“It’s a cruel, cruel world,” Stone tells THR. “You can’t avoid the coldness and the cruelty of it. I was born warm and couldn’t handle that. But now I’m older; I realize it’s nature. I want to find the beauty in it. If I can make poetry, it makes it all tolerable.”
Getting ‘Savages’ Made
Getting Savages made meant Oliver Stone had to take a relatively modest $3 million to $4 million. He also had to face losing his leading lady, Jennifer Lawrence, because of her commitment to The Hunger Games. Then he had a complicated 58-day shoot that took place almost entirely in California, along with a few days in Indonesia.
“We had tight actor schedules,” notes Stone. “Blake was still shooting Gossip Girl. Travolta had other commitments. And Aaron had to start another movie. It was hard.”
Dwight D. Eisenhower
For much of the past four years, Oliver Stone has been working on a 10-part documentary series for Showtime, The Untold History of the United States. The series' focus is on America's foreign policy. It also re-evaluates American heroes such as President Eisenhower.
Stone (center) with his 1st Cavalry Division in Vietnam. Stone abandoned Yale to teach in Saigon and Cholon, Vietnam, before a stint in the merchant marine.
Father and Son
Stone with his father, Louis, in 1968 in Hong Kong. “My father was a serious man, a hardworking man, a Republican — not only at the highest end of the stock broking business but also a hell of a good writer." He adds of his father: “I loved him. I really did. He had a wild side, too, a very wild side. He was insane on a certain level, which I loved in a way.”
Born on the Fourth of July
This biography of Ron Kovic was directed by Stone in 1989. The film starred Tom Cruise as Ron Kovic.
Platoon, directed by Oliver Stone premiered in 1986. The film starred Willem Dafoe, Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger. "If I hadn’t made Platoon, maybe I would’ve gone nuts," Stone said. "I wanted to tell the truth about this war and what I knew, but the script was buried for 10 years."
Director Oliver Stone, left, and Cuban leader Fidel Castro are seen Thursday, Feb. 21, 2002, after wrapping up shooting of documentary Looking for Fidel in Ernest Hemingway's preferred bar "La Terraza" in Cojimar near Havana, Cuba.
Oliver Stone’s Family
Stone and his wife, Chong Stone, 57, have a 16-year-old daughter, Tara, Stone’s third child after two boys, who has turned the once-wild patriarch into a domestic disciplinarian. “I’m the tough guy now,” he smiles. “Sometimes I gotta crack the whip.”
His oldest child, Sean, 27, a documentary filmmaker (one of two sons with his second wife), recently converted to Islam and changed his name to Ali. Stone isn’t fazed. “He decided for himself, and he is doing it for philosophical purposes,” he shrugs. “At that age, I did a lot crazier things.”
‘Savages’ – Don Winslow
Stone first thought of making the movie in late 2010 when his CAA agent, Bryan Lourd, sent him a copy of the new Don Winslow novel. "It was something i hadn't done in a long time: It was contemporary, in that sort of go-for-the-ride, have-fun mode," says the director. "After doing W and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps and World Trade Center, this was like a breath of fresh air."
Don Winslow, American author, wrote the novel Savages as well as the film adaptation.
Oliver Stone meets with John Travolta (Dennis) and Taylor Kitsch (Chon) on the set of Savages.
"You think you can figure Oliver out, but you never really do,” says Blake Lively (left, with Del Toro in Stone’s drug drama Savages). “I really liked him, but he challenges your ego and insecurity.”
Taylor Kitsch and Aaron Johnson arm themselves for battle in a scene in Savages.