Guest: Paul Haggis
Screenwriting, discipline and truths – just some of the topics we explore with this weeks guest. Screenwriter, Director and Producer Paul Haggis joins host Christina Jeurling Birro to talk about his celebrated career and unique life.
Haggis moved to Los Angeles in the 1970’s with a love of classic cinema such as Godard and Bergman but when he started his writing career it was focused in the world of episodic television with shows such as The Love Boat and Different Strokes. By the 1980’s he was writing television classics like Thirtysomething, LA Law and EZ Streets.
This experience gave Haggis the opportunity to develop discipline, as well as quick and efficient writing. It also was a study in character morality, good and evil - the perfect preparation for his feature film career.
Haggis wrote scripts for the Best Picture Oscar winning films Million Dollar Baby and Crash, for which he also won Best Original Screenplay. His career has also included Flags of Our Fathers, Letters from Iwo Jima, and Casino Royale, just to name a few.
In 2009 Haggis very publicly renounced the Church of Scientology after having been a member for 35 years. His letter to the leaders of the church stated he could no longer "be a member of an organization where gay-bashing is tolerated".
On this episode Haggis shares his writing process, why the script for Crash was so controversial, his reasons for staying with Scientology, why he left, and much more!
Paul Haggis is a Screenwriter, Director and Producer whose credits include both television and feature films such as Thirtysomething, The Black Donnellys, Quantum of Solace, Crash and Million Dollar Baby. He is also the founder of Artists for Peace and Justice that supports communities in Haiti through programs in education, healthcare and dignity through the arts.