''Everything is Illuminated'' will come out in August -- Liev Schreiber talks about why he prefers acting to directing, at least for now

By EW Staff
Updated January 17, 2005 at 05:00 AM EST

Elijah’s completely game for anything,” marvels Everything Is Illuminated director Liev Schreiber, referring to The Lord of the Rings‘ Elijah Wood, who plays an American looking for a Ukrainian woman who may have saved his grandfather from the Nazis. ”We put these incredibly thick glasses on him, so he was walking into walls. Then we had to create these contact lenses for him that evened out his vision so he could see through the glasses. He never complained once. I was very impressed.” Schreiber, an actor by day (The Manchurian Candidate), is working around the clock on his directorial debut (which is adapted from Jonathan Safran Foer’s 2002 breakout best-seller), and he sounds beat. ”Shooting it I couldn’t stop noticing how much nicer it is to be an actor than a director,” he says. ”Right now there is nothing more I’d like than to be sitting in a makeup chair with a latte having a mindless conversation before I walk out and say four lines.” He has to wrap up by March, when he heads off to Broadway to star in Glengarry Glen Ross with Alan Alda, Jeffrey Tambor, and Frederick Weller. And if you really want a sense of how tired he is, ask him who he’s gonna play. ”Tony Roma,” he says. Wow — Tony Roma, the BBQ ribs restaurateur? ”Wait, Ricky Roma,” he laughs, referring to the character Al Pacino played in the 1992 movie version. ”Yeah. Sorry about that.”

Everything Is Illuminated

  • Movie
  • PG-13
  • 104 minutes
  • Liev Schreiber