Film Scouts Interviews

"The People vs. Larry Flynt" Press Conference

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New York, Sept. 29, 1996

With director Milos Forman, writers Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski, stars Woody Harrelson and Brett Harrelson, and producer Janet Yang.

Questioned about the dramatic license in the courtroom scenes, the writers say:
"Most of the dialogue in the court scenes is from transcripts. Each of the major trials had a different lawyer...Alan Isaacman was only the lawyer for the Supreme Court. But we stuck to the facts - and they're fairly outlandish."

Milos Forman: "History is the summary of the facts. Drama is a summary of the spirit of the fact. I was shocked that all these things happened, but what surprised me most was that the Supreme Court burst out laughing. That's unprecedented. We showed that!

"The poster? The first one - you'll have to see it in "Vanity Fair" because I won't describe it for you - was faithful to the story of the film, but the poster was censored. Censorship itself does only half the damage. The second half is done by self-censorship. Our show-business organization, the MPAA, itself turned down the poster."

Woody Harrelson: "It's art!"

Milos Forman: "It's a joke - as all art is. There's a shifting attitude in this country on censorship. We will never win over fanatics. But if you don't fight, they'll win over you. I went through that twice. First with the Fascists in Czechoslovakia, then with the Communists. People are just too lax, they don't care enough."

Woody Harrelson:" "During the making of this film, I learned that half of everything that was censored in the Soviet Union was done under obscenity standards. And sure, it's not that we want perverts running through the streets, but the way the laws get formulated, we all become perverts just for wanting to run down the street."

Asked about whether the film was deliberately created to battle the several battles now being fought over freedom of expression in the Internet, among other things, the writers: "During the last couple years, it was going on, and during the last couple years we were writing. But we weren't writing TO that purpose. There's always a sense of oppression somewhere. We only hope that Bob Dole will see this movie before condemning it."

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