In prestrike Hollywood, things move faster than a roadrunner on speed. ”I was finishing a 10-minute short when [Revolution Studios] called,” says Greenfield, recalling how he landed his first feature gig. ”Within 24 hours I was working with Rob.” Little did he know that ”The Animal” would feature enough risky choices to have Tinseltown talkers — fairly or not — cracking that it never would have been greenlit if not for strike fears.
First, the comedy (budgeted at a reported $22 million) about a guy who gets into an accident and has his internal organs replaced with those of animals, was picked up by Revolution in turnaround from Disney. Then, not only was Schneider handed a fat raise (to more than $1 million), but the producers put their faith in novice Haskell to play Schneider’s love interest. ”Richard Hatch wins, everyone boos, and I’m headed to San Francisco,” Haskell laughs. ”I was in Utah with my Jeep and a U-Haul, called [my agent at] ICM collect, and found out I got the part. Before I knew it, we were in front of the cameras.” The Hollywood tribe had spoken.