It’s been almost 15 years since Todd Field released a film since his critically acclaimed drama “Her” hit festivals last fall. Now running the gauntlet of the awards circuit, Field opens up about the difficulties he faced realizing his projects, including his debut feature, 2001’s “In the Bedroom,” and how Tom Cruise guided him through the difficulties.
In a profile published by the New Yorker, Field shared that he was devastated after Miramax acquired “In the Bedroom” from the film’s debut at Sundance in 2001. Harvey Weinstein, now a convicted sex offender and former Hollywood producer, was running the banner at the time and had a notorious reputation for taking films away from creative and back into the editing room.
“I was crying in the bathroom,” Field recalled. “I called Tom Cruise and said, ‘Something terrible has happened.’ He basically said, ‘This is how you’re going to play it. It will take you six months, and you will beat him, but you must do exactly what I tell you step by step.’
Cruise, who already worked as a producer, devised a process that involved allowing Weinstein to re-edit “The Bedroom” in the belief that the new version would test poorly in preview screenings. After that, Field could point to the positive reviews at Sundance for releasing the film in its original form.
Field shared that he followed Cruise’s game plan. The rest is history: “In the Bedroom” was nominated for five Oscars the following year, including a best picture nod.
Field and Cruise previously worked together on Stanley Kubrick’s final film, “Eyes Wide Shut.” During the interview, Field recalled how Cruise encouraged him to pursue his pursuit of film direction while working on erotic dramas.
The Cate Blanchett-starrer “Her” won Field Best Director awards from the New York Film Critics Circle, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and the National Society of Film Critics. The filmmaker is currently seeking a best director nomination at the Academy Awards, which will announce the year’s nominees on January 24.