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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 November 2005, 17:03 GMT
Damon nose bump 'threatened film'
Heath Ledger and Matt Damon in The Brothers Grimm
Heath Ledger and Matt Damon (right) play 18th Century conmen
A dispute over the shape of actor Matt Damon's nose endangered Terry Gilliam's latest movie, the director has said.

Gilliam wanted to add a prosthetic bump to Damon's nose for his lead role in 45m movie The Brothers Grimm.

But financial backers Bob and Harvey Weinstein did not agree with him, Gilliam told BBC One's Breakfast.

"The heavies came in from New York and said 'you put the bump on the nose and we close the movie down,'" Gilliam said. The nose bump was abandoned.

'Too cute'

The Brothers Grimm is a fantasy about a pair of 18th Century conmen, played by Damon and Heath Ledger, which incorporates many famous Grimm fairytales.

Ex-Monty Python member Gilliam said that, in profile, Damon's nose was "a little bit too cute" for the role.

"He has got a wonderfully strong face and I felt for the character he would look better to have a broken nose," said Gilliam.

Terry Gilliam
It never ceases to amaze me at how bizarrely stupid (film studios) are
Terry Gilliam

"We put on this little bump and he looked like a young Marlon Brando. It changed him - he walked different, he talked different and girls responded to him differently."

However, as a result financial backers threatened to abandon the film "the night before we started shooting", the director said.

Gilliam said the situation highlighted "the madness of film-making".

"It was like this gigantic $80m juggernaut roaring down the motorway, and there in its way was a little bump on the nose," he said.

"It never ceases to amaze me at how bizarrely stupid (film studios) are," Gilliam said on Wednesday.

"They may have their own reasons but to me it just seems absurd."

The Brothers Grimm, which received negative reviews in the US, is released in the UK on 4 November.

Film studio Universal previously refused to release Gilliam's 1985 movie Brazil in the US, unless it was re-written with a happy ending.


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