Date: 19th September 2000

WANTED: Gifted Pianist To Star In Movie

Director Roman Polanski has taken the unusual step of placing an ad in Britain's Guardian newspaper to announce that he will hold open auditions in London on Sept. 30 for the lead role in his upcoming film The Pianist.

The film is based on events in the life of Jewish composer-musician Wladyslaw Szpilman, a Pole who reportedly was saved from Nazi concentration camps during World War II by a German officer who appreciated his talents. Casting agent Celestia Fox told the online edition of the Britain's Empire magazine that Polanski "feels that there is someone out there" who can manage the difficult role of the virtuoso pianist "and not necessarily an actor."

The magazine also noted that Polanski himself is not likely to attend the auditions because of concern that he might be seized and extradited to the U.S., where he is wanted on a longstanding morals charge.

Source: Studio Briefing