“Did you ever work at a restaurant? Remember your first or second day, how simple shit like ‘Where is the ketchup?’ takes you five minutes where it takes someone else 10 seconds? Especially early on, there were a lot of people who didn’t know where we kept the ketchup,” Jon Stewart told EW about this experience directing his debut feature film. He admits he learned the gig on the fly, a far cry from his established routine on “The Daily Show.”
“It was a pretty seat-of-the-pants operation. Not to sound too Rumsfeldian, but I didn’t know what I didn’t know going in,” Stewart said. “I brought five crew members, and the rest was local. Pretty much everybody there did the film in their second language, and some in their third. Except for me. [Laughs]”
But that’s not to say Stewart didn’t reach out for help. The movie is concerned with serious matters, with Gael Garcia Bernal playing Iranian/Canadian journalist Maziar Bahari, who was arrested during the 2009 Iranian election protests, spent 118 days in jail and was forced to confess to a number of crimes. And so the newly-minted filmmaker reached out to some old hands to take a look at his script, including J.J. Abrams and Ron Howard.
“They were both awfully gracious,” Stewart said. “Basically, I would ask anybody who came on the show who is in the business, ‘While you’re sitting here, would you mind…’ [Laughs] I was that dick in a coffee shop with a script.”
“Rosewater” opens on November 7th.