On Aug. 11, 2014, Examiner.com was on the red carpet for the world premiere of "The Giver," which took place at the Ziegfeld Theater, hosted by The Weinstein Company, Walden Media and Yucaipa Films with Lexus. Guests in attendance from the film included Director Phillip Noyce, author of "The Giver" Lois Lowry, writers Michael Mitnick and Robert B. Weide, Jeff Bridges (star and producer), Meryl Streep, Brenton Thwaites, Odeya Rush, Katie Holmes, Taylor Swift, Cameron Monaghan, Emma Tremblay, Ryan Tedder of One Republic and Producers Neil Koenigsberg, Nikki Silver and Scooter Braun. Additional guests included Spike Lee, Tonya Lewis, Acacia Brinley and Lindsay Ellingson.
Read our exclusive red carpet interviews below:
Nikki Silver produced the film.
Q: How did you get involved with the film?
A: I’ve been involved in the film for 17 years with Jeff Bridges and the rights to the book, I was a part of a children’s television production company that had the rights to the book and the rights ultimately became mine. I called Jeff and said, ‘Do you still want to do this?’ and he said absolutely and it has been a journey since then.
Q: Tell me about collaborating with Phillip Noyce.
A: Phil is the perfect director for this, he has the combination of the big budget films with the "Rabbit-Proof Fence" and "The Quiet American" and the two together are just extraordinary and he and I worked hand in hand. We were down in South Africa together for four months and he’s just amazing to work with. He is a workhouse and I have not met anybody like that. My last email at midnight would be from Phil and my first one by six in the morning would be another thought or idea that he had. So it was great working with him and I consider him a dear friend.
Q: Can you talk about how Taylor Swift became involved?
A: We had a list of actresses for the role of Rosemary and an executive from the Weinstein Company went to a Taylor Swift concert and called Phillip and I and said ‘I have a crazy idea.’ Phillip had a long conversation with her and we were like, ‘this makes great sense’, and she put so much into it and it’s a very haunting, poignant, wonderful small role.
Robert B. Weide co-wrote the script.
Q: Tell me about your process of writing the script?
A: Well, the first thing is to read the book. That always helps. I read the book, and I liked it a lot, and for me what I do is I will actually make copies of the pages of the book, and I will actually make margin notes on the pages of things I like or ‘use this’ or ‘build up this character’ or whatever ideas to expand on the storyline. Then I will take those margin notes and type them up into pages and then I have several pages to look at of my own notes. Between that and the original manuscript, which I always have nearby, I can sort of work it out. And with this script and also a book I adapted years ago, the key to me was to stay true to the spirit of the book, but not be beholden to every specific that is in the book because the book is not a movie and you have to change things.
So in the case of "The Giver," I felt there was opportunity to expound on a lot of the characters and to add a little more storyline, and that sort of thing. And I was in touch throughout the process with Louis Lowry, who did the book, and said ‘I was thinking of doing this and doing that’ and to her credit she was not territorial or precious at all, she said yeah that sounds good. She basically said, ‘Do whatever you want, it’s a movie. It’s not a book,’ and the fact that we remain very friendly to this day, in fact we showed up together this very night, speaks to the success of the collaboration. Not to mention the collaboration with Michael Mitnick, the other writer, even though our drafts are 17 years apart, and we hadn’t even met until last week.
Q: What was the co-writing process like?
A: I wrote my drafts way back in ’96 and ’97. It took all this time for the film to get made. By the time it finally got some momentum a couple of years ago, Michael was sort of the last writer on who did the final shooting script. So I had nothing to do with it. I read the shooting script after the film was made, I liked it, I didn’t feel ‘Oh they ruined my script’ or anything like that. I thought it was perfectly polished and it was very good. Then I saw the finished film, I felt the same way, and Michael and I just met last week and got along like old friends.
Emma Tremblay plays Lilly.
Q: What character do you play?
A: I play Lilly, Jonas’s younger sister. She’s really caring and she’s a little bit nosy, and when I say a little bit, I mean a lot.
Q: Was it fun to play her?
A: It was really fun to play her. I am so happy that I get to bring a character to life.
Q: Did you get to hang out with Taylor Swift?
A: Yes! And that was the best day of my life. I am such a huge Taylor Swift fan.
Q; What did you tell her?
A: I told her that ‘I am such a big fan and can you sign this’ and I handed her my book.
The premiere was live broadcasted via Fathom Events that evening. Ben Lyons served as the official red carpet host. After the red carpet, we headed in to see the film. After Harvey Weinstein introduced the cast, Jeff Bridges said a few words about his dear Robin Williams. News of his passing broke as the capet began. Next, guests were treated to a live performance of OneRepublic's original song "Ordinary Human."
Film Synopsis: "The Giver" centers on Jonas (Brenton Thwaites), a young man who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Yet as he begins to spend time with The Giver (Jeff Bridges), who is the sole keeper of all the community’s memories, Jonas quickly begins to discover the dark and deadly truths of his community’s secret past. With this newfound power of knowledge, he realizes that the stakes are higher than imagined – a matter of life and death for himself and those he loves most. At extreme odds, Jonas knows that he must escape their world to protect them all – a challenge that no one has ever succeeded at before. The film is based on Lois Lowry’s beloved young adult novel of the same name, which was the winner the 1994 Newbery Medal and has sold over 10 million copies worldwide.
After the beautiful film, everyone headed to the very fabulous The Loeb Boathouse Central Park. DJ M.O.S. had everyone dancing and his wife DJ Kiss was also in attendance. Odeya Rush, who stunned in Georges Hobeika Couture, was spotted hanging with her co-star Brenton Thwaites. They posed for photos with many young fans graciously. The film hits theaters this Friday, Aug. 15.