How well do you know your characters?

I enjoyed reading this story and interview about and with Albert Brooks, especially the part about how he prepared for his role as Bernie in the movie Drive.

“I find it’s helpful just to know about things in your mind,” he said. “You can put it away. Because that’s what real people do. Real people walk into a room knowing where they’ve been the day before and what’s happening to them. It makes the present easier, if you know the past.”
For Bernie, he imagined his history, from a background as a small-time film producer and illegal exporter of cars to his divorce, even deciding that he had two strippers he saw regularly. “I even did some things where I wrote a letter from Bernie to his ex-wife just to see what it would sound like,” Mr. Brooks said.

I think there might be a lesson there for writers. Maybe. Read more here.

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