Gael Garcia Bernal’s Salary Demands Could Complicate Jon Stewart’s Low-Budget ROSEWATER

     June 12, 2013


Jon Stewart has gone on hiatus from The Daily Show to make his low-budget drama Rosewater, but the production is already running into problems.  We previously reported that Gael Garcia Bernal was in talks to lead the picture, which is based on BBC journalist Maziar Bahari’s 118-day captivity in Iran’s most notorious prison after leaving London in June of 2009 to cover the country’s presidential elections.  The title is derived from the fact that Bahari knew only one thing about his brutal interrogator: he smelled of Rosewater.  Today, THR is reporting that Bernal is demanding a higher salary than what the production is willing to offer.  The $10 million film is trying to save money in order to shoot on location in Jordan starting in mid-July, although most of the movie will take place in interior settings.

Personally, I think they should let Bernal go and hire up-and-coming actor Riz Ahmed (Four Lions, The Reluctant Fundamentalist).  He’s only a few years younger than Bernal (Ahmed is 30, Bernal is 34), and Ahmed is of middle-eastern descent.  You could also go with Amr Waked (Syriana, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen), who is middle-eastern as well as closer to Bahari’s age (Waked is 40, Bahari is 46).  No matter whom they choose, the film is going to be sold on Stewart’s name, not the lead actor.

  • ska7triumph

    This is truly looney. GGB is an indie producer himself so what in the world would have he or his people hold up this production for more money? Why not partner with his company, if he’s about getting paid? Didn’t his crappy American romcoms pay him enough? The two actors mentioned would do just fine, if that’s the case and would seem more “legit” if not necessarily marquee in comparison to GGB’s name.

  • Papi

    It would be nice to just read an article here that provides a link to the source, and recaps and cuts out the opinions, or I think this…. type comments.

  • brNdon

    So then make it easy for him. Take it or leave it!!

  • Rachel

    I just saw The Reluctant Fundamentalist. Riz Ahmed was great in it.

  • Alan Burnett

    “Personally, I think they should let Bernal go and hire up-and-coming actor Riz Ahmed”

    Personally, I don’t give a fuck what a ignorant BLOGGER thinks about the financing of film productions … and no one else cares, either.

    • Papi

      This. Who knows what the other casting options or what the financial details are. Its not even as if Mr. Goldberg is an artist or executive turned writer… he is just a blogger. He really should stick to writing recaps, and providing links rather then interjecting into the articles. If he must editorialize, at least don’t do it in first person.

      • Nick Gadman

        Goldberg maybe just a blogger but you’re just a commenter.

        So who’s the bigger fool? The fool or the fool that follows him?

    • King_Leer

      You’re not fooling anyone, Gael.

  • Norm Tubbs

    Why not give Ari Rufino a shot? Maybe for the role of ‘Rosewater’. He is a Kurdish actor, from Canada, and often gets cast as a villain. I hear he can’t even get an audition.

  • Ignant

    Riz Ahmed isn’t of Middle Eastern Decent. He’s of Pakistani decent.

    • Alan Burnett

      Goldberg doesn’t know – or give a shit – about the difference.

      • Bobbye Greenwald

        Christ, this Alan really hates Goldberg.

    • Agent777

      That is a a lot closer ethnically than most casting gets! What your point! He’s Pakistani, that a way closer than a Latin American. The role should at least go to a actor from the same continent, and Pakistan is at least the same region or linked to the same region.

  • jativad

    Total bakwas. Riz Ahmed is not of Middle Eastern descent. His family comes from Pakistan.