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- Oscar-winning screenwriter David Seidler and Boise Weekly News Editor George Prentice talk about overcoming adversity and fly fishing.
David Seidler is one of the most famous writers on the planet. He spent his early days writing for dozens of television programs and movies and was commissioned to write the English dubbing dialogue for Godzilla movies. It was Seidler's experience with a stammer that changed his professional life, though.
Seidler acquired the problem while sailing from World War II-torn Europe to the United States while Nazi U-boats were threatening the Atlantic Ocean—in fact, a nearby ship was blasted out of the water while the boat Seidler was one ultimately made it to shore in New York City. Seidler recalled, as a child, he admired King George VI due to the monarch's own struggle with stammering. Seidler's admiration was the source of the 2010 Oscar-winning film The King's Speech.
"I spent a lengthy bit of time with Colin Firth [who won a Best Actor Oscar for his role in The King's Speech] to detail exactly what living with a stammer was like," Seidler told the 2016 Sun Valley Film Festival audience. "Honestly, it's like a toothache. Once that terrible pain goes away, you don't ever want to relive it, do you? But Colin was quite insistent on knowing all of the physical and emotional restraints to help him with his performance," Seidler said. "I'll tell you one other tidbit: I was initially opposed to Colin Firth's casting as King George VI. I thought he would be wrong. I couldn't have been more wrong. He was amazing."
On March 4, Seidler shared his unique insights into screenwriting, the Hollywood industry and fly fishing with a house during an SVFF 2016 salon. Due to Seidler's passion for fly fishing, he spends many of his days at his Wood River Valley home.
Because he is an Oscar winner, Seidler is also a member of the Motion Picture Academy. When he was asked to weigh in on the race controversy shadowing this year's Oscar ceremony, Seidler replied, "It's not about the nominations. It's about access ... access to work, access to projects."
Seidler also cautioned the audience, many of whom are burgeoning screenwriters/filmmakers, to employ a strong work ethic, write what they're passionate about and, "For God's sake, don't get divorced. Fall in love and stay in love."