Way back in the olden days, Ricardo Montalbán (“Star Trek,” Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan had a very strange and fairly successful television series called Fantasy Island (I’m surprised there hasn’t been a remake yet). The show was about a mysterious benefactor, Mr. Rourke ( Montalbán) who brought people to his island to live out their fantasies. But things usually went a little Twilight Zone-ish and the fantasies never turned out exactly as the original desire was intended. It was kind of a supernatural “Love Boat,” only on an island…like “Lost,” but it made more sense. Anyway, Mr. Rourke’s right hand man was a little dude, Tattoo, played by Hervé Villechaize (who preferred to be called a midget); Tattoo and Villechaize became famous for his catchphrase on the show, “The plane! The plane!” Hervé also starred in The Man with the Golden Gun, but beyond those two roles, his career didn’t go much of anywhere. Still, his life was pretty interesting in a sad sort of way. He was a bit of an artist—with the requisite tortured psyche attached—and according to reports he ended up an eccentric, sometimes violent alcoholic. At the age of 50, he committed suicide. But before he died, writer/director Sacha Gervasi (The Terminal, Henry’s Crime, Anvil! The Story of Anvil) interviewed Villechaize and came away with such an indelible impression of the the actor that Gervasi wrote a film treatment.
I don’t know how many little people/dwarf actors are out there these days, but Peter Dinklage seems to be the premier among them and he’s set to star as Hervé. Dinklage was simply glorious in The Station Agent and he’s currently kicking major ass as Tyrion Lannister on “Game of Thrones.” So, though I don’t see much of a visual similarity,
I have no doubt that Dinklage will make the most of the role. Meanwhile, pretty boy Dominic Cooper (An Education, The Escapist), who actually does bear a slight resemblance to Gervasi,
will take on the role of the journalist/interviewer. The film will take place over the course of a dinner interview, with flashbacks of Hervé’s life.
(Of Villechaize) Gervasi said, “Herve wasn’t just a pop culture icon; he was one of the most charming, cultured and dangerous people I’ve ever met. His is the story of a unique misfit trying to find his place in the world.”
Filming on My Dinner with Hervé is expected to start this year.
(Source: The Playlist)