The sad news of Roger Ebert’s passing reminded me of this 2002 Salon piece I wrote about fan-made DVD commentary tracks. Ebert, who popularized the idea of such commentaries, was kind enough to provide some quotes for the story.
Here’s my Wired magazine Q&A with Trance director Danny Boyle. I did an extended cut for online, but for some reason that version hasn’t been posted yet. (Awesome photo by Peter Yang)
Jerry Cantrell, from Alice in Chains, appeared in Jerry Maguire, playing a CopyMat clerk and possibly a messiah. He was fearless. He nailed the performance in two takes, earning a blitz of high-fives from co-star Tom Cruise. Sometimes the reckless naturalism of a relaxed musician is just what the scene needs.
When Billy Corgan was completely broke, I got him a movie deal with Cameron Crowe where he made $40,000. He was very happy about that, and he was specifically happy about the $40,000. So next time you see him, tell him owes me my $40,000 back.
From Cameron Crowe’s WhoSay site: Just found this… Matt Dillon’s hair test for Singles… 1991? (Photo © 2011 Cameron Crowe)
“I shot the making-of-the-movie thing for Singles. The best moment was the day that Matt Dillon was trying on his Eddie Vedder wig. He was assuming the role of a hybrid Eddie Vedder/Chris Cornell. We all had to go and give our opinions on 120 wigs that they pulled. I remember Matt being very insecure. You know, Matt Dillon is Matt Dillon. He doesn’t wear a wig. If anything, the guy plays himself, so he seemed super-uneasy with it.”
—video director Josh Taft, from Everybody Loves Our Town: An Oral History of Grunge