One of the sharpest parts of last night’s Oscars was a nice bit by Tina Fey and Robert Downey Jr. about writers versus actors. The transcript, courtesy of Salon:
Fey: Great movies begin with great writing.
Downey:What does an actor look for in a script? Specificity. Emotional honesty. Catharsis.
Fey: And what does a writer look for in an actor? Memorizing. Not paraphrasing. Fear of ad-libbing.
Downey: Actors want scripts with social relevance, warm weather locations, phone call scenes that can be shot separately from that insane actress that I hate, and long dense columns of uninterrupted monologue, turning the page, and for instance seeing the phrase, “Tony Stark, continued.”
Fey: And we writers dream of a future where actors are mostly computer-generated and their performances can be adjusted by us, on a laptop, alone.
Downey: It’s a collaboration, a collaboration between handsome, gifted people and sickly little mole people.
The two were presenting the award for best original screenplay, which went to Mark Boal for The Hurt Locker. Watch the exchange here.