'Crash' Writer Can't Avoid Awards Lunacy
After years of working in obscurity, Bobby Moresco faces Oscar night
As half of the screenwriting team behind "Crash," Moresco is one of Oscar night's most prohibitive favorites, though Sunday (March 5) may be the first time many casual observers notice that the film's creative team goes beyond co-writer/director Paul Haggis. Moresco's pre-Oscars haul has already included a Writers Guild prize, a BAFTA trophy and countless critics honors, but he isn't take the whirlwind of attention too much to heart.
"I try not to get caught up too much in any kind of lunacy, but let's face it, you spend 30 or 35 years sitting at a desk pretty much in obscurity and all of a sudden your life turns upside down, it's going to affect you," the former actor explains. "But I'm not foolish enough to think that it's gonna happen for the rest of my life, so I'll enjoy it while it's here."
Part of the pleasure Moresco's taking comes from the years of difficulty in getting "Crash" made.
"There were doubts from the get-go," he says. "Haggis called me up and said, 'Nobody's ever going to make this movie and if they do make it nobody's ever going to pay us for it and if they do pay us for it and make it nobody's ever going to go see it.'"
Moresco, who worked with Haggis on a variety of projects, including the critically adored, but short-lived "EZ Streets," says that the collaborators don't have a set process.
"We've worked together for 11 years now and it's always been different," he explains. "Sometimes we'll sit down and structure out a story completely and then go our separate ways and write an act or scene and then come back and rewrite one another. With this, we sat in the same room for every single day and every page and as we went along we wrote together."
Eager to spread the credit around, Moresco salutes "Crash" co-star Don Cheadle for putting his name on the racially heated drama and serving as a magnet for fellow actors. He also credits Lionsgate with the campaign that transformed the movie from summer sleeper into a potential Oscar spoiler. Disingenuous or not, Moresco -- reuniting with Haggis on NBC's drama "The Black Donnellys" and going solo on an adaptation of Mike Lupica's "Heat" -- anticipates Oscar night, but he can't buy into the hype.
"Here's the answer, whether people want to hear it or not: It can't be a competition," he insists. "That's not what an artist does. If we win and I'm going to tell you that 'Crash' is better than 'Good Night, and Good Luck' or 'Brokeback Mountain' or any number of other really well-made movies, then I'm full of baloney. What I've believed my whole life is that we artists scratch in the dark together and every once in a while we come up with a good answer and sometimes we don't, but to say that we're better, even a little bit, than the guy who didn't win is nuts."