I need to correct Gawker.com’s posting this week about Hollywood. Listing “New York’s Worst Bosses”, the website names Scott Rudin as “today’s 4,000 pound ahi tuna” with the usual — yawn — allegations about his gross behavior. But Gawker claims Rudin was “purportedly the model for the evil producer played by Kevin Spacey in Swimming With Sharks“. Not so! (Though it’s an easy mistake to make.) 1994’s Swimming With Sharks was directed by George Huang, who penned it while working as an assistant for Barry Josephson. Then a high-ranking and ambitious Columbia movie exec, Josephson was infamous for treating not only Huang but almost everyone like shit. (On the other hand, that does not necessarily make Barry a bad person in Hollywood, right? After all, he’s been very successful.) So it was Josephson, not Rudin, who was the thinly veiled model for the Kevin Spacey character, Buddy Ackerman. (Notice how the names are similar?) Barry even received “special thanks” in the film’s credits. As for the pic itself, it’s one of my personal favorites. Because it’s cinéma vérité.
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