(updated 7/26/06) Synopsis Cast News Novel Gallery Notes Reviews Articles Multimedia Interviews Official Site

Release Dates - Theatrical
Canada - Oct 7, 2005  Germany - Feb 2, 2006
US - Oct 14, 2005 (NY/LA)
Austria - May 11, 2006
UK - Dec 2, 2005 Brazil - July 28, 2006
France - Jan 4, 2006

Release Dates - DVD
US/Can - Feb 28, 2006 (Reg 1) UK - May 1, 2006 (Reg 2)
France - June 22, 2006  Germany - Jul/Aug 2006 
Brazil - September 22, 2006
Watch theatrical trailer here

Colin Firth
  Vince Collins
Kevin Bacon
Lanny Morris
Alison Lohman
Karen O'Connor
Rachel Blanchard
Maureen O'Flaherty

Maury Chaykin
 . . . . . Sally Sanmarco
David Hayman
. . . . .
Sonja Bennett
 . . . . . Bonnie Trout
Kristin Adams
. . . . . Alice
Click for larger image
Where the Truth Lies
is a sumptuous and seductive film noir that explores the dark, decadent side of fame, fortune, and success.
Set in the seemingly innocent 50’s, the film centers around legendary showbiz duo Lanny (Kevin Bacon) and Vince (Colin Firth) America’s most beloved entertainment team. When a dead beauty turns up in their hotel suite after a top-rated televised performance, their reputations are sullied but, thanks to rock-solid alibis, neither is charged with a crime. With their friendship and partnership in tatters, they manage to salvage separate careers. Years pass, with neither speaking to the other, or to anyone else, about the girl’s mysterious death.

In the far less innocent 70’s, up and coming writer Karen O’Connor (Alison Lohman) decides to turn this cold case into a hot story and begins to ferret out the facts behind this fabled showbiz split. Her investigation leads to involvement with both Lanny and Vince and what she finds is a serpentine, shocking tale of talent and treachery, love and lust, buried truths and betrayed trust.
[click for larger image]
Kevin Bacon sings, he dances, he talks
(Empire, 11/05)
Atom Egoyan talks noir
(Empire, 11/05)
Rupert Holmes on writing
(Deirdre McGill, CSdaily, 10/21/05)

Kevin Bacon talks about Where the Truth Lies
(about.com, 10/14/05)
Egoyan on Where the Truth Lies
(comingsoon.net, Edward Furman, 10/13/05)
Kevin Bacon reveals Where the Truth Lies
(comingsoon.net, 10/11/05)
One on one with Atom Egoyan
(about.com,  10/10/05)
Does 'Truth' lie with author or director?
(Peter D. Kramer, The Journal News, 10/9/05)
Chasing the buzz of NC-17
(James Adams, Globe and Mail, 10/6/05)
Critically injured
(Sarah Rowland, Montreal Mirror, 10/6/07)
Secrets and lies
(Deidre Swain, NOW, 10/6/05)
Bacon, Firth defend sexy Egoyan film
(Bruce Kirkland, Toronto Sun, 10/5,05)

Toronto's Rachel Blanchard exposed
(Bruce Kirkland, Toronto Sun, 10/5/05)

Truth about sex
(Bruce Kirkland, Sun Media, 10/5/05)

Oh, Mr Darcy  Colin Firth gets rumpy pumpy with Kevin Bacon and a maid.
(Sydney Morning Herald, May 5, 2006, by Mary Colbert)

The unthinkable has happened: British actor Colin Firth is talking about "shagging". Mr Darcy, shagging?

The heart-throb of millions of female viewers of the BBC's Pride and Prejudice and the Bridget Jones's Diary movies is expounding on the explicit sex scenes in his latest movie,
Where the Truth Lies,

In Atom Egoyan's film we see plenty of Firth, who first sent a wave of hysteria across the globe as he emerged from a lake in a dripping wet shirt and breeches.

In Where the Truth Lies, adapted from Rupert Holmes's noir crime thriller, Firth plays the pill-popping, sex-driven Vince Collins, one-half of America's hottest showbiz musical comedy partnership of the 1950s. In one scene, Firth has a threesome with fellow comic Lanny Morris (Kevin Bacon) and a hotel maid (Rachel Blanchard), who is later found dead in their hotel suite.

"Safety in numbers," Firth says. "Actually, I was saved by Kevin's butt." He grins across the table at Bacon, so renowned for his cinematic bed forays that detainees on a US witness-protection programme complained online "that his dangling member gets into far too many movies. Somebody should talk to him about it."

"What do you mean?" Bacon says. "You showed up late that week after I'd done most of the hard work."

Firth: "I hadn't been filming the week that some solid shagging took place between Kevin and various women, so by the time I showed up there was no interest at all. The crew were so sick of the sight of his butt and mine offered nothing new. People make a lot of the sexual thing but that's really only one more weird thing we get to do."

Egoyan's film is a far stretch from his last one, Ararat, about the genocide of Armenians. The director's mandate was that the sex be sensual and unbridled.

"A role like that usually isn't a huge stretch for most actors," Firth says, who admits it was a refreshing change from the recent spate of romantic comedies. Was it an escape from typecasting for the theatre-trained thespian?

"Not necessarily," Firth says.

"They came to me quite late in my career and are fun, but the appeal was the character's inherent darkness and, of course, the opportunity to work with Atom."

Firth and Bacon's comic duo are loosely modelled on the lives of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. Egoyan suggested Firth aim for a mix of David Niven and Rex Harrison. The story moves between the '70s, when a young investigative reporter attempts to ferret out the repercussions of the murder on the duo's private and professional lives, and the subsequent break-up of their long-standing partnership.

Where the Truth Lies focuses on a complex exploration of celebritydom's underbelly. The film also gives the actors a canvas to improvise their own comedy and verbal jousts as well as sing.

Amend that to singing for one.

Bacon claims Firth hired a singing coach, only to be told his forte lay in the verbal thrusts.

For Firth, the drawcard lay in his screen persona's dark psyche.

"Vince is a very bleak character to portray. Playing him was a real stare into the abyss, actually. To desperately need your celebrity fix and yet have it as part of your burden must be a kind of hell.

"Rather than just playing a psychopath or mass murderer, it was interesting to play someone who is apparently what you expect me to be, and then take off the mask to reveal something darker."

Firth adds that depression is one of the least socially permissible things for human beings. "It is still considered very antisocial and shameful.

It used to be sex. But that's still a very private matter. Loneliness, fear and insecurity are much more so."

Empire's LFF Highlights
(Nov 2, 2005)

Only minutes after Cristi had gone inside to introduce his film, Canadian arthouse powerhouse Atom Egoyan arrived, ready to share with a London audience his latest thriller Where The Truth Lies. And audiences might be surprised by the turn he has taken towards conventional genre filmmaking. "The moment that I decided to tell the story, I realised that the scale of it had to be different, and that a number of films that were an essential part of my cinematic upbringing that I hadn't really had the opportunity to homage to," Egoyan explained. "I wasn't aware necessarily of it being a bigger film, rather that I needed a certain type of canvas in order to make it convincing. And it also needed to have a certain pace, as well. You had to believe that you were in the world that they were talking about."

The first obvious difference for those familiar with the director's sparse, enticingly cryptic work, is the addition of voice overand plenty of it. "Yeah, but the narration is in itself suspect… I'd come to realise that some of my favourite films have narration, and in my memory they didn't seem to. These films like Double Indemnity, or again Sunset Boulevard, where you have two sort of shifting narrative positions. Voiceover to me is very challenging, and I think that often it's used to explain things or to render the obvious, but in this case, it's essential to the psychological construction of the piece, because people, while they're telling us something, are not necessarily telling us what's going on, and we have to connect the dots."

For a larger image, go to Gallery
The film suffered a minor setback in the US recently, being slapped with an NC17 rating. "It was just because of the sexual nature of the material that we had a lot of problems with the censor board in the States, but that's rapidly falling behind, so I don't think it's going to be a problem anywhere else. And it's an odd film, I'm realising, because it has commercial draws, but it is quite demanding as well. I love the way it's being marketed here, which is the poster, because it seems to be much more in-keeping with the tone of the film. I think that in North America we were playing it as a film noir, which probably is more esoteric."

For the fans of Kevin Bacon, Colin Firth and Alison Lohman who missed out on a seat to last night's screening, Where The Truth Lies is currently scheduled for a UK release from December 2nd.

Legends of the lounge
(New York Daily News, Oct 9, 2005, by John Clark)

A couple of cool-looking guys enter a hotel suite and sit down opposite each other. They might be taken for swingers, except Kevin Bacon's hair is Shaggy Rock Star and Colin Firth's is Shaggy 1970s. They are not drinking highballs. They are not smoking cigarettes. They are not even hitting on the pretty publicists in the room.

"It's called acting," Bacon says of their characters and their relationship in Atom Egoyan's new film, "Where the Truth Lies." A scathing look at showbiz corruption, it opens Friday.

Bacon, 47, and Firth, 45, play partners in a popular '50s lounge act
not unlike Jerry Lewis and Dean Martinwho are being profiled in retirement by an enterprising reporter (Alison Lohman). The focus of her story is the discovery of a young woman's body in their hotel suite years earlier.

Although they were absolved of any wrongdoing, her death seemed to have broken up the act, which is glimpsed in bits and pieces throughout the film. Bacon's character is the cutup, the clown. Firth is the straight man, the guy who reels him in, though unlike Martin, he doesn't sing.

"I was gearing up for it," Firth says. "I took some singing lessons. And I opened my mouth, and Atom promptly said, 'That's not going to happen. We love your voice, but maybe we could use some of your English wit.' He had doubts about it from way back. For starters, we weren't going to be doing the Italian-American crooning thing."

Egoyan, who adapted Rupert Holmes' book, says he was trying not to invoke Lewis and Martin because it would be "distracting." That was one reason why he cast Bacon and Firth, who don't really suggest a lounge act at all. After all, Bacon is a character actor best known for giving tightly wound performances in such films as "Apollo 13," "Mystic River" and "The Woodsman." Firth is a serious English actor and sometime heartthrob ("Pride and Prejudice," "Bridget Jones's Diary") with a dry, clipped delivery and a crisp manner.

"I wanted there to be a chemistry between how those two are perceived in our culture and then transposing them to this other culture," Egoyan says. "The pairing makes you cock your eyebrow and at the same time is intriguing at some level."

The model for Firth was not Martin, but urbane English actors like Peter Lawford and David Niven. Bacon's character might be antic in the Lewis way, but unlike Lewis there's an edge to him
"untethered, in a sexual way," as Egoyan puts it. "An erotic undercurrent."

Having established the characters, the filmmakers had to come up with an act. Though Bacon plays with his brother in a band called the Bacon Brothers and Firth joined a R&B group when he was a teenager, comedy took precedence over music.

"Part of the day would be spent thinking about the act," Bacon says. "Eventually we brought the band in and had rehearsal space. It was a little frightening because I kept thinking, 'We need to get a choreographer, a music director, a comedy writer.' And Atom kept going back to wanting it to come from us. Ultimately, in a very short time, we had something going for the little bits that are seen of [the duo performing] in the film, just because we were forced to."

It helped that the two men liked each other. "We didn't know each other [before the shoot]," Bacon says. "But I think we have pretty similar sensibilities. Even though we live on opposite sides of the pond, we live similar kinds of lifestyles." (For starters, both are married with children.)

Egoyan, 45, also did his bit by creating environments
a club, a telethon studioso believable that the performers believed them. He even hired a professional laugher to react to their jokes.

"Something about being given that microphone and if you're dressed right and the spotlights are on you, how can you not play that stuff?" Firth says.

Some of what they did was improvised or scripted from improvisation, including a scene in which Firth delivers a frenzied, Benzedrine-fueled monologue onstage (after beating out a man's brains offstage because he made an anti-Semitic remark about Bacon's character). This is one of the longest glimpses of their act. The idea was to give the audience just an idea of what they were about, since more would be another distraction. But according to Bacon many such scenes were cut.

"There was quite a lot of your rear end that didn't make it either," Firth says, needling Bacon.

"There's enough of my rear end already," Bacon replies.

They are referring to the nude orgy scene they did with actress Rachel Blanchard that earned the film an NC-17 rating, which Egoyan thinks had as much to do with who was doing it (major actors) as it did with what they were doing (a homosexual act). The movie will be released without a rating.

"It made me uncomfortable," Firth says of the scene, kidding Bacon some more. "It was closer range than you'd want to get." Then he adds, almost seriously, "You've got all of this technical stuff about hiding parts. That's a feat in itself, depending on what your body parts are like."

At this, Bacon just smiles.

Egoyan film explores divide between fame and privacy
(CTV.ca, Oct 4, 2005, by John McKay, Canadian Press)

The opening shot is of a live television show of the 1950s. The backdrop says it's a telethon for polio, and a bandy-legged comic named Lanny is goofing around onstage. Oh, the movie audience thinks, this is a thinly disguised imitation of the Jerry Lewis telethons. Then Lanny's urbane partner Vince appears, a cigarette, a drink and a dame in hand. OK. So this is the telethon if Lewis and Dean Martin had never broken up and were doing these charity broadcasts together. Later, a young woman, very naked and very dead, is found in Lanny and Vince's hotel suite. Shades of the notorious Hollywood party scandal that brought down 1920s screen funnyman Fatty Arbuckle at the top of his game, even though he was acquitted of any crime.

The plot of Atom Egoyan's film Where the Truth Lies, which opens in theatres Friday after screenings at the Cannes and Toronto film festivals, is poised at a critical junction in modern history. Lanny and Vince part ways and the film narrative revisits them semi-retired some two decades later in the 1970s as an enterprising reporter tries to dig up the never-talked-about events
including the murderthat led to their breakup.

Although based on a novel by Rupert Holmes, Egoyan's screenplay deliberately backed away from what were much more overt parallels in the book to Martin & Lewis, Rowan & Martin, the Smothers Brothers or any number of showbiz teams of the day. But not, the filmmaker says, out of any fear of legal action. "No, but it was very distracting,'' Egoyan says. "It's one thing to read that, but it would have been very distracting to model the act after Martin & Lewis directly.''

British actor Colin Firth, who plays Vince Collins, agrees. "If you're going to base it on somebody real, what the hell are you going to do as an actor? I mean, are you going to play Jerry Lewis and call him Lanny Morris? And then imply that he got involved in some kind of scandal like this? It would be a dramatically and completely inconsistent thing to do.''

Instead, Where the Truth Lies offers a melange of familiar showbiz imagery
stars who have one image onscreen and another backstage, rubbing shoulders with mobsters rat-pack style while everyone looks the other way, and with sycophants willing to do what it takes to preserve a carefully fabricated celebrity image.

And then there's a sea change. Sometime after the Watergate scandal, the once cosy relationship between public figures and the media that covered them disappeared. A new breed of investigative journalist began to look for ways to tear down the very gods they had earlier helped create. And Lanny and Vince get caught unawares in this change, stumbling into a different era, as Firth put it.

"America went through a period. There had been a president assassinated again, there had been the civil rights movement
the women's movement, the peace movement were all exploding. And I think people were ready to call their heroes and leaders to account.'' Firth says the instinct to create our gods and then seek to humanize and ultimately destroy them is especially prevalent in his native England. "It's as if you need to bring them down closer to you,'' he says. "That's why we need to give them feet of clay, why we need to deconstruct them . . . photographing them with a bad hair day.'' He says that wasn't done years ago, when the public would not want to see Jean Harlow without her makeup.

Egoyan also found the idea of the telethon compelling and appropriate. "It's the ultimate expression. If a celebrity is a god, it is the most superhuman thing that a celebrity could do, is entertain till they drop from exhaustion.

"So you have this one event that is so scrutinized, set against this other event happening in a hotel suite that no one sees.''

Kevin Bacon, who plays Lanny, sees another duality in the story, that of stars who want the glory of fame but don't want to surrender their privacy. "There is this odd sort of addiction to it (fame),'' he says. "You walk down the street one day and nobody asks for your autograph and you think, `Oh, it's over! What happened?' ''

Bacon indicated he handled his own dilemma with fame by having other outlets
performing in a band, for exampleso that his film career didn't define his life. But Lanny and Vince, he said, had only each other, and when the fame was gone they were left lonely and vulnerable. "Vince is desperately unhappy, (and) I don't see Lanny as someone who is at peace with that whole thing.''

Up-and-coming Canadian actress Rachel Blanchard, who plays the young woman who allows herself to be seduced by her heroes and ends up a corpse, says some young celebrities just aren't prepared for the buildup and the subsequent attempts to tear them down, and she doubts it's a life for her. "I'll never be a huge celebrity,'' she declares flatly. "I probably wouldn't like it.'' She says she would prefer to be an actor, like Bacon and Firth, not a movie star.

Dressing Egoyan and Cronenberg (excerpts)
(The Look, Fall 2005, by Amy Verner)

Beth Pasternak weaves her way through time, sourcing early 20th-century Armenian textiles for Atom Egoyan’s Ararat and recreating 1950s suits for his new film, Where the Truth Lies, starring Kevin Bacon, Colin Firth and Alison Lohman.

Was it difficult to jump between the ‘50s and the ‘70s for Where the Truth Lies?
For some reason, the last three films I’ve done [Where the Truth Lies, Ararat and A Home at the End of the World] have been multi-era movies.  I seem to have a knack for them.  This time, it was a challenge to find
styles that I thought the male characters were going to mature into.  A lot of the initial ‘50s fittings for Kevin didn’t suit who he was inside, so I tried styling from Elvis—the rockabilly look of wearing black T-shirts under white jackets—and that really clicked.  For Kevin’s character in the ‘70s, I thought of jean jackets and a lot of neckerchiefs.  I used Faye Dunaway’s look from the film Network for Alison Lohman, because she was playing a news personality.

Is there a difference between costumes and clothes?
Everything actors wear is a costume.  For Where the Truth Lies, all the suits were tailor-made.  And the fabric is always the most complicated and challenging part of doing a period film, because the fabrics don’t exist anymore.  So the suit fabric was brought in from London because of its high count of mohair.  I’m really about doing it head-to-toe—from the socks to Kevin’s emblem ring we had made for him.

How much do you collaborate with the art director and the production designer?
We usually compare our research.  For this film they really wanted to do an orange wall in Kevin’s ‘70s office, but it turned out that Alison was already pre-fit to wear an orange dress for the scene.  It worked out really beautifully.  They ended up doing the orange wall with her in the foreground wearing orange, and it was stunning.

How do you factor in undressing on camera?
It’s really important that an actor feels comfortable.  We did a couple of ingenious things on the film, where, if the men were nude, we designed flesh-tone bags for their genitals.  We ended up calling it the Bacon bag.

But what about the unbuttoning of dresses or how easily a shirt comes off?
There has to be breakaway clothing.  Everything is rigged, because, chances area, when you’re undressing in front of the camera, something will screw up the scene.  It’s your obligation to make sure that nothing goes wrong.  There’s no such thing as wardrobe malfunction.

The Thrust of the Idea
(FLM magazine, Fall 2005, by Atom Egoyan)

When I promised my producer that I would deliver an R-rated version of my latest film, Where the Truth Lies, I signed the contract confident that this wouldn’t be much of a problem. Even though the script had several scenes that seemed sexually explicit, I also realized that careful framing and editing could solve any obstacles.

Or so I thought.

The big problem that I encountered was that the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) is very concerned about the depiction of thrusting. A few thrusts would be allowed, but anything more might land the picture in the dreaded NC-17 category. The challenge became how to choreograph extended scenes of sexual activity without seeing the prolonged thrusting associated with the act.

The obvious solution used by countless films is to frame the actors’ heads and shoulders as their lower bodies thrust. This efficient method effectively frames out the offending area, allowing the viewer to concentrate on the actors’ faces as they stare at each other blissfully thinking about the nice feelings their unseen groins are producing. Occasionally, the director will then cut to a wider shot, but this is never more than a few thrusts, and it usually finds the actors’ bodies covered by a sheet.

The problem with this solution was that it didn’t convey the feeling that the sex scenes in the movie were supposed to express. One of the lead characters in the film—a hugely popular entertainer, played by Kevin Bacon—recounts his sexual exploits like he was an actor in a porn film. I needed these scenes to feel lurid and unbridled. The traditional ‘head and shoulders’ framing wouldn’t work. I wanted the sex to feel raw and exposed.

I’m convinced that the best way to shoot a sex scene and make it seem real is to use a master shot—an uninterrupted sequence with no cuts. I wanted to see the bodies. The overwhelming challenge was how to show two (and in this case even more) people having sex without depicting the act of thrusting.

By its very nature, sex needs thrusting. More specifically, one part of the body must be in some form of friction with another. This isn’t a very romantic way of thinking about it, but then again the MPAA isn’t a very romantic organization. Their job is to count thrusts, and then decide—depending on the number—who should see the film. Nice work if you can get it.

The two male leads are popular entertainers in the fifties. The idea of tantric sex, or anything involving sexual activity in a semi-comatose position, was not a possibility. As the deadline approached for filming these scenes, I began to panic. I resorted to playing with dolls, trying to figure out angles and configurations. Finally, in total defeat, I approached my producer and confirmed his worst fears. It was impossible to show a sexual act of longer than a minute (one scene involved two pages of dialogue) without resorting to some form of thrusting.

And with this decision, we veered our film into NC-17 territory. To this day, I sometimes wake up in a sweat, thinking of other ways the scenes might have been filmed. Errant pieces of furniture, masking piston-like body parts. Tasteful cut-aways to trains, tunnels and collapsing chimney stacks. A lamp falling over at the beginning of the scene, rendering the screen black. All of these solutions bordered somewhere between the coy and the ridiculous.

The sex scenes in Where the Truth Lies are essential to the dramatic and psychological construction of the film. They are playful, transgressive and even traumatic. Like most sex scenes, they involve issues of intimacy, love, power, desire, escape, anger, ambition and a thousand other emotional configurations.

They are also, thankfully, completely uncompromised

Egoyan film very noir
(CanWest News Service, Sept 25, 2005, by Jay Stone)

The movie crew is having lunch
guys dressed like 1950s mobsters have lined up for chicken wraps, extras in double-breasted police uniforms are talking on cellphonesand Kevin Bacon is talking about hemorrhoid medicine. The windows of the elegant Royal York Hotel ballroom in Toronto are practically rattling with his cries for Preparation H.

Bacon, dressed in the style of a post-war lounge singer, is talking about celebrity and how it relates to Where The Truth Lies, the Atom Egoyan movie that comes out Oct. 7. Bacon plays Lanny, half of a vaudeville act with Vince (Colin Firth), who become involved in a murder mystery when a woman is found dead.

At $25 million, it's Egoyan's biggest-budget film to date. (In its sex scenes, especially a menage a trois, it is also Egoyan's most erotic film, and the movie has been given a restrictive NC-17 rating in the U.S.)

Cult of celebrity

At its heart it has the same dark concerns—including the cult of celebrity—as most of his movies.

"It's very enticing to feel that you do not have to follow some of the rules," Bacon says, referring to both the fictional Lanny and himself. "In little ways, I don't. I don't have to stand in line at restaurants. People give me s--- for free."

"It's true," says Firth. "You get treated with deference. It cuts you through bureaucracy.

"At the same time, there's certain things you don't want to be seen buying at the pharmacy."

This delights Bacon. "Believe me, it's happened to me many times," he says, recreating the scene in both his own voice and the brassy New Yawk of the clerk. "Excuse me, what aisle is the Preparation H ... 'Joey! Where's the ... Oh my God! It's Kevin! The Preparation H!' I can't tell you how many times."

Does he get the Preparation H for free at the check-out?

"They administer it," deadpans Firth.

It's a great act with ideal chemistry, although Egoyan said he cast Bacon and Firth because of the contrast in their personas.

Superstar a favourite

The new movie is a film noir, a form Egoyan says he has always loved, with elements of music, which also engages him. Even knowing that, it is surprising that one of his favourite films is Jesus Christ Superstar.

"I would ascertain that Jesus Christ Superstar is the most exciting movie ever made," he says. "I love it. When I bought a DVD player it was the first thing I rushed out to buy. And I was very happy to watch it and rewatch it many, many, many, many times."

Where the Truth Lies concerns two competing narratives, and asks the question, "Who has the right to tell our history?" a concern that Egoyan says occurs in all his films.

This time, Egoyan is aiming for a broader audience than he gets with art-house fare including Exotica or The Sweet Hereafter.

"That's a natural consequence of working with a larger budget," he says. "When you're dealing with a budget like this and you're dealing with subject matter like this, you realize you have a potential to reach a much wider audience. "

Egoyan's Anatomy of a Stage Act
(Globe and Mail, Sept 8, 2005, by Gayle MacDonald)

You'd think people would know the guy.

But there's Atom Egoyan
one of Canada's most talked-about filmmakerswalking around the set of his new movie, Where the Truth Lies, with a name tag that says in big, bold, black letters: ATOM.

And below that, he's sporting another plastic I.D. badge that clarifies the matter to anyone who didn't catch his identity the first go round, this time with surname, too: ATOM EGOYAN.

Why, pray tell, is this bespectacled film auteur wearing two tags at the same time? Simple, really. They were a gift. From a well-meaning manager of Toronto's Royal York Hotel
where Egoyan's shooting his murder-mystery starring Colin Firth and Kevin Bacon. The man found out that Egoyan, decades before he became film famous, spent many summers sorting laundry and bussing tables at Victoria's Empress Hotel, near his boyhood home.

To commemorate the director's lowly servitude at a sister hotel, the Royal York manager made up the pins. And Egoyan
bless his heartis dutifully wearing them.

"All CP hotels smell the same," says Egoyan, taking a good sniff of the ballroom in which we're currently ensconced while the cast and crew break for lunch. "They smell like laundry rooms." (The Royal York and The Empress are both now part of the Fairmont Hotel family, but were formerly part of the Canadian Pacific empire.)

Set to make its debut in North America next Tuesday at the Toronto International Film Festival, Egoyan's $30-million, NC-17-rated film has already set tongues wagging because of a healthy helping of explicit sex (there are threesomes, twosomes, in various gender pool configurations).

But this is months before
the film's in embryoand on this particular overcast Sunday, Egoyan is trying to nail a tame scene that involves a fifties-era press conference, set up in a Royal York ballroom currently filled with male extras in tailored suits and Brylcreem, and women in poodle skirts, pointy-bra twin sets, and Barbara Billingsley waves in their hair.

As is his fastidious way, Egoyan is doing take after take to make sure the lighting, placement of extras, even the facial expressions of his two male stars is just so. Composition, he explains, is key.

"There is a pace the film has
and needs to havethat may be different from some of my other work," he says. (Where the Truth Lies jumps constantly between two distinct time periods, the fifties and the seventies.)

"There are different undertones [to each decade]," Egoyan adds. "At this point, it's difficult to know what the alchemy of it all will be. But that's one thing that is so exciting. So after you do the shoot, you go into the editing process where you try to juggle all these different times. Everything in the late fifties is shot with beautiful diffused light. And it has a very specific tone
a softer focusthat is in sharp contrast to the mid-seventies, which is very hard-edged, and played quite realistically with a straightforward approach." The speech is vintage Egoyanart-house alchemist.

In recent months, film buffs have made quite a fuss about the fact that Where the Truth Lies is, by far, Egoyan's most commercial film yet. And while the director admits it's a departure from his more boutique-film fare (Exotica, The Sweet Hereafter, Felicia's Journey), he says this movie is still true to themes he likes to explore
how love can lift up and also shatter souls; how people masquerade their feelings in public but drown in them at home; how every human action creates a ripple effect that can be inconsequential or catastrophic.

"When I read the book"
the film is based on Rupert Holmes's novel"I was really excited at a popular level," Egoyan says. "I've always loved noir. I've always been drawn by this notion of moral corruption and people trying to navigate their way through that. And I felt in reading this story that there was a real possibility of using a tonal palette to tell a story that could reach a much wider audience. It's a film that is going to be as complex, on some levels, as anything I've done," the director promised.

"But it also has this world of popular culture. At its core, it's the very emotional telling of a marriage. Because ultimately, this film is about the breakup of a professional marriage between these two men [Firth and Bacon] and the reasons behind that, as well as the stories the public is allowed to have access to and the ones that we'll never really know."

Set in the golden age of the TV telethon, Bacon and Firth play one of the hottest show-biz duos in the late fifties: the ebullient, obnoxious American Lanny Morris (Bacon) and the genteel, stiff-lipped Brit, Vince Collins (Firth). They are the best of friends. They are chronically horny. And they are adored by all (except the husbands of the girls they pick up).

But when a naked woman turns up dead in the bathtub of a swank New Jersey hotel, the lads' lives
and livelihoodsare turned upside. The act breaks up. Then 15 years later, a nosy journalist (Alison Lohman) appears on the scene, and tries to unravel the mystery of the dead womanand why the two men split. The film also features Rachel Blanchard, David Hayman, Maury Chaykin and Sonja Bennett.

Egoyan says the film tries to pull the curtain back on the paradoxical nature of show business
on one hand highly visible, but also extremely insular. Full of extreme beauty and extreme ugliness. "I've never really dealt with notions of popular entertainment or popular culture, but I do have a very strong sense of the almost mythological status that we attach to celebrities.

"Every culture has had a need for mythology, has had a need to present certain human beings as being transcendent or having powers beyond the realm of the normal. In our culture, I mean it's banal to say, but clearly that's what we believe. And the reason we create, maintain and nurture celebrity is because we need to believe that those are the people who have that power, have that magic. It's something we create. But it's also something that we very consciously destroy. So this is a story about that ascent and that downfall."

The show-biz act choreographed in the film is no Laurel and Hardy routine. In fact, there's no entertainment partnership to really compare it to. Here, Bacon plays a brash song-and-dance man, who likes to compliment women on their cup size (C and D are preferred) while belting out Louis Prima tunes, modified to sound burlesque and a bit rock 'n' roll. Firth's character doesn't sing or dance, but classes up his pal's debauched act with his dry, witty repartee and banter.

Casting the two male leads was a challenge, Egoyan says. "We wanted to create a totally new act . . . and the only way I felt comfortable being able to do that was to find actors who were prepared to use their personas in the act itself. So Colin has this patina of civilization. English manners. Fair-mindedness. He contrasts with Kevin, this nascent, more impulsive, kind of dangerous, erotically charged figure."

As an added bonus, Egoyan adds, both actors were prepared to go "to some pretty extreme dark places."

In the film, performing, popping pills and sleeping with women are both Vince and Lanny's favourite pastimes. But by the time the characters grow into the seventies, Lanny's still getting by quite nicely, while Vince is not. Firth says the thing about his role as Vince that interested him most was "the loneliness and decline of the character. I think there's something desperately, desperately sad about this guy," says Firth, in a 1950s black suit, with bow tie askew.

Bacon describes his character as a guy "who had a certain rhythm in his life," adds the actor, who plays in a band, The Bacon Brothers. "Atom and I really wanted to play into the cocky, wiseass, ugly American. Just what an American can represent to the rest of the world sometimes
not politewell not as polite as people are in Canada."

Like Egoyan, both actors also were intrigued by the crass side of celebrity and stardom and, as Bacon puts it: "The fact that celebrities tend to live by a different sort of moral code than the rest of the world, which is supported and encouraged, every step of the way."

Asked if his celebrity status makes him feel able to do whatever he wants, Bacon smirks and treads carefully. "I feel it's very enticing to feel like you don't have to follow the same rules as everyone else," he offers in his deep baritone.

Firth agrees: "That's true you get treated with deference by certain people. It cuts you through bureaucracy, you know?" But then Firth points out an obvious drawback. "There are certain things you don't want to really be buying at the pharmacy. Guys can dine out on what they sold you forever."

Then Bacon, slipping naturally into his rabble-rouser role, adopts a Southern shop-clerk voice. "You want to know what aisle has the Preparation H? Louise, where'd we put that Prep . . .? Oh my God, it's Kevin Bacon. He wants the Preparation H! And it's on the front of The National Enquirer the next day."

"But you do get it for free when you go to the checkout," quips Firth. "And they offer to administer it for you."

Where the Truth Lies was shot over 10 weeks, in Los Angeles, London and Toronto. Besides the Royal York, Egoyan also used The Carlu, and the Valhalla Inn off Highway 27, which was turned into the Blue Grotto Nightclub. "The only club in town that actually has a [glass-sided] swimming pool built into the wall," adds Egoyan. "They closed it off because it wasn't considered politically correct, but we reopened it. It was fabulous."

Lunch is over. The fake press conference calls. Egoyan straightens his name tags and heads back into the ballroom. On the way he smiles at a few bellhops (more extras) who are snoring in the hall awaiting his cue.

THINKFilm Announces 'NC-17' Ratings Appeal
(PRNewswire, Aug 23, 2005)

THINKFilm announced today that the company will appeal the Motion Picture Association of America's (MPAA) "NC-17" rating of the suspense filled mystery, Where the Truth Lies.  Academy-Award-nominated writer-director Atom Egoyan will speak on behalf of the film at the upcoming appeal.  An "NC-17" rating from the MPAA restricts access to the film to audiences under the age of 17.  An appeal date is being set.

THINKFilm chairman Robert Lantos, who is also the film's producer, notes: "Where the Truth Lies is a sophisticated and intelligently provocative film. The NC-17 rating will unfairly limit people's access to it because of the number of theaters in America which will not play an NC-17 rated film.  This film stars some of the most talented actors in the movies today, is based on a popular mainstream novel and is written and directed by a filmmaker known for his artistic integrity and achievement. The film has not encountered this kind of restrictive rating anywhere else in the free world.  Only in America will many be deprived of access to it."

The film tells the story of what happens during a minage a trios [sic] that leads to a girl's death and it is the minage [sic] a trois scene which has yielded the NC-17 rating.  Continues Lantos, "This scene is done using a single sustained mastershot in order to allow the actors the most conducive environment for intimacy and intensity, and in order to best communicate what happens in the film's pivotal scene.  It cannot be cut without compromising the central scene of the narrative and thus rendering the mystery of the film incomprehensible.  It remains more than a bit absurd to me that this scene would garner an R if shot exactly the same but from just torso up, but becomes an NC-17 because the mastershot reveals full bodies."

In Where the Truth Lies, based on Rupert Holmes' acclaimed novel of the same name, Kevin Bacon and Colin Firth star as Lanny Morris and Vince Collins, the country's hottest entertainment duo.  Lanny and Vince are knee deep in all the wealth and power that comes with such fame.  That is, until a beautiful girl (Rachel Blanchard) turns up naked and dead in the pair's hotel suite after a night of wild partying.  Years later, an intrepid reporter (Alison Lohman) sets out to discover what happened that night, only to be lured into the seductive games of these men.

The film received its world premiere at Cannes this year and will have its North American premiere as an official gala of the 2005 Toronto Film Festival. Where the Truth Lies marks the sixth collaboration between Atom Egoyan and Golden Globe nominated producer Robert Lantos.  The film is scheduled to be released on October 14 in New York and Los Angeles, with a national expansion on October 21.

Egoyan's "Where The Truth Lies" Faces Restrictive Rating Situation
(indieWIRE, Aug 23, 2005, by Eugene Hernandez)

[...] Asked how this rating would hinder the film's release, ThinkFilm's head of theatrical distribution Mark Urman told indieWIRE that whatever the outcome of the rating situation the film would ultimately be fine.

"When a film has this restrictive 'NC-17' rating, or no rating, a lot of the bookings are on a case by case basis. It slows things down and complicates things. But, one can still play a lot of venues, and the film is not salacious or otherwise beyond the pale, so I expect the exhibition community to take it in stride and to book it without hesitation."

In the case of "The Aristocrats," the recent ratings controversy that lead a mainstream theater chain to ban the movie fueled greater media attention for the film, which could also be the case with the Egoyan movie, agreed Urman. "It could indeed help," he said, "The film is sexy, but it is also mainstream and very classy. This is not '9 Songs' and it's not 'The Dreamers'." It's Kevin Bacon and Colin Firth after all! So it may be restricted to grown-ups, but it won't be confined to the margins that those other films were."

At the film's Cannes debut, insiders buzzed that the film's racier bits might land the movie an 'NC-17' from the Motion Picture Association of America. Urman explained that Egoyan trimmed the movie after the fest and he expected the film might get an 'R' rating. While some studios and Indiewood companies will not release films rated higher than an 'R', an independent company without corporate pressures can opt to release a movie unrated.

ThinkFilm plans to open the Egoyan film in New York and Los Angeles on October 14th, followed by an expansion into top markets around the country a week later and Urman says he personally feels the movie is suitable for a 17 year-old. "I think it can stand alongside an R without blushing," Urman explained, adding" The plot and the psychology are too complex for anyone who isn't sophisticated, so we're really splitting hairs about 17 vs. 18, but it's not a film one would see many 13 yr-olds frequenting. That said, a stupid 40 year old may come for the sex, but will have trouble with the mystery and the milieu!"

'Truth' hurts as ThinkFilm plans to appeal NC-17
(The Hollywood Reporter, Aug 22, 2005, by Gregg Kilday)

Call it a case of ratings interruptus.

ThinkFilm said Friday that it plans to appeal the NC-17 that the MPAA Classification and Ratings Administration has awarded Atom Egoyan's "Where the Truth Lies."

The only problem is that, according to the MPAA, the group hasn't officially published the movie's rating yet, and no appeal date has been set.

Based on a murder mystery by Rupert Holmes, "Truth" concerns an investigation into an unsolved murder that marred the career of a '50s stand-up comedy team (Kevin Bacon and Colin Firth). The film includes a
ménage à trois sex scene involving Bacon, Firth and actress Rachel Blanchard that many observers expect will result in an NC-17, which would make the movie off limits for viewers younger than 18.

In addition to restricting the audience, the NC-17 tag also reduces a studio's ability to market the movie, with some newspapers refusing to publish ads, and some theater owners refusing to screen such movies.

According to sources familiar with discussions between CARA and the director, Egoyan has trimmed several scenes to the point where they would earn the less-restrictive R rating but that the
ménage à trois scene remains in NC-17 rating territory according to CARA. "Our understanding is that you must first accept the rating, which we did Thursday, and then you can request an appeal," one source said.

When journalists queried Egoyan about the movie's possible ratings difficulties at a media luncheon at this year's Festival de Cannes, the director said: "I guess I'm
naïve. I really had no idea it would be a problem. I just heard the deciding factor could be thrusting. Apparently, anything over three thrusts and you're in trouble. Well, nobody told me. I didn't even do covering shots, so there's nothing I can cut away to. This is what you get."

ThinkFilm chairman Robert Lantos, who also is the film's producer, acknowledged the challenge in reshaping the scene in question, saying: "This scene is done using a single sustained mastershot in order to allow the actors the most conducive environment for intimacy and intensity and in order to best communicate what happens in the film's pivotal scene. It cannot be cut without compromising the central scene of the narrative and thus rendering the mystery of the film incomprehensible. It remains more than a bit absurd to me that this scene would garner an R if shot exactly the same but from just the torso up but becomes an NC-17 because the mastershot reveals full bodies."

Added Lantos: " 'Where the Truth Lies' is a sophisticated and intelligently provocative film. The NC-17 rating will unfairly limit people's access to it because of the number of theaters in America (that) will not play an NC-17-rated film."

Egoyan will speak on behalf of the film when an appeal is scheduled.

The film is to be released Oct. 14 in Los Angeles and New York, with a national expansion Oct. 21.

Film's threesome proves troublesome
(NY Daily News, Aug 14, 2005)

Kevin Bacon, Colin Firth and Rachel Blanchard have a wild ménàge à trois in their new film, "Where the Truth Lies." But how much of their three-way will you get to see?

Director Atom Egoyan and ThinkFilm execs are wrestling with the MPAA ratings board over whether the film should get an NC-17 or the preferable R.

Word is the ratings sheriffs have gotten hung up on four scenes in the movie, based on Rupert Holmes' novel about a journalist trying to find the truth behind the breakup of a famed comedy team years before. A lesbian sex scene
featuring a woman dressed as Alice in Wonderlandwas less troubling than Blanchard's trifecta romp with Bacon and Firth, who play the comic duo loosely based on Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin. The next morning, Blanchard is found dead in the hotel room.

The "Sweet Hereafter" director writes in SLM magazine that the MPAA is concerned with "the actual number of thrusts seen." Before shooting his actors, he recalls, "I resorted to playing with dolls, trying to figure out angles and configurations." But in the end, he couldn't disguise the sexual mechanics.

"I needed these scenes to feel lurid and unbridled," says the Oscar-nominee and four-time Cannes Film Festival prize winner.

Having promised producer Robert Lantos an R, Egoyan has continued whacking away at the offending scenes. But one insider tells us, "The mystery of the girl's death hinges on that scene. If he cuts any more, the audience won't know what happened."

ThinkFilm is due to get a verdict on the latest edit this week. If the NC-17 sticks, the company could appeal, or it could release "Where the Truth Lies" without a rating, as it did with its raunchy comedy "The Aristocrats."

It's safe to say the movie is a departure for Blanchard, that sweet girl from TV's "7th Heaven." She admits her boyfriend "cringed" when he saw her triple-header
partly because "he would suffer endless taunts of 'One degree of Kevin Bacon!'"

New faces - Rachel Blanchard
(Sunday Times, July 17, 2005. by Garth Pearce)

It is going to be a year of big movie performances by unknown actresses. They have all been hovering below the radar, but a feast of film-festival previews, from Cannes to Venice (next month), is announcing their arrival....Here is the rundown of who, why and how they are making it.
Why now? A standout performance as the victim of a threesome that haunts the careers of a top 1950s comedy duo, played by Colin Firth and Kevin Bacon, in the forthcoming Where the Truth Lies.

She says “I got so caught up in the key scene, I didn’t think, ‘Oh, I have Kevin Bacon on top of me.’ My character is very driven, and it is always interesting to play people who keep pushing until they get what they want.”

They say “Rachel gives a dynamite performance,” says Firth. “If this film was going to work, the audience had to believe the relationship between her, Kevin and me. She oozes natural authority.”   

'Truth' comes out via SPHE, ThinkFilm deal
(The Hollywood Reporter, July 14, 2005, by Anne Thompson)

ThinkFilm and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment have finalized a deal with producer Robert Lantos of Serendipity Point Films to release Atom Egoyan's mystery thriller "Where the Truth Lies" in the U.S. and Canada. The deal was announced Wednesday by ThinkFilm president and CEO Jeff Sackman. Lantos also is chairman of ThinkFilm.

ThinkFilm will distribute the film and handle television sales in North America, with home entertainment being handled by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

Egoyan directed "Where the Truth Lies" as well as adapted Rupert Holmes' novel. The film stars Kevin Bacon and Colin Firth as a young 1950s comedy team who split after a girl (Rachel Blanchard) turns up naked and dead in their hotel suite. Alison Lohman plays a journalist who investigates the duo 20 years later.

The film premiered as a Competition entry at this year's Festival de Cannes and will receive an official gala presentation at this year's Toronto International Film Festival.

"We are looking forward to celebrasting with everyone at the Toronto film festival in September," Sackman said.

ThinkFilm will open the movie in limited release Oct. 7 in New York, Los Angeles and other major markets.

Egoyan film's raw sex raises eyebrows at press screening
(Globe and Mail, May 14, 2005, by Liam Lacey)

The phrase "where the truth lies," with the pun intended, could be the title of almost any Atom Egoyan film, from Exotica to The Sweet Hereafter to Ararat, with his characteristic emphasis on investigations, competing narratives and different perceptions of events. It happens to be the title of his stylized, often sexual new film, an adaptation of Rupert Holmes's novel about a 1950s nightclub duo who split up the night after a dead girl was found in the bathtub in their hotel suite. It's also about the determined young journalist trying to unlock their story in the early 1970s.

Budgeted at $24-million (U.S.), it's easily the most expensive film the Toronto-based Egoyan has done, and as producer Robert Lantos said frankly, it's aimed at an audience who may never have seen an Atom Egoyan film. The cast includes Kevin Bacon and Colin Firth as a Martin and Lewis-style comedy team, with Alison Lohman (Matchstick Men) as the young writer.

Where the Truth Lies is a lush-looking film, shot in Canada, Los Angeles and studios in England, with echoes of classic Hitchcock pictures such as Vertigo, both in camera movement in certain scenes and musical score. While Holmes's novel was linear, Egoyan has typically Atom-ized the narrative, moving back and forward, with alternative accounts of events eventually converging at the end.

Initial reaction at yesterday morning's press screening was mixed to Egoyan's backstage drama.

In particular, there were doubts about Lohman, who seemed kind of adolescent to be a crack journalist even in 1972; the same actress plays herself at age 12. She's also in sexual scenes that led one journalist in the press conference after the screening to question whether an actress so young needed to be protected. Lohman, who is busy shooting another movie, wasn't there to answer the question. Egoyan said the actress's quality of innocence and vulnerability is essential, because it makes her eventual ability to turn the tables against her aggressors that much more powerful. People were "unnecessarily worried that she was exploited. Actually, she's 26 years old."

The sex scenes, Egoyan added, were essential because he wanted to portray a world where the entertainers' lives appeared to be "unbridled. They have all the drugs they want, all the sex they want. The sense of going too far is essential to the piece. . . . I wanted the sex scenes to be as vivid and corporeal as possible."

While the sex scenes earned a lot of discussion, Egoyan pointed out that Where the Truth Lies may also be his goriest film, though no one in the press questioned it. Vince (Firth) is the gentlemanly partner who has a vicious off-stage temper; at one point, he leads a rude patron backstage and beats his face to a bloody pulp.

Obviously, the Firth role was cast somewhat against type, and an Englishwoman asked the actor if, after being known as a "rather nice romantic hero," he minded playing a "pill-popping, oversexed bisexual."

"It's a role that's not really a stretch for most actors," Firth answered.

Egoyan asked Bacon and Firth to come up with their own idea of the comedy duo and they rehearsed for several days
not, said Firth, to create a polished comedy routine but to evoke the relaxed camaraderie of two long-time partners. Initially, Firth thought he might play the actor as an American but, he said, the national stereotypes worked better: "the English schoolteacher and the American unruly adolescent."

Much of the story revolves around the cost of fame, and the difference between celebrities' personas and their private lives. Bacon pointed out that the idea of celebrity and authenticity is contradictory. "Whenever you're doing press interviews or press conferences, and journalists are trying to get at the real you and you're pretending to offer them the real you, it's kind of an acting exercise."

Sexy Egoyan film causes stir at Cannes
(Toronto Sun, May 14, 2005, by Bruce Kirkland)

The sexiest film so far in the Cannes Film Festival comes from
surprise!Canada. It is Toronto filmmaker Atom Egoyan's film noirish drama Where The Truth Lies, which made its debut last night in competition.

But Egoyan does not think the film is salacious or excessive, despite nude scenes involving Kevin Bacon, Colin Firth and Rachel Blanchard in an orgy, Bacon and Alison Lohman in a night of passion and Lohman in a steamy lesbian encounter when her character is high on drugs.

"It is an essential part of the film," the analytical Egoyan told a Cannes press conference yesterday. Egoyan, who has dealt with overt human sexuality before in films such as The Adjuster and Exotica, said he intensified the sex in Where The Truth Lies because he wanted to show how his two central male characters
played by Bacon and Firthwere locked into a self-indulgent lifestyle as a comedy-musical act which had thrust the men into stardom in the 1950s.

"I wanted to create this world that was kind of intoxicating and I also wanted to show the difference between a sexual gesture that was born of a real intimacy
say with Alison and Kevin because she was with this man whom she idolizedas opposed to these scenes which were quite staged."

Those "staged" scenes include a sequence in which Bacon, Firth, Blanchard and three hookers are involved in a wild night that leads to the mysterious death of Blanchard's character, the central plot hook of the film noir story.

Egoyan said he shot these scenes show how sex was used "to either manipulate people or to make someone believe something that didn't happen. It was just part of the world of the movie and I wanted it unbridled. I wanted it to feel that anything could happen, that these people could take any amount of drugs they wanted, they could have any amount of sex they wanted, that nothing was holding them back."

Egoyan said he is mystified that so many people are reacting so strongly to the supercharged sexual content.

"It's really interesting to me how people respond to the sexuality but not to the violence." In one scene, Firth smashes an anti-Semite's head into the floor after the man had hurled a racist comment at Bacon, who plays a Jew.

"No one evens talks about that," Egoyan said. "That's the most gory scene I've ever done and people don't have a problem with that. But it's weird. We're really kind of obsessed."

Egoyan said he never concerned himself with censorship when shooting the film, which he said is impossible to cut.

"I have a great producer (Toronto movie mogul Robert Lantos) who doesn't make me have to think about censors, you know. I mean, we probably have issues but we're both pretty firm, so to speak, what we want the film to do."

Lantos said yesterday that he does not think the censors will have a real problem because the sex is not really that graphic.

"It's a testament to the effectiveness of those scenes that they are being labelled graphic because they're not graphic. They are steamy and obviously they work because you think they're graphic. But there is nothing that you can see in them that, technically, would get this film in trouble with any censors. And we don't expect to have an NC-17 rating (which is a curse for any film) in America and it would be extraordinary if we did get that. This is a film for adults and was always intended as a film for adults."

Bacon said he had no problem with the sexuality or the nudity and finds it odd that other people do.

"One of the things about the movie is that, when we have sex, we're naked and that's what kind of flips people out. Sometimes personally, I leave some of my clothing on but usually, I don't know about the rest of you ... (grinning, he leaves the rest of the sentence unsaid). To me, I think the sex in the movie is incredibly appropriate and the way it is done is very specific to the story telling."

Blanchard, a Toronto-born actress who sees Egoyan's film as her serious breakout film, is seen both naked and sexualized, and naked and dead in Where The Truth Lies. No problem, she said in an interview yesterday.

"I felt really uninhibited doing it. I also felt really protected. I felt really comfortable with Kevin and Atom and Colin, because it could have been a really uncomfortable experience. I've worked with some directors where, even just standing there in a dress, you felt really violated. (With Egoyan), I felt really safe. I felt really well respected. I think it's the one time where nudity made sense."

Lantos vows to protect 'Truth' scenes
Producer doesn't want Egoyan's film to be censored
(Variety, May 13, 2005, by Elizabeth Guider)

Robert Lantos, the Canadian producer of competish entry "Where the Truth Lies," said he would not allow Atom Egoyan's sexually explicit pic to be cut by the MPA ratings scissors
as the sex scenes are integral to the story.

Egoyan's time-jumping tale of a famous Hollywood break-up has already been sold widely except for the U.K. and the U.S. where, Lantos said, he is beginning negotiations "now," and might conclude within days. The pic had a budget of $24 million.

"I believe it's a film that's accessible to a fairly wide adult audience," Lantos told Variety at a press lunch Friday, the day the pic screened in Cannes. He said he'd want it to be released in Canada and the U.S. in October or November.

Lantos, who has a history of making provocative, upscale movies and has worked with Egoyan on several movies, said that at this stage in his career he wanted his films to score with the widest audience possible.

"If we're going to that much effort (to make the film), I want it to be seen," he said.

Pic starts Kevin Bacon and Colin Firth and is based on Rupert Holmes' eponymous best-seller.

"Where the Truth Lies" was test-marketed in the U.S., in places far from Manhattan and Los Angeles, and the reactions, Lantos admitted, were skewed. "A number of folks over 40 walked out. It was clearly an age thing. The younger people, who may never have even heard of Egoyan and don't go to movies because of directors, clearly liked it," Lantos said.

"Where the Truth Lies" does have a fall-back in the U.S., in that Lantos is half-owner of ThinkFilm, and could presumably go that route if no other offer satisfies. Lantos said he wouldn't "rule that out," but that Think really isn't set up as yet to handle the wider release he envisions for "Truth."

Egoyan grilled over sex scenes in new film
(CBC Arts, May 13, 2005)

At a Cannes Film Festival news conference after the debut of Atom Egoyan's Where the Truth Lies, much was made of the film's explicit sex scenes, which include nudity, a threesome and a lesbian encounter.

The Canadian filmmaker and the two male leads, Colin Firth and Kevin Bacon, all took turns Friday defending the steamy scenes in the film, adapted from Rupert Holmes's novel, about a popular 1950s-era musical comedy duo who live in a whirlwind of sex, alcohol and drugs until a scandal forces them apart. Two decades later, a young journalist interviewing the duo begins to unravel their dark secrets.

At the news conference, Egoyan faced questions about why he took the sex scenes so far and heard comments that there was more sex in this film than in all of his other works combined. In response, Egoyan wondered aloud why viewers were focusing on the sex but ignoring the extreme violence in the film. In one scene, for example, Firth's character viciously beats a heckler.

"It really is interesting to me how people respond to the sexuality but not to the violence," the director said at the news conference.

"No one says that it goes too far when he's bashing his head against the floor. No one ever talks about that. That's the most gory scene I've ever done, and people don't have a problem with that. It's weird. We're still really kind of obsessed about sex," he said.

Perhaps it was the frank manner in which Egoyan portrayed the duo's scenes of debauchery that disturbed some people, Bacon suggested.

"Sex is oftentimes all right to see as long as the participants are clothed, or some sort of piece of furniture is put in the way of the nudity. ... One of the things about the movie is that when we have sex, we're naked," he said. "That's what kind of flips people out, which I don't understand. ... It is unfortunate that people find that so disturbing. To me, I think that the sex in the movie is incredibly appropriate."

Some questioned whether Firth sought to break from his image as the stoic but dashing hero of films like Pride and Prejudice and Bridget Jones's Diary with his role as a "pill-popping, over-sexed bisexual."

"It's a role that is not usually a stretch for most actors. To play 'Lord of the Manor of Derbyshire' [from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice] requires more research. I feel comfortable in this sort of a drama," he said. "The romantic comedy genre arrived late in my career and took me by surprise. ... I'm always surprised when that's what I'm always associated with."

Though he said he never thinks about censors, Egoyan acknowledged that the film, which some have called his most commercial venture yet, will probably run into some issues over the sex scenes. "But we're pretty firm with what we want the film to do.....I do think it's essential to the story "

Excerpts from the press conference
(May 13, 2005)

Kevin Bacon on the development of the comedy duo: “With Colin being British, when we got to Canada we just started to think about how that might be and how we could have the button-down British guy and the ugly American and the contrast of that. I looked at a lot of Martin & Lewis, also a lot of the Smothers Brothers, Abbott & Costello, Laurel & Hardy...”

Colin Firth on their comedy act: “It was hugely dependent on spontaneity and our relationship. I was very tempted to go for this role as an American as written in the book, but it was irresistible the advantages in keeping the Englishness, both as an act...and in my character's behaviour off stage. We tried to make a virtue of the contrast so the cliché of the Englishman is the formal schoolmaster if you like, and the cliché of the American is the unruly eternal adolescent. ”

Rachel Blanchard on her script: “Once I have completed a scene, I have a hard time remembering what was on the page, because it's almost like a dream. You have a hard time separating the two, what really happened and what was there originally. ”

Atom Egoyan on the dark side of the film: “I think that as dark as the film is, it ends with a tremendous beam of light, that the decision she makes is very optimistic. I think that in a lot of the films that I have done, the characters go to very dark places to find something that provides some hope. ”

Atom Egoyan on the quantity of nudity: “That sense you feel as the viewer, that it's going too far, is absolutely essential to the dramatic intention of the piece. The viewer has to experience a sense of violation. I wanted to create this world that was intoxicating. I wanted it to be unbridled...nothing was holding them back. I have a great producer who doesn't make me think about censors, but we probably will have issues.

It's really interesting to see how people respond to the sexuality and not the violence. That he's going too far when he's bashing the guy's head against the floor. No one ever talks about that. That's the goriest scene I've ever done. ”

Atom Egoyan on style and noir movies: “I revisited a lot of noir movies and it seems to me that the defining aspect of noir is not any particular visual style but the sense that the character is dealing with the notion of fate. That is what defines noir. All these characters think they have a machine figured out and will be able to control things, but in fact it's all illusion. I love then the way the viewer becomes implicated in the noir.”

Cannes the talk of Atom and David war
(Toronto Star, May 6, 2005, by Peter Howell)

"Stop reading it right now!" Atom Egoyan commands, only half in jest.

"I thought I purchased every copy of the book in the city!"

I've just told him I've been staying up late with Where the Truth Lies, the Rupert Holmes novel the Toronto writer/director has adapted for the screen. It's a thriller—and a real page-turner—about two showbiz legends, an unexplained death and unearthed secrets, set in the 1950s and the 1970s.

Egoyan's movie by the same name is heading to the Cannes Film Festival next week, where it will compete for the celebrated Palme d'Or, along with fellow Torontonian David Cronenberg's A History of Violence. But what each filmmaker really wants is to have his work taken on its own terms.

Egoyan is worried that the book lovers might object to some of the artistic liberties he's taken with Where the Truth Lies. He's made significant changes to the dynamics between main characters Lanny Morris and Vince Collins, a comedy duo played by Kevin Bacon and Colin Firth. He's also dropped certain scenes and added a new subplot. It's what filmmakers do. Movies are a different medium from books, and people who expect a visual form to be exactly like a written one are bound for disappointment. Egoyan frets nonetheless.

"I'm glad a lot of people aren't familiar with the book yet," he says. "My purest experiences are when I go into a movie with no expectations. To me, Where the Truth Lies is just a great piece of drama."

(Full article)
In Competition at 58th Cannes Film Festival
(April 19, 2005)

Where the Truth Lies was announced as an Official Selection of the prestigious 58th Cannes Film Festival and in competition for the Palme d'Or, its top award.  The 12-day festival (May 11-22) is a launching pad for films from around the world, usually made outside the Hollywood system, that often go on to be hits with audiences and critics.

The heavy hitters will be back on the Croisette next month, according to Cannes artistic director Thierry Frémeaux, who said, "This year, there is a return to a certain classicism, the great auteurs, many of whom have already been in the competition."

Egoyan will go head to head with fellow Canadian director David Cronenberg, who also has a film in competition. Both Egoyan and Cronenberg had films at Cannes in 2002. Cronenberg's Spider was in competition, however, while Egoyan's Ararat was not. Cronenberg also entered Crash in competition in 1996 while Egoyan entered Exotica in '94, The Sweet Hereafter in '97 and Felicia's Journey in '99. The last time two Canadian filmmakers were in competition was 33 years ago, in 1972, says Stephen Lan, a spokesman for Telefilm Canada.

In the Globe and Mail, Egoyan, "described it as 'amazing news that both films will be there. I'm never blasé about this. The festival is very, very stringent and this is never expected.'  Egoyan, who is still in post-production on his film, said it will be 'very, very tight' to have the film ready for the May deadline. He describes the film as having film-noir elements and said he studied the genre extensively, especially with an ear to the use of 'conflicting voice-over' and for stylistic accuracy in the film's two time-periods, the 1950s and the 1970s.

Among the acclaimed directors bringing films to Cannes this year are Lars Van Trier, Jim Jarmusch, Gus Van Sant, Wim Wenders, Michael Haneke and Amos Gitai. Woody Allen's London-set film Match Point will be shown out of competition.
Set Diary:
The actress on preparing for her first nude scene and being in a Bacon sandwich

(Premiere, March 2005, by Rachel Blanchard)

There comes a time in every actress's career when the question of nudity rears its head. For me, it was when I joined Atom Egoyan's Where the Truth Lies, in which I play an aspiring 1950s journalist who has a life-altering experience when she ends up in a threesome with two celebrities (played by Kevin Bacon and Colin Firth).

I had to break it to the relevant parties that their daughter/girlfriend was going to be on the big screen, in the buff. My parents did their best to pretend I hadn't told them, and my boyfriend cringed. Not only would he have to watch me get it on with two men, but he would suffer endless taunts of "one degree of Kevin Bacon."

Nudity clauses were drawn up
the important stipulation being that my dressing room come supplied with a bottle of merlot. Suddenly, I was getting a merkin ("an artificial covering of hair for the pubic area," according to my dictionary). I was waxed, moisturized, wearing a fluffy bathrobeand standing face to face with Firth and Bacon.

The ease of shooting in the nude is dependent upon one's director. In this regard, I could not have been luckier. Oh yeah, it doesn't hurt for your costars to be incredibly sexy. Maybe I didn't need that bottle of wine after all!

Egoyan struggles to make Cannes deadline
(Toronto Star, Feb 9, 2005, by Peter Howell)

Atom Egoyan is running out of time to participate at this year's Cannes Film Festival, and it's all because he can't stop the music. The Toronto filmmaker is in post-production for his new movie Where the Truth Lies, a murder whodunit starring Kevin Bacon, Colin Firth and Alison Lohman. The film was expected to be a leading contender for Canada's chief flag bearer at the annual Cannes fest in May.

"I'm not so sure we're going to be ready for Cannes," he said in an interview yesterday. "Because there's a lot of music involved. There's a ton of stuff that has to be settled in terms of post production. It's tricky. It's a much trickier post than the other films."

The entry deadline is "coming right up," Egoyan said, he didn't specify the date, "so we have to make a decision soon."

But even if Egoyan misses the deadline, he might still be accepted as a late entry, which is not unknown in Cannes. He is popular with Cannes festival selectors, who have often chosen his films for the main competition or sidebar programs. In 1997, Egoyan's The Sweet Hereafter won the second-prize Grand Prix at Cannes.

Sarossy & Egoyan bring Truth to light
(by Marise Strause, Dec 6, 2004)

The director/DOP team of Atom Egoyan and Paul Sarossy are back together again, on a bigger scale than ever, with Where the Truth Lies (aka Somebody Loves You). Boasting an A-list cast and $30-million budget, Truth, having wrapped in early November, is the seventh feature for the frequent collaborators.

"Paul consistently surprises me with the quality of his work," says Egoyan. "He gives it a sense of definition and attention that is mysterious to me, because I don't see light the way he does."

Sarossy shares the love. "Atom is very organized as a director, and clever with his use of time," says the Barrie, ON-born cameraman. "Coming from smaller films, he's very efficient and conscious of using limited resources. Those talents have translated even as the productions have grown in budget."

Where the Truth Lies, a noirish period drama, is a Canada/UK coproduction between producer Robert Lantos' Serendipity Point Films and First Choice Film that commenced shooting on Aug. 30, dividing locations among Toronto, Los Angeles and London, Eng.

Flashback to the 50s

Egoyan adapted Rupert Holmes' fictitious novel of the same name about entertainers Lanny and Vince (portrayed by Kevin Bacon and Colin Firth, of Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason), who had a successful run as a comedy duo in the late 1950s, a la Martin and Lewis. Nearly 20 years later, they become the subject of an investigation by journalist Karen O'Connor, played by Alison Lohman (Matchstick Men), who attempts to unravel a mysterious affair in their past involving a woman's murder.

Sarossy says Truth's visual design largely focused on the story switching back and forth between the 1970s and the 1950s. Achieving looks for the different periods began with costumes and makeup. "The entire time that we're showing Lanny and Vince in the '50s, they're dressed in black tuxedos, which, on a practical level, is difficult to shoot, since the characters would melt away into the background," Sarossy explains. "So it had to be lit very carefully."

To further enhance separation, the DOP used filtration to create a glowing effect and add a certain lustre to the '50s footage. Egoyan adds that it's the first time he and Sarossy have used this much filtration and stylized movements and composition. "It's really a collaboration between Paul, production designer Phillip Barker, costume designer Beth Pasternak and myself in trying to create a unified look. If you are making a film that deals with popular culture, you have to make believable the world that these characters live in."

The 1970s period, set mostly in L.A., serves as a distinct departure from the ritzy lifestyle of the 1950s scenes set in Miami and New Jersey. "Our characters are older, and the look shifts to a more contrasty, less glamorized, very clean and crisp image," Sarossy says. "They lived in this glamorous bubble at the height of their careers, whereas later they're faced with the harsher reality of life."

Director and DOP opted to film the 1970s L.A. sequences using front light instead of back light, which Sarossy says tends to beautify the look.

"Front light was much more effective in creating this sun-bleached, harsher realism, showing the characters as part of the world," he notes. "Whereas with back light, you can isolate people and keep them in their own world, something that lent itself more to the 1950s [scenes]."

While the bulk of the 40-day shooting schedule took place in Toronto, the crew also filmed at Venice Beach and at architect Pierre Koenig's modernistic 1960 Stahl House in L.A., also capturing the city's recognizable exterior landmarks. Barker recreated the inside of Stahl House at London's Pinewood Shepperton Studios; there he also reconstructed an airplane and a retro Miami hotel.

Sarossy found working with a mix of Canadian and foreign crews challenging, especially when trying to maintain a continuity of look....

"We were filming in the Toronto Dominion Tower on the 14th floor, and control over daylight was minimal," he recalls. "It was a foggy day, so the light available was dark, which is unusual in those towers."

Sarossy manned the single camera, which remained on a dolly with the exception of some broader scenes. Two cameras were used for a scene filmed at Toronto's art deco Carlu event venue involving many extras recreating a big 1950s telethon broadcast.

Manning the camera

The DOP prefers operating the camera himself, explaining that it's part of the relationship he and Egoyan have enjoyed for many years. "It's a tremendous pleasure to shoot a film through the eyepiece. A lot of people prefer working with an operator, but I find I light through the viewfinder, and it's much more efficient to do it from the operator's seat."

Sarossy recalls a "fabulously complicated" Steadicam shot at Valhalla Inn-Toronto that involved a bar scene below a swimming pool. Steadicam op Tim Merkel followed the two main characters through the entire bar, filled with extras.

"The purpose of the shot was to showcase our characters and reveal their status as entertainers," the DOP explains. "The location had a low ceiling, and the challenge was to hide the lights while also dealing with a lot of extras. I just put lights in nooks and crannies wherever I could. But also, with a moving camera, you can get away with disguising lights in the camera movement."

Sarossy's lighting kit was fairly comprehensive, since the crew worked both on location and in studio.

"In the airplane, for example, we had a 20k tungsten light on a Pegasus Crane for simulating the sun as the airplane is moving," he explains. "We put the light on the crane so you feel the movement of the aircraft."

Atom Egoyan explores the two faces of fame and fortune
The Canadian director concludes filming his movie “Where the Truth Lies” in London
(el País, Nov 26, 2004, by Lourdes Gómez)

A pair of Hollywood superstars in the 1950s with Mafia connections, the unsolved death of a young woman and the reporter determined to unravel a 20-year-old mystery.  Atom Egoyan switches gears in his next film, Where the Truth Lies, to explore the power and price of fame with a cast topped by Colin Firth, Kevin Bacon, and Alison Lohman.  This Anglo-Canadian co-production, with a budget of $23 million, was filmed in Toronto and Los Angeles before finishing in London.

Colin Firth and Kevin Bacon portray two Hollywood legends, who captivated the public in the 1950s with their musical-comedy act and lived up to the catchphrase “sex, drugs and rock and roll”.  “We lived the high life, tempted by drugs, women and all the vices that are the trappings of fame,” explains Firth, 44, the quintessential English gentleman in Bridget Jones.

That part of the Hollywood lifestyle is much in evidence in the set decor at Shepperton Studios, where filming of Where the Truth Lies has ended.  Champagne bottles, cases of shellfish and exotic fruits are all visible among the Art Deco furniture in the fictitious hotel suite.  “They discover the body of a young woman in our room, but her death is never solved,” Firth puts forward.  “Yes,” adds the American Bacon, “plus you have the idea coming into play that celebrities can get away with murder.” “No one accuses us of anything but our act falls apart.

Twenty years later, the unsolved murder mystery is reopened.  A female reporter, played by Alison Lohman, is working on a biography of the legendary pair, and her investigation doesn’t stop with merely the presumption of murder.  “My character is pure adrenaline, intense, audacious, manipulative and with an unlimited imagination,” describes the 25-year-old actress.

For the first time, Egoyan delves into pop culture in Where the Truth Lies, adapted from the Rupert Holmes novel of the same name. “It deals with Hollywood: its stars and their myths, the marked contrast between their public and private lives, and how they hide certain aspects of their personalities behind a public face. Its tone is different from my other films but is a subject which has always fascinated me: how we reconcile opposing versions of the truth or how we navigate situations with alternate points of view over what could have happened,” he explains.

The director trusted the abilities of his two lead actors to explode, deconstruct and even challenge the public’s perception of their characters. He sees Firth as “an urbane person, with an enormous talent in projecting that image,” in contrast to Bacon’s image as “rebellious, impulsive, impetuous.” “What is it in their personalities that causes such reactions?” he asks.

“Our act has comedy and music, but this film is not a comedy. On the contrary, it is a suspense, with touches of violence, sex and decadence,” emphasizes Firth.

Industry Buzz
(San Francisco Chronicle, Nov 7, 2004, by Hugh Hart

Jet lag: Canadian director Atom Egoyan was broiling last month in the Hollywood Hills, where I watched him put Kevin Bacon, Colin Firth and Alison Lohman through their paces in the '70s-era period drama "Where the Truth Lies." Bacon and Firth, decked out in bell bottoms and big-collared shirts, play former partners of a comedy team who are reunited under tense circumstances by an investigative reporter, portrayed by Lohman.

The scenes were filmed on the grounds of the Stahl House, a modernist architectural landmark. But instead of continuing the project in one of the dozens of production facilities just a few minutes away, the "Truth" team flew to England the next day, where the home's interior had been painstakingly re- constructed on a London soundstage.

Robert Lantos, producer of the $24 million film, explained that the counterintuitive logistical hassle was in fact grounded in some very sound fiscal realities.

"Films are made wherever it is most economically viable to shoot them," Lantos told me by phone from England. "Sometimes it's because one place is cheaper than another. London is probably the most expensive place on Earth, but there's an equally compelling reason to come here, which is that there is significant financing available for films that qualify as British."

Follow-the-money financing can profoundly affect where a film is shot....In the case of "Where the Truth Lies," Lantos says, "This group of English investors put up a significant portion of the budget in return for an equity position. In addition to that, there is a U.K. tax write-off that results in money that comes into the film that doesn't have to be repaid. In all, it can add up to close to half the budget of the movie, just for being British qualified."

The made-in-Britain standard, he says, "includes spending money in England, i.e. shooting here. So rather than build the set in a studio in Los Angeles, which would have made life simpler for everybody, we built it in a studio in London."

Raising money to make a movie used to be far easier, but Lantos says, in the late '90s, distributors who had eagerly invested in quality art-house pictures got cold feet, giving rise to an intricate network of government-backed financing schemes. "There's no point in being clever about putting financing together if you sacrifice the film in the process," Lantos says. "Some just cannot be financed in a clever way because it means compromising them to the point it's not worth making them. But because it has a lot of interiors, 'Where the Truth Lies' is a portable film."

"My real job is to contribute to the creative process and make sure the film gets properly marketed. Then I have this other thing, which is how to get them made. It means there's a lot of jet lag. And it is inconvenient. I sort of look at it as a necessary evil."

Comments from Mychael Danna
(Music from the Movies)

Q: Your collaboration with Atom Egoyan is surely one of the finest director/composer relationships in modern cinema. How would you like to describe your relationship? Also, can you tell us anything about your new film, Where the Truth Lies?

We've now worked on ten films, including this one. I just got back from the set in Toronto, where Colin Firth and Kevin Bacon are playing, and singing, the roles of a comedy duo in the late 1950's. It's a whole new kind of music for me to explore, and the set was great, we had a twelve piece band backing up these guys... it's going to be a lot of fun. Working with Atom is like going home. Well literally, it is going home. And strangely, they are shooting here next week, about a block from my decrepit Hollywood Boulevard studio!

Colin Firth talks....
(Hollywood Movies, Oct 16, 2004, by Rebecca Murray)

Can you discuss the movie you and Kevin Bacon are doing?
This is a film [called] "Where the Truth Lies." It's from a novel of that name by Rupert Holmes. It's a little hard to pitch. It's set in the U.S. and it goes from 1959 to 1974. It cuts between those two eras. It's about an entertainment duo in the '50s. We're a fictional, legendary entertainment duo and their peccadilloes and their involvement with sex, drugs, the Mafia, and how it all gets out of hand. Eventually it leads to the death of a woman in a hotel room. And it's never resolved. It's a big mystery, and then cut to 1974 where this investigative journalist is on the case trying to find out why the actors broke up and who killed this woman and were they involved. That's basically the mystery of it.

Are you the journalist?
The journalist is a woman. And I'm one of the two. Kevin Bacon and I play the act.

How did you like working with director Adam Egoyan?
I find him absolutely fantastic. A lot of freedom. He has a very, very strong idea of how much he wants. He doesn't over-cover things. He knows exactly how he wants to shoot it. He doesn't protect himself with endless coverage. He just knows how he wants the scene to be revealed, depends on his actors, and works with them very specifically.

Sometimes you have a slightly adversarial relationship with your director. And that can be a good thing. I mean, it can be a stimulating, slightly contentious relationship. Adam doesn't work like that. He does it very gently. You have enormous regard always for his intelligence. So there's always a big listening relationship. He tends to work by watching what you do, finding something that interests him, even if it's just a speck of what you've shown him, and then expanding that.
[full interview]
On Location
(Toronto Star, Sept 26, 2004, courtesy of Vera)

It's not tuxedo junction. It's the T.O. set of Where the Truth Lies and
Colin Firth (left) and Kevin Bacon are duded up as comics in a telethon.

Colin Firth talks....
(Hollywood Movies, Oct 16, 2004, by Rebecca Murray)

Can you discuss the movie you and Kevin Bacon are doing?
This is a film [called] "Where the Truth Lies." It's from a novel of that name by Rupert Holmes. It's a little hard to pitch. It's set in the U.S. and it goes from 1959 to 1974. It cuts between those two eras. It's about an entertainment duo in the '50s. We're a fictional, legendary entertainment duo and their peccadilloes and their involvement with sex, drugs, the Mafia, and how it all gets out of hand. Eventually it leads to the death of a woman in a hotel room. And it's never resolved. It's a big mystery, and then cut to 1974 where this investigative journalist is on the case trying to find out why the actors broke up and who killed this woman and were they involved. That's basically the mystery of it.

Are you the journalist?
The journalist is a woman. And I'm one of the two. Kevin Bacon and I play the act.

How did you like working with director Adam Egoyan?
I find him absolutely fantastic. A lot of freedom. He has a very, very strong idea of how much he wants. He doesn't over-cover things. He knows exactly how he wants to shoot it. He doesn't protect himself with endless coverage. He just knows how he wants the scene to be revealed, depends on his actors, and works with them very specifically.

Sometimes you have a slightly adversarial relationship with your director. And that can be a good thing. I mean, it can be a stimulating, slightly contentious relationship. Adam doesn't work like that. He does it very gently. You have enormous regard always for his intelligence. So there's always a big listening relationship. He tends to work by watching what you do, finding something that interests him, even if it's just a speck of what you've shown him, and then expanding that.
[full interview]

Adams' Egoyan
(Toronto Star, Sept 26, 2004, by Rika Zekas)

Kristin Adams called on her cell phone to say she was delayed on the DVP because of traffic. But Adams has such a girlish voice, she doesn't sound old enough to drive. It's both blessing and curse. She is now only 22, but can play 16, like she did in Falling Angels, at last year's film fest.

Adams was in this year's TIFF film Childstar, directed by Don McKellar and is currently working on the Atom Egoyan film Where The Truth Lies.

"I had one casting director complain that I sound way too young for my look" she said over bottled water at Bistro 990...She suggested I start smoking. No way."

Adams is so pretty she looks ethereal. And she is sweet without being cloying.

Atom Egoyan saw her in Falling Angels and cast her in Where The Truth Lies over girls auditioned in Los Angeles and London. It is a British co-production.

"I play Alice and she dresses like Alice In Wonderland," Adams explained. "I work in a children's hospital and do plays. Kevin Bacon and Colin Firth play two comedians who do a telethon to raise money for polio research."

Principal photography begins on suspense mystery
(Aug 31, 2004)

Serendipity Point Films has announced that shooting has begun on the suspense filled mystery, Where the Truth Lies. Produced by Robert Lantos and written and directed by Atom Egoyan, the film is based on Rupert Holmes' acclaimed novel of the same name.

Starring Kevin Bacon (Mystic River, Apollo 13 and the upcoming Woodsman), Colin Firth (Love Actually, Bridget Jones Diary and its upcoming sequel), Alison Lohman (Big Fish, Matchstick Men, White Oleander), Where the Truth Lies is a sumptuous and seductive film noir that explores the dark, decadent side of fame, fortune, and success.

Set in the seemingly innocent 50's, the film centers around legendary showbiz duo Lanny (Kevin Bacon) and Vince (Colin Firth) America's most beloved entertainment team. When a dead beauty turns up in their hotel suite after a top-rated televised performance, their reputations are sullied but, thanks to rock-solid alibis, neither is charged with a crime. With their friendship and partnership in tatters, they manage to salvage separate careers. Years pass, with neither speaking to the other, or to anyone else, about the girl's mysterious death.

In the far less innocent 70's, up and coming writer Karen O'Connor (Alison Lohman), decides to turn this cold case into a hot story and begins to ferret out the facts behind this fabled showbiz split. Her investigation leads to involvement, with both Lanny and Vince, and what she finds is a serpentine, shocking tale of talent and treachery, love and lust, buried truths and betrayed trust.

Rounding off the talented cast is David Hayman (The Jackal), Maury Chaykin (Being Julia), Sonja Bennett (Punch) and Rachel Blanchard (Without A Paddle). Joining the production is cinematographer Paul Sarossy (Ararat), production designer Phillip Barker (The Sweet Hereafter) costume designer Beth Pasternak (A Home At The End of the World), Genie Award-winning editor Susan Shipman (Being Julia) and composer Mychael Danna (Vanity Fair).

Principal photography on Where the Truth Lies will continue until November 5th, 2004 on location in Toronto, Los Angeles and London.

Star gets his teeth into role
(Glasgow Record, Aug 30, 2004, by Beverley Lyons)

Trial and Retribution star David Hayman decided to get the perfect Hollywood smile to match his latest major role. The Scots actor has landed a part in the US film Where The Truth Lies, alongside Kevin Bacon and Colin Firth. Before he flew out to Toronto yesterday to begin filming, he dropped in for laser treatment in Glasgow....David plays a butler who knows too much.

Egoyan finds leading lady for 'Lies'
(Variety, July 6, 2004, by Cathy Dunkley)

Alison Lohman has signed on to star opposite Kevin Bacon and Colin Firth in Atom Egoyan's next pic, "Where the Truth Lies," being produced by Robert Lantos' Serendipity Point Films. The seductive film noir, adapted by Egoyan from Rupert Holmes' novel of the same name, explores the underbelly of fame, fortune and the mores of sexual convention.

Formerly called "Somebody Loves You," pic will start shooting Aug. 30 on location in Toronto, Los Angeles and London. "Atom and I find that we keep coming back to the title of the novel, so we've decided to stay with it," Lantos said of the name change.

Lohman to play journalist
(Production Weekly, July 2, 2004)

Alison Lohman is set to join Kevin Bacon and Colin Firth in Atom Egoyan's "Somebody Loves You," an adaptation of Rupert Holmes' acclaimed novel, "Where the Truth Lies."  Lohman will portray Karen a young female journalist who tries to uncover the truth behind the breakup, years earlier, of a celebrated comedy team after the duo found a girl dead in their hotel room. Though both had airtight alibis and neither was accused, the incident put an end to their act. It will shoot on location in Toronto, Los Angeles and London, starting August 30.

Egoyan recruits stars with big box-office pull
Kevin Bacon, Colin Firth in film noir
(Toronto Star, June 23, 2004, by Martin Knelman)

"After directing a movie about genocide and an opera from Wagner's Ring cycle, I thought I could use a bit of fun," says Atom Egoyan.

That's his explanation for what must rank as the most startling showbiz bulletin of the week. Collaborating with producer Robert Lantos (of Serendipity Point Films) for the fifth time, Egoyan will soon begin shooting Somebody Loves You—a $30 million film noir that sounds a lot more like mainstream Hollywood entertainment than the not-for-the-multiplex films for which Egoyan is best known.

Unlike other Egoyan movies, this one will have popular Hollywood stars—Kevin Bacon and Colin Firth as an American comedy team whose careers go into a tailspin as a result of a mysterious death.

"It may be different from what I've done before insofar as the main characters are popular entertainers," says Egoyan, speaking by cell phone yesterday during a camping trip in northern Ontario. "It's based on a novel that a Los Angeles agent had the imagination to think I might be interested in, and she was absolutely right." [...]

Egoyan wrote the adaptation. It's the third novel he has brought to the screen. Shooting of the film—a Canada/U.K. co-production—begins in Toronto at the end of August, moving later to L.A. and London.

"It's dark and sexy, and it makes my head spin," says Lantos, speaking by cell phone from a café in Vancouver on his way home from a fishing trip. "It's stylish, steamy and humorous, and it has smart banter between smart people. And while it reflects some of Atom's preoccupations, this is very much in the mainstream. It is going to be accessible to large audiences, not just cinephiles."

Certainly the presence of Bacon (right after his memorable work in Mystic River) and Firth (best known for Bridget Jones' Diary and Love, Actually) guarantees that this movie will draw the attention of moviegoers who do not hang out at the Carlton and the Cumberland....

Set in Los Angeles in the 1970s, the story is told from the point of view of a 20-something female celebrity journalist digging into the history of two comedians whose partnership ended years earlier when a girl's body was found in their hotel room while they were running a telethon. The role of the journalist has not yet been cast.

Serendipity Point is co-producing the movie with U.K.-based First Choice Films. The financing was set up by executive producer Donald A. Starr, a Canadian who moved to London and created new ways of using British tax laws. A few months ago, some of those methods were ruled out of bounds—causing the financing of several films to unravel. But because the Somebody Loves Me deal had already been approved, it was allowed to go forward.

Virgo's Lie is hot but Egoyan's Love is cooler
(Screendaily, June 23, 2004, by Denis Seguin)

Second perhaps in sensation but higher in prestige is the prospect of a new film from auteur Atom Egoyan. The heat is on the auteur and in more ways than one. His previous film, Ararat, a film that explored the historical impact of genocide, was critically lauded and created its share of controversy. But it didn't perform at the box office. The new film, Somebody Loves You, is a clear departure from weighty subject matter. But it also offers an opportunity for Egoyan to break from the "intellectuals-only-need-watch" track his career has lead him.

Based on the widely-admired novel by Broadway wonderkind Rupert Holmes, the story follows a young celebrity journalist as she tracks the secrets of a showbiz duo who were driven apart by a bizarre death in which one of them may have played the part of murderer. The deeper she digs the more she finds herself involved with both men and perhaps risking more than she bargained. The project offers some audience-friendly landmarks (1970s LA noir) with Egoyanesque touchstones like identity confusion.

It's the third novel Egoyan has adapted (the others were 1997's The Sweet Hereafter and 1999's Felicia's Journey), but is by far the least depressing. The film starts shooting at the end of August under Egoyan'a long-time collaborator producer Robert Lantos, who is a third source of heat. After the failure Norman Jewison's The Statement, Lantos' Serendipity Point Films needs a hit.

Colin Firth to star in Egoyan film

(The Hollywood Reporter, June 22, 2004, by Ian Mohr)

Kevin Bacon and Colin Firth have signed to star in Canadian filmmaker Atom Egoyan's film noir "Somebody Loves You," its producer says.

The project is based on the Rupert Holmes novel "Where the Truth Lies," and explores the "underbelly of fame, fortune and the mores of sexual convention," according to Robert Lantos of Serendipity Point Films.

The film is slated to go before cameras in late August with locations in Toronto, London and Los Angeles.

Lantos and Egoyan have teamed on such films as "Ararat," "Felicia's Journey," "The Sweet Hereafter" and "Exotica."

"Of all my collaborations with Atom Egoyan, it is my favourite. It is in-your-face, provocative and, at the same time, delightfully intelligent," said Lantos.

Bacon was recently in theatres with "Mystic River," while Firth starred in "Love Actually."

Thesps love 'Somebody'
(Variety, June 20, 2004, by Cathy Dunkley and Michael Fleming)

Kevin Bacon and Colin Firth have signed on to star in Atom Egoyan (news)'s next pic, "Somebody Loves You," produced by Robert Lantos' Serendipity Point Films.

Egoyan adapted Rupert Holmes' acclaimed novel "Where the Truth Lies" and will direct.

Book follows the story of a young female journalist who tries to uncover the truth behind the breakup, years earlier, of a celebrated comedy team after the duo found a girl dead in their hotel room. Though both had airtight alibis and neither was accused, the incident put an end to their act.

Pic is a film noir that digs deep into the underbelly of fame, fortune and the mores of sexual convention. It will shoot on location in Toronto, Los Angeles and London starting Aug. 30.

Pic marks the latest collaboration between Egoyan and producer Lantos, whose relationship dates back to 1991's "The Adjuster." The two recently teamed on Egoyan's pics "Ararat," "Felicia's Journey" and "The Sweet Hereafter."

From the Publisher

Where the Truth Lies is a tour de force of sinister mystery, sly comedy, grand cuisine, and incredible sex—a sensual, sardonic, neo-Dickensian thriller in which a latter-day Alice careens through the seductive Wonderland of New York and Los Angeles in the dark heart of the 1970s.

This novel of intrigue speeds from one vivid setting to another, all of them factually real even as they are fantastically surreal: a clandestine club in Disneyland with a dazzlingly well stocked bar; a dizzying Shangri-La of a castle hidden away in Burbank; a drive-in movie theater nestled below the most chic streets of midtown Manhattan; an elegant table for four perched thirty thousand feet above the earth.

Written by Edgar, Tony, and Grammy Award winner Rupert Holmes (who first came to public attention in the mid-seventies as a singer and writer of story songs), Where the Truth Lies will wine and dine you in wickedly whimsical company, all the while luring you into a labyrinth of ever-sharpening bends and darkening corners.

The tale is told by O’Connor, a vivacious, free-spirited young journalist known for her penetrating celebrity interviews and bent on unearthing secrets long ago buried by the handsome showbiz team of singer Vince Collins and comic Lanny Morris. These two highly desirable men, once inseparable (and insatiable where women were concerned), were driven apart by a bizarre and unexplained death that may have cast one of them as a murderer.

As the tart-tongued, eye-catching O’Connor ventures deeper into this unsolved mystery, she finds herself compromisingly coiled around both men, knowing more about them than they realize and less than she might like, but increasingly fearful that she now knows far too much.

At once funny, frightening, delightful, and disturbing as it restores the opulent Hollywood and Manhattan of the seventies to their garish glory, Where the Truth Lies drops its veils like a giddy and voluptuous Salome who knows not what reward or punishment awaits her when she is at last naked. It is the work of a master storyteller and wit at the very top of his form.

Houston Chronicle Review

Rupert Holmes' name may not be as familiar as some of his compositions
the infectious Escape/The Piña Colada Song, the Tony Award-winning musical The Mystery of Edwin Drood, the Grammy-winning score for Barbra Streisand's A Star Is Born, and a couple of other Broadway and TV scripts that won their share of honors.

What really energizes Holmes, though, is the chance to weave a taut thriller. He accomplished that once for the theater, and now he's done it again, this time in his first novel.

The title of this entertainment
a double entendreis a subtle moral lesson. As the author observes through his narrator, herself a writer/biographer named K. O'Connor, "a lie generates only the lie." In establishing his plot line, he has built the foundation on a bed of lies shrouding some pivotal truths.

Holmes, who last fashioned a popular one-man Broadway bio drama about George Burns, has placed the fictional equivalents of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis at the center of his cautionary tale about celebrities as both prey and reprobates, and the pitfalls of fame.

Vince Collins (suave crooner) and Lanny Morris (manipulative, but onstage the nut case) are the nominal stars of the cast-laden story. They are richly developed characters, yet this is a tale, essentially, without heroes.

Why did the team break up so inexplicably, at least as far as the public was concerned? And what makes Collins tick? O'Connor convinces the singer-turned-dramatic actor to unveil his life story in the form of no-holds-barred interview transcripts.

But before long the writer discovers that Morris appears hard at work, in the shadows, on his memoir. What does he have to reveal, and what might be the points of conflict between the two accounts?

On its face, the tale seems clear-cut enough
a Hollywood fable, generously dappled with wonderful atmospherics of the entertainment industry and the fast-track of the social scene in postwar America, particularly its coastal fringes of Los Angeles, New York and Florida. You've got sound stages, movie moguls and gangsters, flacks, sycophants and factotums, with hungry New York publishers thrown into the mix.

Swiftly paced, carrying its characters along a bicoastal journey across two decades, the plot touches down in some decidedly unusual places, adding a surrealistic sensibility to the texture. Indeed, it's not mere coincidence that the reader will venture more than once to Disneyland and find Alice in Wonderland a recurring motif.

OK, showbiz intrigue. But where's the mystery? Well, catch a passing reference on Page 11 to "the Girl in New Jersey." You'll hear about her again nearly 100 pages later. As the story reaches its climax (in more ways than one), this supporting player
a room service hostess at a posh hotelbecomes the novel's deus ex machina, of sorts, tragically so.

Holmes is a sharp-eyed student of scenes he knows well: the world of the celebrated, the haves in the entertainment field. He concocts zesty riffs on telethons, studio backlots, film history, cafe society, even the underworld. The Jersey shore, Manhattan's Chinatown, the swans at the Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles and the denizens of the Sunset Strip
Holmes brings them under his big tent, invariably using these descriptive episodes as tension relievers, breathers before moving the story forward once more at its breakneck speed.

At times, these pauses are like the moments in action films following an exhaustive chase sequence, when the movie can turn talky and drag. Yet this novel rarely falls into that trough. Rather, it builds in intensity and in plot development right to the final twists.

For the remaining lazy days of summer, this is an escapist yarn to relish.

Publishers Weekly Talks to Rupert Holmes (June 2, 2003)

PW: Your central character is a female journalist with a big book deal to write about a Lewis and Martin kind of comic act caught up in a scandal involving "a dead girl in New Jersey." Where did the idea for the book come from?

RH: A comedy team requires the same degree of trust as a trapeze act. I thought about how vulnerable and dangerous that is, and I thought that might make an interesting backdrop for a tale of intrigue.

PW: How did your real dealings with Hollywood affect the story?

RH: I've been close to a number of famous people in my career and I am just so aware how hard it is for them to preserve their privacy and how difficult it would be for them to keep a secret.

PW: Why did you decide to place it in the '70s?

RH: It was a very luscious time and everyone thought you could get away with everything and that you'd never pay a price for it. The mores of the time were almost unforgivable, but it makes for a very interesting setting.

PW: One of the characters in the novel is a New Jersey mob boss. Was he really based on someone you knew?

RH: When I was first in the record business in the late '60s, there were still lots of little labels with lots of connections with people in the construction and murder business. They liked me, God help me, and it frightened me to death. Sally Santoro is based on two different fellows that I knew whose nails and shoes were equally well glossed. And they really talked the way you see gangsters talking in movies.

PW: Random House is releasing a single written by you and performed by Melissa Manchester to promote the book. How did this come about?

RH: Movies get title songs
why shouldn't novels? Why wait until they make the movie? I think it's just that I don't know how to write a workeven if it's prosewithout writing musical accompaniment to go with it..

PW: The protagonist is only revealed only as K. O'Connor and the reader never learns her first name. What is it?

RH: You're the first to know that K is her middle initial. I've always loved that in the novel Rebecca, and in the movie, you never know the name of the heroine, because Rebecca is so overwhelming, and that the protagonist is Mrs. DeWinter, but you never know her [first] name. And Rebecca is one of several types of books that are role models and touchstones for Where the Truth Lies.

New York magazine (Aug 11, 2003, by Meryl Gordon)

[F]ilm director Atom Egoyan (The Sweet Hereafter) has optioned movie rights. "It's a very erotic book," says Egoyan, who is writing the screenplay. "But it's also a powerful story about emotionally dependent partnerships. The discrepancies between public and private personas of the famous are brilliantly captured."

Holmes, who wrote the novel in the wisecracking first-person voice of his heroine, says the inspiration for the book derives from a primal moment of childhood disillusion. His voice drops as he sets the scene: The year is 1956, he's 9 years old, and an ashen-faced kid runs up to him on the Nyack, New York, school playground and announces the unthinkable: Martin and Lewis are splitting up. "They were the coolest guys on earth," says Holmes. "We loved that they were friends." I said, "No, they just say things like that. It can't be true."

Years later, when he saw the two men separately reminiscing on TV (Martin died in 1995), Holmes says, he started to wonder, "When you have an act like that, and everybody worships you, and women are lining up outside your dressing-room door, what secrets might you have, what dark things?" ... Holmes, who never met either of his childhood idols, has worked in his own autobiographical riffs, from sadder insights coming out of family heartarche to delicious descriptions of the backstage Hollywood he saw while on the Warner Bros. lot writing songs for Streisand. "Barbra and I did not sleep together," he says solemnly, then adds with a grin, "There were rumors to that effect, but no one believed me."

The Early Show (Aug 11, 2003) interview with Harry Smith

Holmes says, “I was haunted by the death of Natalie Wood and the fact that there are two men, both wonderful celebrities that we all like, Robert Wagner and Christopher Walken, who know what happened that night that she left that yacht. And we don't. I thought, what if a journalist tried to uncover where the truth lies in their secret? And so that led to this. It was just about a lot of different people.”

The book takes place in the '70s, which Holmes notes was definitely a lush era. He says, “I entered show biz in the mid '73 and was thrust into Hollywood. I was working with Barbra Streisand. I saw this incredible dream world that was not a dream world. It was real, except it was surreal. I thought this would be a great setting for a suspense thriller.”  [full article]

View video of full interview

The Charlie Rose Show (Aug 4, 2003) - Video of interview on the Multimedia page

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