"The story "Driving Miss Daisy" is based on my grandmother and her driver Will Coleman, who drove her around for 35 years" notes Alfred Uhry, the writer.
"I just wrote a small play and Morgan Freeman was in the play, too, which wound up running for three years. The Zanucks (Richard and Lili) then wanted to make a movie out of it."
Richard said this was the toughest movie he ever He was talking finances. In my opinion, he comes off sounding cheap. He didn't want to spend the money he wound up spending and cut the budget in half the time to make the film down to just 34 days.
Bruce Beresford, director, commented, "I think the trickiest thing, when you're filming stage plays, is to make the audience forget that it ever was a play. It's not that simple to do."
Filmed a lot in a rural town about 40 miles from Atlanta, the still had a credible 1940s look. The set designer said Miss Daisy's house belonged to a real-life old lady, so the sets weren't really sets -that's the actual house of that woman. The only area they had to make changes was the kitchen, which was altered in appearance as the years went by during the film.
When they went looking for houses to shoot to the film, the filmmakers ran into many great old houses in the area but all of them had one problem: their kitchens were modernized. That's the only room in all these houses that was changed. People update their kitchens. The house that was used for the film was the one with the least-modernized kitchen.
Uhry also said it was suggested they get Elizabeth Taylor or Shirley MacLaine for the role of "Daisy," but they didn't want some 50-year-old with a lot of makeup trying to look much older. "It would have been ridiculous," he said. Someone suggested Tandy and she was just fine. Director Beferod, who was from Australia, had never seen Tandy but wound up very impressed.
Everyone was shocked when Dan Aykroyd asked to play Miss Daisy's mom, but after one screen test they were sold. Everyone, to no surprise, was very pleased with how everything turned out, especially the Zanucks, who then admitted it was worth the money and effort.
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