Tommy Swerdlow started out as an actor in the 1980s, with small roles in films like Howard The Duck and Spaceballs, before he transitioned into writing scripts for defining kids films like Little Giants and Cool Runnings. But it turns out, however unsurprisingly, that Swerdlow fueled most of his writing with a heroin addiction. He’s been clean since 2007, and he’s plugging a new movie loosely based around his recovery experience, so he jumped on Reddit to do an AMA where he answered questions about his productivity on drugs and having a hand in childhood classics while nursing a significant drug problem. He did rewrites on Little Giants and the Cuba Gooding vehicle Snow Dogs, and even wrote the initial outlines for Shrek—he based the ogre/donkey relationship on Midnight Cowboy. But the film that most resembles Swerdlow’s vision is Cool Runnings, a project he joined after there was already a script in place, but it has the most of his work on screen. The AMA is a wandering mix of congratulatory statements from people who grew up loving the films Swerdlow worked on, and a lot of questions about the accuracy of heroin addiction in film, but there are a few revelatory moments, such as Mike Meyers re-recording his Shrek dialogue in an accent when he realized Eddie Murphy’s Donkey was stealing the movie.
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