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Polanski hailed as \'maestro\' by Brosnan, McGregor

10 lutego, 2010

Roman Polanski, whose latest fiction \"The Ghost Writer\" partly mirrors his own real-life detention drama, is no less than a maestro, the movie\'s stars, Pierce Brosnan and Ewan McGregor, said Wednesday.

"His energy is ferocious, he rules the set, keeps everyone on their toes," said former James Bond actor Brosnan at a news conference. "He has an alchemy with the camera ... He\'s a taskmaster. You have to know your onions."

Based on British writer Robert Harris\' bestseller "The Ghost", the film gets its world premiere at the Berlin film festival on Friday with Brosnan, McGregor and Harris on hand, but no Polanski.

Completed by the director while under house arrest at his Swiss chalet over a 1977 case of unlawful sex with a 13-year-old, the film sees McGregor finding skeletons in the closet of a former British prime minister modelled on Tony Blair (Brosnan).

In the film, the politician becomes trapped in the US to avoid arrest in another country when his past resurfaces -- a situation close to Polanski\'s, who may have to wait months for a final decision on whether to extradite him.

Neither Brosnan nor McGregor would respond to questions on Polanski\'s house arrest, and Harris said: "I never discussed it with him. It was never relevant."

Instead, the stars of the political thriller hailed the director as a genius, with Brosnan saying he was "absolutely enthralled and excited to work with this man" and McGregor saying "he\'s held in high esteem because he\'s an extraordinary director."

"He has a command over the whole set I\'ve never seen before. He is like a maestro, he pushes the cast and crew hard" said McGregor. "We shot 22 hours straight and he\'s like 76."

Though the spotlight in the last weeks has been firmly focused on Blair\'s role in the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, Brosnan said the director had told him not to play Blair. "I didn\'t have to imitate him, which gave me lots of liberty."

Irish-born Brosnan said he became a US citizen during "the atrocity of the Bush years" to help his American wife and children "endure the hypocrisy and stupidity of the man\'s power."

His character in the movie, he added, is a populist who doesn\'t even read the papers he signs. "It\'s hard to pin your hopes and heart on these world leaders."

McGregor said he was almost entirely uninterested in politicians after losing all respect for them when he was young over corruption cases or "caught with their pants down" in brothels.