Radar Ed. Glad People Pick Choke-ing Over Obama

Actor Sam Rockwell takes a question at the talk following Radar‘s screening of Choke last night.

The adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk’s novel, Choke, premiered last night in New York’s West Village at a screening hosted by Radar and followed by a Q & A with Clark Gregg, writer and director of Choke, the film’s star Sam Rockwell and Palahniuk, who fielded questions on how faithful the film was to the book.

The talk was led by Radar executive editor Aaron Gell, who expressed gratitude that people showed up, presumably in light of the Barack Obama acceptance orgy occurring at the same time. “I was kinda amazed that this many people stayed for the question and answer session,” he said. “Usually, on a night like this, a big television night, people leave as the credits roll.”

But how did controversial author Palahniuk feel about the whole affair?

Choke author Chuck Palahniuk appears pretty glad people stayed for his panel, too.

Even though Palahniuk advised writer Gregg to avoid penning a faithful adaptation of the novel, he originally feared straying too far from the original content. “It’s an immense responsibility to not ‘mess up’ someone’s book,” Gregg said. “[But after four years] I realized that to respect a novel, you have to be irreverent with it and allow it to channel itself [through a reinterpretation].”

While there were different twists in Gregg’s version of Choke, Palahniuk believes the story’s underlying content remains. “When I wrote Choke, I was struck by how fantastic evil things can be discussed in banal language,” he said. “The film expanded [upon that idea]. Everything in the film is true.”

–Kendall Green