Paulo Coelho

Stories & Reflections

A reader in the set

Author: Paulo Coelho

On the 23rd of June, I posted here the photo of Sarah Michelle Gellar in the set of Veronica Decides to Die. Here it is:

Veronika decides to die

What I didn’t tell is that a reader, Livia Ruas, had asked me to visit the set. Well, here is her article on this experience:

“In the beginning of May, I found out that the Paulo’s Coelho book “Veronika Decides To Die” would be adapted to the big screen by DAS Films production. The people who read the book, will notice some changes in the film version, such as the location. In the book, the story happens in Slovenia, but in the movie it takes place in New York. The reason for the change is because the city makes the movie more relatable with their audience, according to the producer Mitchell Goldman.

Since I admire the author and I love movies, I could not pass the opportunity to visit the film set. I got in contact with Mr. Paulo Coelho and asked him permission to visit the set. Since he is very gracious, he did no hesitate to help me. A couple of days later, I was already in contact with Mitchell Goldman. That day, the set was in Brooklyn, New York, and it was the second to last day of shooting.

Everyone welcomed me with open arms: Mitchell introduced me to everyone and answered everything I wanted to know about the shooting. I talked with one of the main actors on the movie, Jonathan Tucker, who plays Edward. He could not be more down to earth. Veronika, the main character, interpreted by Sarah Michelle Gellar, better known by the Brazilian public for her TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

During the five hours that I stayed on set, I watched two scenes being filmed. One of the scenes was inside Veronika’s apartment with both of the main characters. Afterwards, we all went to the front of the building, for the last scene of the day. I was waiting for the scene to start, when the actress Sarah Michelle Gellar surprised me by asking if I would like to be part of the movie! Of course I accepted and in five minutes I was in the movie as an extra. Sarah Gellar was one of the nicest people on set, she not only invited me to be part of a scene, but she talked to me between takes and was even more pleasant to me on my second day. Actually, the next time I see her, we both will be wearing some cute tennis outfits (but that is just my wishful thinking).

According to Goldman, they just wrapped filming, and now they have to work on the postproduction. He said they hope to launch the movie in festivals such as Cannes and Sundance next year and are planning for a major worldwide release. Who knows, maybe they show up in Brazil?

My visit was better that I imagined, and would like to thank everyone who made it a great experience, particularly Mitchell Goldman who was in contact with me since the beginning. I also would like to thank Sriram Das who authorized my visit and a special thanks to Mr. Paulo Coelho who made it all possible.

In conclusion, Goldman said that “the condition of alienation experienced by the character of Veronika is something that is common in today’s youth and we wanted to tell that story” explaining on why they chose the book for the adaptation. He affirms that the artistic expression of the book as a film will have some difference, but they hope that these differences will only add to the story.”

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