It’s well known among people who’d know such things that Tom Cruise’s character in Tropic Thunder, Les Grossman, was based on studio head Harvey Weinstein, who’s infamous for being a bit of a tyrant. Like most things related to Tom Cruise, the reality is more interesting than the movies. GordonandtheWhale recently found (on lettersofnote) this 1988 letter from Weinstein to Thin Blue Line (a landmark documentary) director Errol Morris, who had accused Weinstein of not doing enough to promote his movie. Apparently, the feeling was mutual. The letter read, in part:
Heard your NPR interview and you were boring.
If you continue to be boring, I will hire an actor in New York to pretend that he’s Errol Morris. If you have any casting suggestions, I’d appreciate that.
I actually don’t think Weinstein comes off that mean in this. As my grandad taught me, promoting a documentary is war. It’s not like finger banging Mary Jane Rotten Crotch through her purdy pink panties in the alley behind Chick Fil-A. Take it from Werner Herzog, who was once asked about Grizzly Man and responded by biting the head off a live turtle. The man is a publicist’s dream.