Funnyman Jon Stewart is taking a turn at a more serious project than he’s normally accustomed to, one that will require him to be behind the camera instead of in front of it.
“The Daily Show” host announced Tuesday that he would be taking a 12-week hiatus from the Comedy Central program this summer in order to direct his first film, a drama called “Rosewater.” Stewart also penned the screenplay for the movie, which is based on the 2011 book “And Then They Came For Me: A Family’s Story of Love, Captivity and Survival” by Maziar Bahari and Aimee Molloy.
The New York Times:
Mr. Bahari’s ordeal is familiar to “Daily Show” fans – in fact, the comedy program played a role in it.
A Canadian-Iranian journalist and documentarian, Mr. Bahari was jailed in Tehran in 2009 for four months, accused of plotting to stage a revolution against the government. Shortly before his arrest, Mr. Bahari had participated in a “Daily Show” sketch, conducted by one of the show’s correspondents, Jason Jones, who was pretending to be a spy. Mr. Bahari’s captors used the footage against him.
“You can imagine how upset we were,” Mr. Stewart said, “and I struck up a friendship with him afterward.”
Mr. Stewart said he eventually read Mr. Bahari’s book and “because I’m naïve about the movie business” started to think about a film. He said he did not intend to also adapt the screenplay. “It just kind of happened,” he said.