Q: Is it difficult to adapt a best-selling novel?
A: It's very difficult because you want to maintain the integrity of the novel while making the adaptation a good vehicle for television. DeMille's novel is so encompassing with the characters, story and social issues that it became challenging to relay all of the information into a two-hour television movie. But we feel our movie does the novel justice.
Q: How is the story relevant to our present culture?
A: Choosing between right and wrong is a part of our everyday lives. In today's society, many of us choose to do the wrong thing for the right reason. I think it's getting harder for people to live up to a strict moral code when they see their leaders doing questionable things. We're looking for heroes who can stand up for what they believe in without worrying about the backlash. Don's character does that.
Q: What does Don Johnson bring to his role?
A: Don brings an enormous talent and presence to this film. His character is so contrary to what we're familiar with, but you get caught up and riveted in the story and in watching him. He has an indefinable quality that makes a star. He's able to take this part written on paper and make it real--we believe him. Not many actors can achieve that.
Q: Why do you think Don Johnson's character is holding firm to his "word of honor?"
A: The world, and more specifically our country, is lost in moral ambiguity. As a country, we are trying to improve our culture, as well as others', but the lines of integrity have been so lowered, blurred and blemished. We try to do the right thing, but we all seem to be lost. When we see people who we thought were the good guys being exposed as crooks, we start to question and don't know whom to believe. The main character believes that, if nothing else, he has his word of honor.
Q: How did you become involved in this project?
A: Lance Robbins, a friend and fellow executive producer on this movie, brought the book to me. I loved the book and had just finished producing Monday Night Mayhem for TNT. I took the idea to TNT, and they embraced it. They saw the entertainment value, as well as the substantive point of view the story presents. It's a story that makes people think. Then, Jacob Epstein and I collaborated on the script.