"Argo" is the film to watch this Oscar season, and it seems Staten Island native Chris Terrio who wrote the screenplay plays a big part in the film's success.
On Sunday, the Writers Guild of America's adapted screenplay award went to Staten Island native Chris Terrio for the film, which was inspired by the true story of the CIA's attempts to extract captured diplomats from Iran by posing as a Canadian movie crew. This news was reported in today's issue of The Staten Island Advance and by Associated Press (AP).
"The honor comes on the heels of the film winning big at the Golden Globes. It also received the top honor of best ensemble cast in a movie at the Screen Actors Guild Awards as well as the top film honor from the Directors Guild of America," added The Advance.
Meanwhile, Mark Boal won the Writers Guild prize for original screenplay for "Zero Dark Thirty," director Kathryn Bigelow's chronicle of the CIA's manhunt for al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden and director Malik Bendjelloul won the documentary award for "Searching for Sugar Man," his portrait of acclaimed but largely forgotten 1970s musician Rodriguez, added the report.
With all of the recent awards, "Argo," which was recently released on DVD and Blu-ray, has emerged as the best-picture favorite at the Oscars this Sunday, added AP and The Advance. Terrio, who graduated from St. Joseph by-the-Sea High School, is up for best adapted screenplay for his work in the film, added the report.
Ben Affleck called him up and asked him to write the screenplay
"Terrio's big break came when Ben Affleck called his cellphone and asked him to write the script for the political thriller," added The Advance. "In an interview with Screenwriting U, Terrio said that he was walking along 14th Street in Manhattan when his cell phone rang. He thought a friend was pranking him when the caller identified himself as Affleck, but it ended up being the real deal," added the report.
Terrio made his feature film debut with 2005's low-budget, high-promise Merchant/Ivory production "Heights," added the story.
At the time, Terrio's first leading lady, Glenn Close, said of the first-time writer-director: "The genius about this film is that Merchant recognized Chris’s talent. There was something really delightful, certainly intelligent, about him." Not bad for a local boy.