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"LOOK OUT MUSIC CITY 'COS I'M HERE NOW AND I AIN'T NEVER LEAVING!"
River was cast in the part of promising new singer James Wright as soon as the director Peter Bogdanovich met him. "I thought, My God, he's really kind of like the part - moody, a little scary sometimes," remembers the director. Samantha Mathis would be cast as his character's love-interest Miranda Presley and Dermot Mulroney would play another singer who would complete the love-triangle that the movie portrays.
During production writer/director Alan Moyle was hired to rewrite the script. River would work throughout the night with him constantly reworking the script. "Everything on the picture was changing right up until the end," remembers the director.
River felt quite justified in wanting tight control over the movie. "I took this project because Peter and I had an agreement as to how we were going to do it. It has everything to do with me having the best understanding of the character and the movie. Me and the few people working on it from the creative end are the only ones that really understand what's going on." This was a remark directed at the Paramount Pictures executives who were concerned at the way the movie was losing its original objectives.
Not only did he turn his character into a much darker, moodier singer than was originally scripted, River wanted a say in all areas of production. Co-star Anthony Clark who had performed opposite River earlier in Dogfight recalls, "He wanted to write the music, perform the music and be in on the decision-making."