| LOS ANGELES
LOS ANGELES Feb 6 Oscar-winning filmmaker
Steven Soderbergh delves into the world of prescription drugs in
his new film "Side Effects," a psychological thriller that opens
Rooney Mara and Channing Tatum play a couple whose lives
unravel when she begins taking a new anti-anxiety medication
prescribed by her psychiatrist, played by Jude Law.
Soderbergh, 50, spoke with Reuters about his own experiences
with prescription drugs, shooting in New York and what he plans
to do on his self-imposed hiatus from film-making.
Q: "Side Effects" shows characters either taking medication
or prescribing them. Have you ever needed to take medication for
your mood, for example?
A: "Luckily, my equilibrium is fairly consistent, so I've
never been in a position of wanting or needing something to
stabilize my mood. The Inderal beta blocker, what they call the
"speaking drug," is miraculous. I use that. A buddy of mine
turned me on to it because I said, "I really hate getting up in
front of people." He says, "You've got to try Inderal." It keeps
you calm and keeps you from getting anxious. That's my only pill
Q: No pain-killing drugs that have landed so many in rehab?
A: "I had kidney stones once, which were not fun. They give
you (pain-killer) Oxycontin and I thought, 'Oh boy, this is the
one.' People turn their lives upside down to try and get this
stuff. But it did nothing for me."
Q: You shot "Side Effects" in New York, which is where you
live. What were some of the challenges shooting there?
A: "I was really fascinated by how the paparazzi came around
when we were shooting out on the street. The unwillingness on
the part of the city to give you certain physical parameters to
work within that allow some amount of privacy to do your work
was shocking. There were times where I was literally bumping in
to them while we were trying to work."
Q: You're officially taking a break from film. How are you
A: "I'm still working on stuff, just not movies. I've got
this website (Extension765.com) that's going to go up sometime
in March or April where (personal and movie items will be)
accessible to get or buy."
Q: Like what?
A: "I have closets full of memorabilia, slates, scripts with
my notes in them, badges from film festivals ... I can auction
it off (online) and give the money to charity. I will also have
my photography and a whole line of film related T-shirts."
Q: What's the concept behind the T-shirts?
A: "When they were being designed, I would test them out by
wearing them to the set to see if people knew the movie
references. There was this one Black Pony Scotch shirt. That's a
very, very obscure reference from a famous film noir from the
1940s where there is a five-second pan across a table and you
see this bottle of Black Pony Scotch."
Q: What's the movie?
A: "Laura" (by director Otto Preminger).
Q: Is the name of your site another obscure film reference?
A: "'The Conversation.' Whenever Gene Hackman calls to find
out what's going on, Harrison Ford answers the phone and says,
Q: Are you up to anything else at the moment?
A: "Yes. I've also designed a pair of super high-end
audiophile headphones - what will be limited edition. I've been
work working (on them) with the RED (digital) camera people."
(Reporting By Zorianna Kit; Editing by Eric Kelsey, Patricia
Reaney and Vicki Allen)