Posted: May 26, 2006
Lilja: You are one of the actors that has done a lot of Stephen King movies and TV series. Is this something you think about? Do you seek out King projects?
Steven Weber: I don't seek them out. But they seem to be made with a certain frequency and by people who share my enthusiasm for King so it is simply the law of averages.
Lilja: Are you a fan of King’s work?
Steven Weber: I do love King's work although I confess to not having devoured all of his books and stories.
Lilja: When the TV version of The Shining where being made there where some talk about Kubric’s version and King’s feelings about that version. What is your thoughts about the differences between Kubric’s version and yours?
Steven Weber: I don't think i am betraying too much by saying that Stephen was never really satisfied with Kubric's version, however liking it on it's own merits. Basically, (in my opinion) Kubric bowdlerized it, removing many of the elements that leant the story its depth and wide appeal, instead making an effective vehicle for his own style and for Jack Nicholson. Clearly, Mick Garris' version is the book, to the last letter, which is how any author would want his or her work to be transcribed. Kubric's version has some amazing, iconic images that define modern horror movies. The miniseries version very much focuses on the human story elements, the marriage and the alcoholism.
Lilja: Your latest movie is Desperation, how did you get the role as Steve Ames? Where you asked to do it or did you audition for the role?
Steven Weber: For Desperation I was offered the role of Steve Ames. An easy decision to make when the director is Mick Garris and the writer is Stephen King!
Lilja: You have worked with Mick Garris on several movies. How is he as a director?
Steven Weber: Mick is a true movie aficionado. Even a bit of a geek. But only when it comes to his love of film. he and I share a love of horror movies and get on very well, which is an asset for an actor/director relationship. He is easy going but precise and respects everyone on the set. In my opinion, in spite of the long list of great films he has helmed, his greatest one is yet to come.
Lilja: Desperation has been finished for quite some time. Has it been frustrating that it’s taken so long for it to air?
Steven Weber: Luckily, I have been working since that movie wrapped. The real frustration is not the wait so much but the fact that I distrust the business and those who might be deciding the film's fate. Once it's made, a film is out of the filmmaker's hands. It's like having your child taken from you and you can only hope it's in good hands.
Lilja: Desperation has a very strong religious theme, what is your thoughts on that?
Steven Weber: The religion portrayed in the movie is, for many reasons, not as heavy as it is in the book. In America, religion has become a sticky subject and although King handles it deftly in his book, presented on television for a mass audience was probably tricky. Clearly, it is essential to the story, to the understanding of the characters and their fates. But like much of what I believe of Christianity, it's teachings are in the form of parables and faith is strongest when it is not blind but when it is informed. That is what I believe is imparted in Desperation. For the story's purpose there is a degree of supernatural activity to illustrate the religious or spiritual text, much as there is in the Bible. But the messages are not to be taken literally. If they were, their power and relevance would be utterly diminished.
Lilja: Which of the four (Revelations of Becka Paulson, The Shining Desperation or Nightmares & Dreamscapes) King adaptations you have done so far are you most satisfied with and why?
Steven Weber: Each of them have been satisfying for one reason or another. I did love Revelations of 'Becca Paulson because I wrote the adaptation and directed it and had an amazing time doing both. The actors were a joy to watch and, even though several elements I loved were ultimately edited out by the producer in his final cut, I was satisfied with the overall effect.
Lilja: Next you have a role in the episode You Know They Got a Hell of a Band in TNT’s series Nightmares & Dreamscapes. Can you tell me a bit about that?
Steven Weber: The TNT episode was adapted and directed by Mike Robe and stars Kim Delaney and myself as a "normal" everyday couple out on their holiday, driving around, seeing the country. They get lost and find their way into a town called Rock and Roll Heaven. Being a Stephen King story, I'll let you guess what happens.
Lilja: What’s up next for you? More King adaptations?
Steven Weber: Right now I am busy working on a new series written and produced by Aaron Sorkin (West Wing) called Studio 60 for NBC, a very much anticipated and very expensive show. As for more King stories...bring 'em on, big guy!