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Crowe, however, wanted his audience to grow up with him, so for his follow-up movie, he turned his attention to twentysomethings.
Having moved to Seattle in the late Eighties, he began writing a screenplay revolving around several interlocking storylines nestled in the culture he knew intimately: the city's burgeoning music scene.
(As told to Alexis Sottile.) I liked the idea of working with actors I loved and having it be an ensemble, and just paying tribute to a city and a feeling.
My previous film, Say Anything, was a wonderful chance to learn a little bit of craft from people like Laslow Kovacs Polly Platt, James Brooks – and actors like John and Joan Cusack, John Mahoney.
You put a bunch of actors around a sofa and because you've sort of lived life with them, it feels like you're on the sofa with them. The story allows you to know enough about them that you would say, "Hmmm, I think I would spend more time with Colin, but I really love Emma …" And if you're a lonely person, which I think most writers are, this is a wonderful place to disappear into when you're writing or making a movie.
There's that feeling of "I'm not alone in the world" that movies about a group of characters can give you.
So that by the time you're 40, you're writing about that age group. Whereas Fast Times was high school, now it's going out in the world after you leave home.
But it just felt like there was going to be months and months of rehearsals and commitments, and at a certain point I thought, maybe we can have the best of all worlds.
Chris can be a character who plays, and we don't have to make him play a wannabe musician. I had a secret dream that in Seattle, people might one day put a little plaque up in one of the restaurants or clubs that said – "Here's where Singles was filmed, and that's the stage where Soundgarden played ..." Because I come from San Diego, I always had a special place in my heart for the Hotel Del Coronado, where Some Like It Hot was filmed.
And we were all together doing this thing where we had a vague idea that we were making Seattle into this worldwide event in the film, when in fact it was a small community that was not a worldwide event at the time.
Matt Dillon's character thinks it's a world event.