Paul Haggis‘ latest film, Third Person, opens in the UK Friday. To set the cinematic scene for readers there, Hermione Hoby caught up in New York with the writer-director for a weekend piece in The Telegraph.
Haggis understands that because he remains Scientology’s highest-profile “apostate,” conversations with journalists will inevitably turn to that subject. He rejects the idea that what he did was courageous, and says with time came even more perspective:
“I had no clue how insidious it was until I’d been out for, like, a year. You look back and go, ‘Oh my god.’ I was always an outsider and if it can affect me that much – a cynic and a loner and an outsider – go figure! You have to be really purposefully blind, you have to choose to be blind, and that’s what I was doing and that’s what all my friends were doing.”
It’s no surprise also to Haggis that Third Person was trashed by U.S. critics. As he explains to Hoby, he made a very foolish creative choice when writing the screenplay.
[Photo of Haggis with Sting at 2014 Tribeca Film Festival screening of Third Person: Lev Radin/Shutterstock.com]