Freak Association

TV Maverick Mike White Stalks the Big Screen With Chuck & Buck

White says he read a lot of Freud before writing the script. "It's about the alter egos of a self. Chuck is the face you show the world and Buck is his shadow, the one you're afraid you really are. That's why I thought it would be an interesting and also a ballsy thing for me to play Buck. It also gave me a bit more control over the tone. The movie is so problematic in terms of what you're supposed to feel about the character. If someone else had played it, I know it would have rubbed me the wrong way. Now I only have myself to blame."

In recent months, White has written scripts for Tim Burton and Adam Sandler. He's currently working on two TV pilots and a script for producer Scott Rudin, and he has The Good Girl, a more personal project, ready to go into production. The protagonist is, he says, a bit like the bad-girl character in Freaks and Geeks (a total extrovert who's as narcissistic as Buck). She was the focus of an episode White wrote that NBC refused to air. "They said it was too upsetting and that no one would ever come back to the show again, but I thought it was one of the best episodes. I guess I just like sociopathic characters."

"I guess I just like sociopathic characters."
photo: Robin Holland
"I guess I just like sociopathic characters."

White considered directing The Good Girl himself, but decided against it when it became clear that as a novice he'd never get final cut. So once again he'll be working with Arteta. "I'm a preparation freak. I won't direct until I know exactly what I'm doing."

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