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The new Coen Brothers trailer is here! Last year, the bros announced their plans to adapt yet another classic western: Charles Portis‘ dark comedy True Grit, in which a young girl teams up with two weird-ass lawmen to avenge her father’s murder in the Wild West. Most folks know True Grit as a John Wayne vehicle, but the Coens didn’t remake a Duke movie; they adapted Portis’ novel from the ground up. The bros share Portis’ macabre mirth, and only make great movies, so True Grit, which also features Coen alumni Jeff Bridges (The Big Lebowski) and Josh Brolin (Cormac McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men), as well as first-timer Matt Damon (who had a pretty shitty time of it in the adaptation of McCarthy’s All the Pretty Horses, but will hopefully not fuck up this glorious ensemble) is sure to please almost everyone.
Everyone except my grandmother, who loves John Wayne and hates it when things change. After the jump, I ask Gaga (due to a minor speech impediment that I lost around age 9, I could not say “grandmother” as a small child) how she feels about someone making a new True Grit.
Gaga: HEY MICKEL MAN!
Washington City Paper: HEY GAGA! How are you?
Gaga: Well, thank you! How are you?
WCP: I’m great. I’m calling to interview you. Again.
WCP: Had you heard that someone was remaking True Grit?
Gaga: I had not.
WCP: Have you seen True Grit?
Gaga: Yes I have. It’s one of the most wonderful movies in the world.
WCP: What do you think about—-
Gaga: Katherine Hepburn and John Wayne! *
WCP: Right. What do you think about someone remaking it? Or making another version based on the book?
Gaga: I think that’s like remaking Gone with the Wind.
WCP: Well, it’s from the guys who made Raising Arizona.
Gaga: Say what?
WCP: The guys who made Raising Arizona. Do you remember that movie? The Coen Brothers? They’re remaking True Grit.
Gaga: Raising Arizona was a phenomenal movie. I laughed my head off. But you know, I feel like True Grit and To Kill a Mockingbird, they’re just movies that ought not to be messed around with. Of course, I’m just such an afficianado of John Wayne and Katherine Hepburn that I don’t see how you could cast people to come up to their level in that movie.
WCP: What if I took you to go see it?
Gaga: I’d give it a fling, yeah. So. I’m giving you the answers you expected, I’m sure.
Gaga: Ole dyed in the wool John Wayne fan here! And Katherine Hepburn! I just read the story of her life, you know. And the book is called, It’s All about Me! [Laughing]
WCP: This is an autobiography you just read?
WCP: Katherine Hepburn is still alive?
Gaga: No, she’s dead. This was written when she was in her later years. Hold the phone for just a sec, Michael.
Gaga: At the time it was a No. 1 best-seller, and it’s called Me: Stories of My Life.
WCP: Did you just grab that for my benefit?
Gaga: No, Marnay brought it over. It has marvelous pictures. And you know, she had a fling with Howard Hughes; this one, that one; but her true love was Spencer Tracy.
WCP: Of course.
Gaga: She leaves it until the very end of the book to talk about. She makes an outlandish statement. She says, “I fell in love with Spencer, and we began to see each other.” Then she says, “I’m not so sure that he wasn’t a little cautious, he may have thought I was a lesbian, but by God he found out in short order that I was not.” Don’t you love that? [Laughing]
WCP: Yes. Very candid.
Gaga: Anyway. It’s a good book and I really enjoyed reading it. So, there’s that.
WCP: Are you excited about me coming to visit?
Gaga: Of course I’m excited about y’all coming down! Do you have anybody to pick you up at the airport?
Gaga: Well, if you need me to pick you up, let me know. Did you get the interview you expected?
WCP: I did. It’s great.
Gaga: I love you!
WCP: Love you too.
Gaga: Bye sugar!
* CORRECTION: As an astute reader points out, Hepburn starred with Wayne in the True Grit sequel Rooster Cogburn ; Kim Darby was in True Grit.
I then called Gaga. Her response: “Oooooooooh, you’re right! Well I meant Rooster Cogburn. True Grit was an OK movie, too. I don’t care if they remake it. But to remake Rooster Cogburn would be a travesty.”