Posted on Wednesday, October 21st, 2009 by Russ Fischer
We don’t know a lot about Roman Polanski‘s currently unfinished film The Ghost. And though current comments from Ewan McGregor, who stars in the film, don’t do a lot to illuminate the project, they do add some context to the current conversation about Polanski in general. As Polanski faces a denial of bail in Switzerland (and some medical situation that saw him removed from jail for a short time) I enjoy the contrast between positive statements about Polanski the artist and the harsh reality of Polanski the fugitive.Some of McGregor’s praise for Polanski is boilerplate actor/director stuff. (“He pushes you quite hard and always demands that you look for the truth of the scene,” yeah, really?) But then he gets a little closer to the truth of what working with Polanski might be like.
…he’s also got quite a brusque manner, so you have to have a thick skin. That said, I’m very fond of him. He’s one of the very few completely brilliant directors that I’ve worked with. There aren’t really very many, I have to say, or it’s a shame to say.
So he’s brilliant but difficult. Right, we knew that, more or less. Still, good to hear it from McGregor. Read the whole LA Times interview to get some other fun stuff from the actor, like how he enjoyed making out with Jim Carrey. He also says he hasn’t been following the Polanski arrest story, because “I don’t like to think of him sitting in a prison cell. But I wouldn’t comment upon it because it’s a very complicated issue, you know?”
And what of Polanski, who was denied bail this week, and that ‘complicated issue’? (Which really isn’t complicated at all.) For one, the Swiss are in the very odd position of defending their arrest of the director. I find it difficult to believe that officials there have to justify their action. He was a fugitive, and they got word that he’d be in one place at a specific time. You’d think they’d have to justify not arresting him in the years prior. (And they do justify that, to some extent.)
At this point, one of Polanski’s lawyers says he’s considering a voluntary return to the States, to avoid a long extradition process from Swiss jail. Hey, isn’t that exactly what the sensible folks have been hoping he’d do all along? Georges Kiejman, one member of his legal team, says, “If the procedure drags on, it is not impossible that Roman Polanski could choose to go and explain himself in the United States, where there are some arguments in his favor.” But Polanski’s French lawyer Herve Temime says, “There has been no change in strategy at all,” which suggests he’ll make the extradition process go all the way. Stalemate.