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    Oscar-winning screenplay writer of The Imitation Game on his second novel

    While actor Benedict Cumberbatch just about manages to shrug off his ‘Sherlock’ identity with his portrayal of math genius, Alan Turing, the real hero of The Imitation Game is the powerful screenplay. We catch up with writer, Graham Moore—the man behind the adaptation, who won an Oscar for the same—and who is now out with his second novel (after The Sherlockian), titled The Last Days of Night.

    Past perfect
    Moore’s latest is set in the late 19th century and revolves around the legal battle between Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse on the claim to the invention of the light bulb. The author, who admits to becoming obsessed with that era, adds, “If you read the diaries and journals of the people living through this period, they describe seeing a light bulb for the first time as if they were seeing a new colour.” The major challenge behind writing a novel set in the past, Moore tells us, is the research. “I read biographies, autobiographies, newspapers from the period, scientific journals, and even census data. The research process was ongoing while I wrote, so every few chapters, I’d pause to dig around for more historical detail,” the 35-year-old explains. The novel is set to become a movie starring actor Eddie Redmayne for which Moore has written the screenplay as well. “My very clever producers kind of tricked me into it by convincing me that we could use the film version of the narrative to play around with a lot of material that I’d wanted to use in the novel,” he says, admitting that it was fun for him to play with both mediums and that it gave him the leeway to show certain historical events in the film which he had left out in the novel.

    Wording it right
    Despite being a New York-bestselling author, Moore still remains unconvinced about being labelled a writer. “For me, it’s always been about specific stories that I fall in love with. Alan Turing, Arthur Conan Doyle, Thomas Edison— I felt so moved by their specific stories,” he says. The LA-based author adds that it takes him years to complete a writing project. “The Sherlockian took six years, on and off. The Imitation Game took five, and The Last Days of Night took six. I’ve promised my editor that I’ll have a new book for him in three years but I think we both know I’m lying,” Moore concludes.Rs 550. Published
    by Simon and Schuster. Details: amazon.in

    —Simar Bhasin

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