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In an interview Susan said the following, "...the idea of being portrayed as a drug-snorting [mess] just didn't square with me. Also, on another level, I thought, 'I don't want to be a character in a movie.' Even though I'm used to having my by-line published and so forth, it just seemed too public. It made me think I don't want to be that exposed. It wasn't even the idea that the character had unsavory habits, it was more that I was uncomfortable with just having my name being in a movie."
In an interview, when speaking about her conversations with Adaptation producer Ed Saxon, Susan said the following, "First Ed said to me, 'Everybody in the movie is using - I realize this is probably the way cops do it in interrogations - 'Susan' is going to use her name. Everyone else in it is going to use their names and we really want to be able to use your name.' I said, 'But I feel funny. Here I am using drugs and having sex with my subjects.' He said, 'Susan, look at Charlie. Charlie is masturbating through the whole movie using his name.' And I thought, 'You know, he's got a point there. What am I complaining about?'"
No, the true story reveals that in real life Susan Orlean did not develop any sort of intimate relationship with the orchid thief, John Laroche. In interviews she has explained that a unique relationship does develop due to the often lengthy period of constant contact with the subject, but she never lets such relationships turn sexual.
In an interview Susan said that this has happened, but that she never lets things advance. Orlean said that its easy for subjects to fall for writers who are doing a story on them, because as a writer you give your subjects a great deal of attention, and they often respond to someone so interested in their lives.
Obviously, John Laroche didn't get attacked by an alligator in real life. However, Susan did see many alligators in the Fakahatchee swamp area, including baby ones that she said looked deceivingly cute.
The real Susan Orlean did shoot a supermarket scene with Nicolas Cage, but it was cut from the final edit of the film.
No, there is no Donald Kaufman. He is a fictional character for the film created by Adaptation screenwriter Charlie Kaufman.
On January 21, 2003, Susan Orlean sat down with Chicago area radio talk show host John Williams to discuss her, at the time, new book, The Orchid Thief. Susan talks about going to awards shows for the movie Adaptation and seeing celebrities. She speaks of orchids and the orchid thief, John Laroche. It's an informative interview. We learn about the story from Orlean's perspective before it took on its "adapted" form.
LISTEN (.ram, 8:56 min)
|Author Susan Orlean Discusses Her Feelings on the Movie Adaptation|
At a Texas Book Festival screening of the movie Adaptation, author Susan Orlean discusses her shocking reaction to being pitched Charlie Kaufman's movie script that was inspired by her novel. She also talks about coming to terms with her morally ambiguous movie counterpart, meeting screenwriter Charlie Kaufman and inconsistencies with the Adaptation movie true story.
|Adaptation Movie Trailer|
Watch the Adaptation Movie Trailer for the Nicolas Cage film directed by Spike Jonze. Screenwriter Charlie Kaufman was originally hired to adapt Susan Orlean's novel The Orchid Thief into a screenplay, however, he struggled with a case of writer's block and decided to incorporate that into the script. The new, unique plot had even attracted Tom Hanks to the role, who had for a brief time been set to portray screenwriter Kaufman in the film. As time went on, Spike Jonze stepped in to direct and Cage replaced Hanks.