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Man Behind The Revenant Can't Grant Interviews


Leonardo DiCaptrio stars in The Revenant. - 20TH CENTURY FOX
  • 20th Century Fox
  • Leonardo DiCaptrio stars in The Revenant.

When the men and women behind the movie The Revenant—the odds-on favorite to win Best Picture at Sunday night's Oscars—run to the podium to give their thank you's, the man behind the 2002 book that inspired the film will probably remain tight-lipped.

The New York Times has a fascinating story about Michael Punke, who authored The Revenant, a novel that told the tale of an American fur trapper's endurance in the wilderness of the early American West. Punke also happens to be the United States ambassador to the World Trade Organization and deputy United States trade representative. Since the movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio secured a number of Oscar nominations, Punke's novel went into its 21st reprinting and sold more than half a million copies, according to The Times. 

However, The Times reported, Punke can't grant any interviews about his book or even sign copies of his bestseller. Federal ethics rules prohibit him from any activities that would be "self enriching," according to The Times. 

"It's been frustrating," Punke's publisher told The Times. 

Punke lived in Missoula, Mont., when he researched his book, but when he was offered the WTO ambassadorship, he and his wife and children moved to Switzerland. He will be in the audience at Sunday's Oscars, though The Times reported he won't be granting any red carpet interviews.