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Thought 'Call Me By Your Name' was going to flop: Author Andre Aciman

Press Trust of India  |  Jaipur 

American author Andre Aciman did not attend the first screening of the film based on his bestselling book "Call Me By Your Name" as he thought it was going to "flop".

But, when the rave reviews started coming in, he watched and "adored it".

"I thought that the movie basically is going to flop and very soon will come out in DVDs and then I will see it. But then I heard it had done very well so when next time it was shown in Berlin, I went to Berlin and adored it. I think it captures everything," he said at the ongoing Jaipur Literature Festival.

The 2007 novel, which was centred around a romantic relationship between a 17-year old boy and a 24-year old scholar, was adapted into a movie by the same name in 2017.

While the book won the 20th Lambda Literary Awards for Gay Fiction, the movie went on to win an Oscar and several other prestigious awards.

When a producer contacted the American author to adapt his book into a film, he gave his nod with "no hesitation whatsoever".

"The book got published in 2007. In 2008, I got a call from a producer saying that he loved the book and wanted to produce the film and I said, 'yes go ahead'," he said.

The 68-year-old author, who said he never "interfered" once the movie making process started, cited the example of Shakespeare and his classic "Rome and Juliet" when asked if he had any inhibitions on what the movie would do to his book.

"Can you imagine Shakespeare complaining that people are putting Romeo and Juliet on film. He wouldn't complain. He would say 'fine, do it your way'... One should be never afraid of what a film does to a book, the book has a reality, the film has another one. They are not competing, they are complementary to each other and that is fine," he added.

That said, Aciman personally never thought if the book could ever be turned into a movie.

"The book is entirely in Elio's head, his imagination, his mistaken assumption, his insecurities, his diffidence everything else it is in his head.

"I thought this is going to be impossible to be made into a picture and over the years there were many directors, many actors interested who all had different functions to attend to and they couldn't do the film and it took about another five to six years for someone to finally materialise, to finally find a right script," he said.

The screenplay of the movie was written by James Ivory and directed by Italian director Luca Guadagnino who finished it in a short span of "six weeks".

And what he has to say about his cameo in the movie?

"Well, the suit was terrible, it was too tight, it made me look paunchy. But then I guess that is what I wanted... anyway, I had a great time, we were laughing at everything we were saying and it was a wonderful thing.

"But I have no intention of acting I will never act again this is not what I do... also I have no memory for lines," he said.

Sequels for both the book and the film are in the pipeline.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, January 28 2019. 16:00 IST