He's proud and vulnerable and passionate, but there's this sad determination in his bearing.
Was this line ad-libbed or did you direct Phoenix to reveal all of this in that moment? Samantha Mathis broke up with John Leguizamo after working with River. They fell in love when they kissed in the back of the truck. By the time he came to California, he was into the role.
You cast River Phoenix as a wayward kid- a kind of bad-boy-trying-to-turn-good in James Wright.
What originally drew you to River as the lead and how did you find working with him on your film?
You've never played a character with such an edge to him. " and he said, "silence." I thought that was such a brilliant response.Peter Bogdanovich: When we were preparing the film, we thought he was too big a name and that he wouldn't be interested since it's essentially written from a women's point of view.River wanted to sing in a film and this would give him a chance to sing.As he looked at me sheepishly, he said, "They have no idea it's me." Then it dawned on me the boy they were screaming for (River! I spoke with director Peter Bogdanovich about the making of his film and those last horrible days after Phoenix died.Nicki Richesin: In 1993, you directed an incredibly charming film with River Phoenix and then relatively unknown stars Sandra Bullock and Dermot Mulroney.