The assignment of playing Warren Buffett in HBO’s forthcoming “Too Big to Fail” movie has left Edward Asner “very impressed” with the Bershire Hathaway billionaire.
“He seems to be, from all I’ve ever read about him, a square shooter. He makes his money about as honestly as you can when you’re working in billions, and that’s quite an achievement. Unfortunately, there aren’t that many who imitate him,” complains the esteemed, seven-time Emmy-winning actor and former Screen Actors Guild president.
Asner has learned through mutual acquaintances that Buffett is happy with his casting in the saga about the 2009 bank bailouts. “I was pleased to hear that,” he says.
Asked whether he’d like to meet his real-life alter ego, he replies, “I’d love to. I hear it’s quite possible, too. Funny, I know of a rich entrepreneur who called him and said he’d like to meet with him. Buffett said, ‘Sure, how about tomorrow at 4 o’clock?’ That surprised him and he said, ‘Well, I was thinking, I’ll be in town in June and I wondered if we could meet then?’ And Buffett replied, ‘Oh, I never know where I[m going to be that far in advance.'”
Chockablock with stars (William Hurt, Paul Giamatti, Matthew Modine, Bill Pullman, Billy Crudup, Topher Grace, Cynthia Nixon, Michael O’Keefe, Tony Shalhoub and James Woods), the event presentation, directed by Curtis Hanson, is coming our way May 23. Asner says he’ll be flying to New York for the May 16 premiere.
“Mine is not a big role, but it gave me a chance to work with Curtis Hanson,” he notes. “I liked it a lot. He’s a very calm fellow who strikes only when he needs to.”
Among the challenges that faced Hanson and company, of course, was keeping the drama from downing in the myriad complexities of the threatened financial melt-down. Does it?
“It better,” is Asner’s response. “The book (Andrew Ross Sorkin’s best-seller, on which the film is based) was so successful in pinpointing the high crimes and misdemeanors of the period, if the movie doesn’t achieve that, it would be a surprise.”