Director John Madden came late to the “Corelli” project, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t prepared, as evidenced by the careful, considered comments he made at a Tokyo press conference last week. While Madden may be working with Hollywood’s top stars these days — and few are hotter than Penelope Cruz, with this her fourth film to open in Tokyo this year — he’s certainly not your typical L.A. type. Aside from his unscripted comments and quiet sartorial style (a conservative suit, definitely not Armani), Madden betrayed a certain British reserve in his remarks, noting dryly how being a filmmaker involves “making inordinate demands on people’s time, to make them watch a film that you’ve made.” Perhaps we can forgive him for making us gaze upon Cruz and Christian Bale for two hours.

On what attracted him to the novel:

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