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Schamus on ‘Woodstock’

Schamus on 'Woodstock'

Rolling Stone gets a fresh perspective on Ang Lee’s upcoming feature, Taking Woodstock, from producer (and Focus Features chief) Jamaes Schamus. The film has garnered a lot of attention not just because it’s the latest Ang Lee/James Schamus project, but also because of its irreverent subject matter and comedy-based cast (including Demetri Martin, Eugene Levy, Paul Dano, and Zoe Kazan). From the RS article:

The project marks a departure from the bleak territory that Lee has traditionally stalked. “We’ve had some very intense movies,” said Schamus, who adapted the screenplay for Taking Woodstock from a book by Elliot Tiber and Tom Monte. “This is about play and fun and has hopeful spirit.” And with two noted comedians in the leads, it promises to be funny.

You can partially thank the producer’s young daughter for casting of Martin, the shaggy mop-topped comic whose few screen credits include guesting on Flight of the Conchords and The Daily Show. Schamus and his daughter had been casually scouting YouTube for talent and came across a clip of Martin’s mellowed-out act. “It was a chance for me to be a really hip dad, so I mentioned him,” Schamus said. “He’s great and really funny. What’s interesting is that he’s like a tsunami underneath calm water.”

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