PRODUCTION NOTES For ‘Maps To The Stars’

The Production Notes for Maps To The Stars have been published over on the Italian website and explain a little more about the movies main characters, the storyline and the writer. We’ve translated it for you below. I think you’ll find it makes for interesting reading.



Written by Bruce Wagner and directed by David Cronenberg, Maps to the Stars weaves the rugged beauty of Los Angeles with it’s gloomy and tragic-comic story of a Hollywood family whose members, struggling with the relentless ghosts of their past , show how fame, success and appreciation, carry a high cost.
The result of a job that lasted two decades, the screenplay Maps to the Stars dates back to the early nineties and is based on the personal experience of Wagner himself , who before becoming a writer worked as a limo driver (he was inspired by the character played in the film by Robert Pattinson) in Hollywood and has lived near the turbulence of an environment made up of contradictions, of glory and wickedness, ambitions and illusions, sudden success and sensational falls.

Totally changing genre and moving away from the issues that have made him famous, with Maps of the Stars Cronenberg produces an abnormal drama at its center stands the members of the Weiss family : a guru father, a teenage son and heartthrob fresh from rehab , a mother intent on maintaining a high price for her actor son and a daughter mysteriously scarred and obsessed with trying to find her place in the family circle . To give mystery to the dynamics of Weiss family, however, there are a number of appearances from the afterlife , ghosts , that mixing memories, fleeting hopes and unmet needs , reflect the contemporary focus on topics such as death, depravity and resurrection .
Filmed in Toronto and Los Angeles, Maps to the Stars relies on the director of photography Peter Suschitzky ( faithful collaborator of Cronenberg’s Dead Ringers of the time ) , the production designer Carol Spier , costumes by Denise Cronenberg and music by Howard Shore.


At the center of Maps of the Stars is the character of Havana Segrand, one of the most famous Hollywood actresses always in the shadow of her more legendary mother Clarice Taggart , even more famous actress who died in a fire. Playing Havana and her mother Clarice are Julianne Moore and Sarah Gadon respectively, showing that a relationship between mother / daughter does not even know the boundaries of death. Showing no shame, Havana is a woman who lives completely secluded in a world of fiction , as if she had no family and she’s very angry with her mother for the way which , according to her,  she has been abused . The emotional chaos which marks Havana takes an even more obscure turn when her mother’s role in an upcoming film production could be assigned to another and not to her, making her see the ghost of Clarice at inopportune moments .
At first glance, the Weiss family, however, seem to live a happy life. But looking at them more closely you can see that in their fame, material wealth and honors, are just a litmus test for doubts , disappointments and dangerous secrets, which come to the fore with the entrance of Agatha , the daughter who has been away from home for a long time due to psychiatric problems as a result of a tragic accident that has left her terribly marked with scars and burns on her face and hands . Brought to the stage by Mia Wasikowska, Agatha comes home and, by fate, is working alongside Havana .

The last person Agatha wanted to see in her family is her father Sanford, a guru who is a psychologist on TV, offering new age platitudes and dispensing advice to the masses. Played by John Cusack, Sanford has a number of celebrity clients – one of these is Havana Segrand – and he’s strongly attached to the success of his teenage son Benjie , star of a television series.Played by Evan Bird , Benjie is trying to make a comeback on his career after he ended up in rehab because of a drug problem but is forced to confront the ghost of his adolescent spirit.

His mother and manager Cristina who would always defend Benjie to the hilt is played by Olivia Williams.
Returning to Los Angeles, Agatha holds a solid friendship with Jerome, her limo driver. Staged by Robert Pattinson, Jerome is an aspiring writer who keeps working as a driver and is the only character in the story who is not touched by madness or by a ghost.

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