Movies - TV
Edward Norton Did A Lot More Than Act For American History X
By CAROLINE MADDEN
The critically acclaimed “American History X” follows reformed skinhead Derek Vinyard’s (Edward Norton) attempt to save his brother from joining the neo-Nazi movement as he did. Director Tony Kaye stated the original script needed reworking, and he went along with the studio's choice of Norton because “In casting him I was really buying another writer.”
Unfortunately, the collaboration led to epic battles for artistic control, between Kaye and Norton, who was given more control than initially agreed upon. Kaye unleashed a temper tantrum of epic proportions: petitioning to have his name removed from the credits, spending thousands on 35 full-page ads in Hollywood trade papers condemning Norton and the producers, and removing the film from the Toronto International Film Festival.
Kaye was incredibly passionate about his singular vision for the film which, in his opinion, was being destroyed by Norton and the studio. While Kaye disowned the film and described Norton as a “narcissistic dilettante,” he said he would work with him again “because he is phenomenally talented.”