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Director Mike Figgis plane story an exaggeration

By Stone Martindale May 30, 2007, 4:40 GMT

Director Mike Figgis plane story an exaggeration

Giant stainless steel letters forming LAX are shown at the entrance way to Los Angeles International Airport REUTERS/Fred Prouser

The story we reported on after reading Cinematical's Scott Weinberg account regarding director Mike Figgis (Leaving Las Vegas) was exposed as a bit of a hoax.

Weinberg wrote that Figgis was going through security at LAX "when he was asked the reason for his visit." "I'm here to shoot a pilot," was what Weinberg claims Figgis responded.

Figgis, according to Weinberg, was kept locked up for about five hours until immigration officials could figure out the filmmaker's vernacular by checking online sources.

Now, Jonathan Mitchell from Public Radio International says no way, and told website BoingBoing: "Regarding the Mike Figgis - LAX story, it's not true."

"We were thinking of reporting this story on a radio show I work on, so we did a little fact checking. We contacted Figgis' publicist, and got this email from Mike Figgis himself":

Said Figgis: "The story is a complete exageration of something I said in an interview, namely...I was being questioned in toronto airport by the US immigration officer who said "purpose of your visit?" and I was about to reply "I'm here to shoot a pilot" when I thought better of it and said

"I'm here to film the 1st episode of a potential series for Fox/Sony"

"This was exactly as I said it to the journalist and the next I knew of it was phone calls wishing me deepest sympathies etc and the venue had moved to LAX and I had been arrested etc etc."

"I've had distortion before in interviews but never fiction. If it had been true it would have been a good story - sorry to dissappoint All the best - Mike Figgis"

Still a good story.


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