point where a sequel, complete with theatrical release, is now possible.  Here’s the trailer for the documentary:

I spoke with Duffy last week while he was out promoting Boondock Saints 2 and asked him about his reactions to Overnight, some of which you can read after the jump. My full interview with him will be available later this week.

When asked what his reaction to the film was, Duffy responded:

Bored shitless. I mean, I was there! I know what happened!

I followed up by asking him whether or not he felt the film’s portrayal of events was fair. Unsurprisingly, Duffy said the following:

Absolutely not. I don’t have to feel, I know, I was there, it was me it was happening to. That type of behavior that you saw in that film was the exception and not the rule. And I don’t think it was too fair of them to not provide any context of why is Troy upset, who’s he even talking to, what’s the situation. It was basically “Show me acting like an asshole.” After three years of shooting that would be a fairly easy thing to do. And through especially three of the most tumultuous years of my life.

Duffy was sanguine about his abilities and accomplishments, which remain impressive despite his history:

[E]ven as clever as the little devils were who made that thing, they couldn’t hide the fact that I was a newbie in a business, I got a movie deal and a record deal. I lost them both. I was able to resurrect them both with new companies and ultimately make my film, and the band make its album, all our way, right out of the gate, knowing nobody. From watching that film, you have no idea how I accomplished that. To suggest that that type of behavior got all these people to invest millions of dollars in my unproven talent…to me it stretches [credibility] quite a bit. If you think I was able to accomplish all that by acting like that, feel free to give it a whirl yourself. See where it gets you.

For their part, the makers of Overnight have already responded to Duffy’s allegations and denied any bias in their filmmaking. Director Tony Montana explained:

We worked for eight years straight to craft a project about Hollywood, one that would shed light on what happened in the very best- and worst-case scenarios, about a young man given the opportunity of a lifetime. The proverbial keys to the kingdom were handed to Troy. The narrative of ‘Overnight’ changed as the protagonist and the events changed. We simply followed the organic themes.

Overnight’s producer was slightly more forceful in his response, saying:

It’s hard for me to imagine, after Troy’s track record, that anyone would take him at his word unless there was some financial end in mind. I have to admit it is impressive that he got the sequel off the ground after making enemies of the likes of the William Morris Agency, Harvey Weinstein and nearly everyone else in the industry. It’s amazing what one can accomplish when they sell their soul.

In my interview with him, Duffy was equally derogatory about Overnight’s filmmakers, saying:

I could go point-for-point on the whole film. But the fact of the matter is, what I accomplished was a tall order, especially for somebody with no relationships in this business. From watching that movie, you have no fucking idea how I did it. Period. They did not tell you my story. That wasn’t a documentary about me. That was a smear job executed by two opportunists who decided to screw everybody who ever helped them.

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