Callas Forever Script - Dialogue Transcript

Voila! Finally, the Callas Forever script is here for all you quotes spouting fans of the Fanny Ardent and Jeremy Irons movie
 about Maria Callas.  This script is a transcript that was painstakingly transcribed using the screenplay and/or viewings of Callas Forever. I know, I know, I still need to get the cast names in there and I'll be eternally tweaking it, so if you have any corrections, feel free to drop me a line. You won't hurt my feelings. Honest.

Swing on back to Drew's Script-O-Rama afterwards for more free movie scripts!

Callas Forever Script



  Where are they? - Where's who?

  Bad Dreams. - Probably still in bed.

  Not on the same flight? - We announced I'd arrive alone.

  We thought that meant you weren't. - So we fooled you!

  Why do you take the band to Paris? - Paris loves stars.

    Mistinguette, Piaf, Chevalier...

  Piaf didn't urinate on the crowd. - That's not what I heard.

  Chevalier didn't flash his arse. - Please!

  Aren't Bad Dreams a comedown? - What do you mean?

    You've presented Nureyev, Fonteyn, Menuhin, Callas...

    Bob Dylan and the Stones.

    Don't be boring, it's      kids want groups like this today.

  Will you see Callas in Paris? - Maybe.

  You produced her last tour to Japan, didn't you? -Yeah.

  It was a disaster! - The Titanic was a disaster.

    We're not here to talk about Maria Callas, but Bad Dreams.

    I hope you'll come to their concert on Wednesday.

  Until tomorrow, at the Gare du Nord! -They're coming by train?

    Yes, the airlines won't take them. Thank you.

    Do you ever tire of all that?

  All what? - All that bullshit.

    Publicity is never bullshit.

  You're buzzing. - Am I?

    It's this.

    I've never seen a good-looking guy with one.

    Sorry, I can't hear you flirting.

  Larry Kelly. - I know.

  Sorry, I'm late. - Don't worry, we've dealt with the press.

    How was the flight?


  How are the tickets doing? - Sold out! - Good!

  What are the problems? - Faulty wiring at the stadium.

    Call Philip Pope in London, he fixed Wembley in    minutes.

    I can hear you from here.

  What? - I can hear your thing.


    Don't you hate big cars?

    Depends what happens in them.

  Fancy a lift? - Why not?

    I offered to carry your bags, but you didn't mention six flights!

    Didn't I?

  Is this your work? - Yes.

    I'm part of a group show next week,

    and then I think I have my own show in Tel Aviv.

    Then maybe Capetown, where I was born.

  Are you impressed? - Give me time...

  Maria! - I need her voice whenever I come home. - Oh, God!

  You're not one of those ghastly Callas queens, are you? - Hardly.

    I'm too young to have seen her perform... unfortunately.


    When I had my operation to try to restore my hearing,

    my mother sneaked a... cassette player into the hospital room.

    So that the first sound I would hear

    would be...

    I don't know...


    Beauty not of this earth,


  Will you do other concerts? - No.

    Her voice is shot.

    I do have plans though.

    I've got to go.

  Can I give you my card? - No. - Ok.

    How about dinner tomorrow?

  You mean a date? - Are you too modern for that?

    I'll pick you up at   .


    Alright,   .

    But I'll be late.

    There's nothing coming out of number nine!

    Number nine is dead completely, it's crackling.

    Will you make coffee?

  Just a minute. - The click track?

  They'll use earphones as usual. - The backing track?

  Cheating, are we? - Sarah! - Wasn't it supposed to be live?

    Don't wind me up, every group does it! What're you doing here?

  Doing an article on Wet Dreams. - Bad Dreams!

  Did I ok this? - You did!

    I'm surprised your rag's interested.

    Their music is appalling, but their arrest record is fantastic!

    The kids love them, and they earn a fortune.

    Aren't you a bit long in the tooth for a punk band?

    You're not a teenybopper either!

  Are they for me? - She wouldn't take them. - What?

    Her maid noticed they were from you and sent them back.

    This is your friend!

    She said Madame Callas is sailing in the Greek islands.

    She hasn't been there since Onassis died!

    She cancelled four lunches with me.

    Haven't seen her in months, friendship isn't in her repertoire.

  D'you have a light? - Brendan, give her a light.

    Why are you so upset about an old has been?

  Don't you dare say that! - Your arm! - Right.

    I thought only musicians did that.

  Did what? - Shot up backstage! - It's vitamins.

    Get her on the phone.

    We'll throw the flowers on the stage after the show.

    Is that Bruna?

    Bruna, it's Larry. Pass me Madame Callas.

    I just want... Don't...

    Shit! A has-been?

  Did you ever hear her? - She was before my time.

  Why do I always hire children? - That question has been asked!

  This proves my point. - What point?

  Point of my idea. - What idea? - I'm not going to tell you!

    A has-been... The greatest opera singer!

    I could fire you, I think I will, you're fired!

    You're right. Forget the flowers, forget the phone, I'll go see her.

  Did I say that? - No, but you thought it!

  Mr. Larry! - Bruna, tell Madame I've come to call.

  Madame is not in. - Yes, she is in. I know it. - No.

  You're lying! - No, I'm not. Where are you going? - Maria!

    Bruna, who is it?

    Why do you want to come in? Mr. Larry!

    I'm out for anybody.

    Who do you think you are? How dare you push your way in?

    I've looked for you for days!

    Ferruccio, see this gentleman out, please.

  I just want to speak to you. - Mind leaving?

  I want to speak to Madame Callas. - Madame doesn't want... - Please.

    Let go of him.

  Sorry, you're alright, you'll live. - Well, well, violence...

    When a lady says she's not at home, she's not at home.

  But you are at home! - It's a manner of speaking!

    Well, in a manner of speaking, I was passing by.

    Nobody passes by Maria Callas.

    Either they come to see me or they don't.

  What do you want? - To say hello.

    Ok. Hello. Now goodbye!

    I want to talk to you.

    Another proposal? After Japan?

    Japan wasn't my idea.

  Whose idea was it then? Mine? - Yes, as a matter of fact.

    The genesis, so to speak of an idea, is immaterial.

    It happened. Japan happened.

    That's enough!

    There, Japan.

    I keep it to remind me.

  Of what? - Never to set foot on stage again.

    No matter what you thought of your voice that night,

    the audience still loved you.

    People wouldn't notice if I barked!

    Which I almost did that night!

    So? You've come to suggest another way to make a fool of myself?

    Want me to join a Chinese circus or show my derriere in public?

  I do read the papers! - That's just show business.

    What I'm suggesting is serious, it's revolutionary!

    It's too late, I'm no longer on the market.

    Let's talk about something else. Tell me about yourself.

  When did you become a hippy? - Don't play around!

  You look tired. - I'm fine. - Do you eat enough? -Yes!

  Does anyone take care of you? - I don't need that!

  You need a proper boyfriend. - Well...

  Have you met someone? - Maybe.

    Thank God, gossip! I want details!

  I thought you wanted me to leave? - I do, but later.

  Some tea for Mr. Kelly, please. - Yes!

  It turned out he was an artist, a painter. - What's his name?

    I don't know.

  He's hearing impaired. - What do you mean?

    He doesn't hear very well, he's a little deaf.

  He doesn't have to listen to you. - He has all your records!

  Can he hear them? -Yes, he wears a thing. - You mean...

    No, a little thing that sits in there, you can't see it.

    He'd better be attractive. Is he?


    What are they doing up there?

  You practicing? - Practicing for what?

    Singing, this piano's out of tune.

    I told you I don't want to sing again.

  You're deaf like your friend? - Maria! Want to just vegetate?

    The new generation has never seen you!

  They've missed their chance. - Give them a second chance.

    Don't speak to me about a second chance!

  Did Icarus have one? - No, but...

    No, he flew too close to the sun and pow, into the water!

    If he had artificial wings?

  What do you mean? - The world is changing.

    We have to change with it, there are new technologies.

    "Callas Forever", what a title!

    I want to film you singing your most famous roles

    and match it to your old recordings when your voice was in its prime.

    Technically, it's possible. I've laid it all out. Do me a favour.

    Take it to bed tonight, read it, and tell me what you think.

    I know what it is, I know why you look different.

  You dye your hair! - Don't change...

    "Callas Forever"... There is no Callas!

  Jesus Christ! - I denounce Maria Callas!

    Let me alone, I have many things to do. I'm on holiday.

    I leave tomorrow for Sicily and then the Greek Islands.

    Bruna, is the luggage ready?

    In a few months, I'm to visit Egypt, to see the Pyramids again.

    Don't forget anything!

    What are you waiting for?

    You still think there's money to be made off of me?

    I don't entertain leeches.

    I don't know why I am here, the band opens tomorrow.

    They may eat chicken heads on stage, but they're professional.

  They piss on the audience! - Come on, Maria!

    I haven't seen you in ages, but you haven't changed one jot.

    You're still a stupid, stubborn cow!

  How dare you say that? Get out! -Alright.

    Don't set foot in my house again!

  Don't worry! - Do you hear me?

    I don't want to see you no more!

  Bad Dreams want ice cream flown in from America. - Go and get it.

  Where do we send it? - What d'you mean?

    They've been thrown out of the Ritz, they've wrecked four suites.

    Good for them!

    Rockstars are easy compared with divas, they're easy!



  Some wine? - Lovely.

  How's your omelette? - Good.

    Didn't expect to eat alone, I thought we'd go out.

    I don't go out, out is over-rated.

    What about fresh air, sunshine?

    This is Paris, the most beautiful city in the world!

    What's a city? Just a place, not home.

    This is your home, you've been here for    years!

    I don't have a home.

    I lived in Italy many years as well. And Greece, America.

    Do you think I've ever been attached to a place, a country?

    I don't speak correctly any language,

    I don't know who I am.

    I was born Maria Kalogeropoulou

    and now I'm Maria Callas.

    I'm neither one.

    ljust float.

    A very interesting rendition of Chekhov, thank you.

    Why not float over here, sit down, and have some food?

  I'm not interested in food. - What was that for?

    Something or other, does it matter?

    There hasn't been a reason... not a single reason...

    to leave this house since he died.

    I need a better frame for this.

  Beautiful, isn't he? - Onassis?

    Were you wearing glasses when you looked at him?

    I saw the beauty, she didn't!

    Mrs Kennedy...

  She never understood him. - You never understood him either.

    He was a shit, you know it.

    Turned you into a slave on that stupid boat.

    Just lying in the sun, no piano, no practicing...

    Losing your voice and all your friends.

    Let's not argue, I don't have the energy.

  Sarah! I'm naked! - I have to talk to you.

  Don't reporters knock? - No, never. - What do you want?

  Just five minutes. - Later, if it's about last night's concert.

  They were great, right? - If you like self-mutilation.

  This is serious. - A massage is serious.

    Maria needs your help.

    This is private.

    You've got something to say, say it!

    The feet, please.

    You've got no idea how tense I am.

  We have to get her out of that apartment. - So, hire a forklift.

    Bruna tells me she's up all night,

    listening to her recordings and taking pills.

  God knows what they are! D'you have a lighter? - Please!

  Sorry. I saw what you sent, I read your proposal.

  What? - It's a marvellous idea. It could give her back her life.

  You tell her that, not me! - Listen to me.

    She doesn't eat, she's wasting away.

    She's in mourning for her voice,

    for her career, for Onassis.

    It's like the last act of one of her operas and she's only   !

  You have to help her! - I'm not a good Samaritan.

  Don't you care what happens to her? - No.

    Jesus, Sarah!

  What was that for? - For lying!

    If you can't sleep, you should phone her.

    <- Hello. - Sarah.

    Is it two o'clock? I'm sorry.

    Listen... Where does she get the pills?

    Who gives them to her?

    Alright. Alright...

    I'll talk to Bruna when I get back from Hamburg.

    <- Good night. - I'm sorry.

    I woke her up.

    She was not pleased.

    Mr. Larry, please, leave.

    Madame. Madame. Stop it.

    Go to bed. Don't cry.

  What do you want? - One espresso.

  Here you are. Sugar. - Thank you.

    Good morning!

  What are you doing here? - I've made some breakfast.

  With help from Bruna. Up a daisy, it's two o'clock. - Bruna!

    It's a beautiful day, the sun's shining, the birds are singing.

    You can't spend all your time in bed.

    Go on! Drink your coffee.

    Better now?

    Your friends are very worried about you.

    You do know you have friends, don't you?

    Have you ever trusted anybody else, I mean really trusted?

    If you have, I want you to trust me today.

    No questions, just trust me.

    I beg you!

    I actually beg you.

    Think about it, finish your breakfast.

    I want to see Maria Callas again.

    Afternoon, Madame Callas.

    We're going in here.

  Sarah! - Maria! - Oh, my God!

    Gerard, I'm suspicious if my record company is present.

  You are gorgeous! - You are too kind!

  What is this? -A conspiracy! - Come and sit down, Maria.

  We have a surprise. - Asurprise?!

  Would you like a cup of coffee? - No, thank you. - And you? -Yes.

    Roll the film.

  Is this a joke? - There's a problem with the sound.

    What's wrong with the sound?

    You invaded my house, virtually kidnapped me

    to bring me here to watch my most shameful performance!

  How could you? - You're wrong.

    When they fix the sound, you'll see you've never sounded better.

    You're mad!

  It was a mistake. - Sit down.

    Go again.

    I told you so, you'd never been in better voice.

    I was in terrible voice!

    What have you done? What kind of trick is it?

    This is your Japanese concert,

    but the sound comes from a recording you made    years ago.

    We've married the sound to the picture. It's simple.

  But it's dishonest! - Why?

    It's not me singing!

    Then who is it? Renata Tebaldi?

    No, it's your image, it's your voice,

    it has to be you!

    I'm very confused.

    Am I selling my soul to Satan?

    This is      Satan is redundant.

    Anyway, in theory, he can make you live forever.

    Vampires live forever.

  If anyone qualifies as a vampire, it's me. - Why did you say that?

    I'm a journalist, remember? We suck blood.

    Because, of course, we can't sing, or dance, or paint...

    I'd give anything to be Maria Callas!

    You are and you don't want to be.

    They came last night.

    My phantoms, Medea, Violetta, Norma...

    But one in particular is haunting me.



    I never sang her on stage.

    I only recorded her.

    I never completed her.

    And maybe...

  Maybe... - No, it's too crazy.

  Maybe Carmen could be the exception. - No.

    It would be fresh, I wouldn't be dredging up the past.

  Perhaps it could work. - Perhaps? -Yes, perhaps.

    Maria, no more "perhaps", I need a "yes"!

    It's not a hard word to say!

    You can form the words. Please!


  Yes. - You sure?

    Well, I...


    I have your guarantee?


    It's the most beautiful "yes" in the world!

    And you're the most beautiful woman in the world!

    The first film that we propose

    is a role Madame Callas has never performed on stage.

    It's also one of the most popular operas in the world 


    I've spoken to the distinguished Spanish film maker, Esteban Gomez,

    who is very keen to direct.

  And is Callas really committed? - "Carmen" is her idea.

  She always reneges on contracts! - Peter, come on!

    I've known and worked with Maria Callas for many years.

    She's a consummate artist,

    her record of honouring her commitments is better than many.

    Nevertheless, we're gonna need some guarantees.

    I'm your guarantee. She is my guarantee.

    I've never put up money into my own projects,

    but since I'm so convinced of the importance

    and good investment of this project,

    I am putting up   % of the initial capital.

    What we're offering is involvement

    in one of the greatest cultural events of the   th century.

    Maria Callas on film, the greatest opera star

    singing her greatest roles.

    These films could open up a new generation to her work.

    After "Carmen", we'll film her other great roles,

    "La Traviata", "Norma", "Tosca".

    With the emergence of the new market in video cassette-players

    not only will sales of her records go through the roof,

    but sales of her videos.

    Royalties from those will keep us warm in our old age.

    It'll be alright.

  There he is! - Maria, you look wonderful.

    You didn't tell me the press would be here!

  I tried to avoid this. - Either they go or I go!

    I can't ask them to leave, you'll have to speak to them at some time.

    You can handle them.

    Madame Callas has nothing to say.

  Are you returning to the stage? - Maybe.

  Why did you change your mind? - Because I'm a woman.

    Are you gonna make a movie? Please, don't push!

    When are you going to sing again at the Scala?

    When your audience will be more polite.

  How much money are you getting? - Use your mind a bit.


  Are you going to perform Isolde? - I'm not fat enough.

    Do you get a percentage of the profits?

    I'm not supposed to tell you.

    You haven't come to terms yet about my percentage, have you?

    I'm glad they reminded me. You must always have the press around.

  From the top of "Habanera". - Everything satisfactory? -Yes.

    I'm sorry.

  I must know where I took a breath. - It's very simple.

    Show me!

  I'll do my best. - Once more! - Could you remove your necklace?

  Yes. - Thank you. - Nothing.

  I'm ready. - Thank you.

    Yes, it works!


    This is very difficult.

    I have to sing along to the tape, I can't just move my lips, right?


    The vocal cords, neck muscles, the diaphragm... everything is singing.


    Which means when we cast Escamillo and Don Jose,

    they must be able to sing, even if we won't hear their voices.

    Am I correct?

    But first we must find actors who have the right look,

    beautiful actors...

  When can we start seeing people? - Tomorrow at noon.

    I'll be there.

    Beautiful voice, interesting.

    If he can match...

  Eugene, think there's a problem with the match? - He'll be fine.


    Music and action!

  Studio. <- It's Michael. Is Larry there?

    Not yet.

    Hang on, he's just arriving.


    I'll call the Minister.

  Who is it? - The painter.

    It's a madhouse here, I just got in from Florence.

    Just post bail. I can't hear you.

    Forget it, he's just the drummer. Why don't you come?


Special help by SergeiK