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Party Lines: Talking Abandoned Artistic Opportunities on Red’s Opening Night

While John Logan’s play Red is about artist Mark Rothko creating a series of murals for The Four Seasons Restaurant back in the fifties, Rothko famously refused to deliver the paintings. So when we caught up with Christine Ebersole, we wondered if she's ever left a project in the dust. "Well, there was a scheduling conflict and I missed out on a TV series," she told us. And though we begged to know which series it was, she refused to say. "I can’t, I really can’t, because it wouldn’t be good for the person who’s doing it. But yeah, so that was to the tune of about $5 million. Whatever. Easy come, easy go." Academy Award–winning writer-director Paul Haggis had a similar experience: He abandoned a screenplay he’d spent two years on. "After I quit television, I worked on it for a year, I finished it, and my wife said, ‘You know, it’s not very good, is it?’" Haggis told us. “So I then took another six months and rewrote it, and she said, ‘I liked the first draft better.' She’s cruel, but she’s always right, so that one went into the drawer and never came back out.” See more from opening night in the Party Lines slideshow.

Photo: Patrick McMullan