I wanted to go to all of the areas that I had heritage from.1 When you say heritage, basically it means whatever your great grandparents were, because for the most part that’s what — how far oral history goes back, is to what your family — I mean some people know, of course, many centuries back. But my great grandparents were from Swedish, Czech, German and English.2 So, I wanted to go to all of those places to see what people I looked like the most. And I kind of ultimately felt I looked the most Czech in a way. I mean it’s somewhat arbitrary, but I went — I went there in the year — oh, I was there when the World Trade Center got — when the planes flew into the World Trade Center, I was in Prague. That was the first time I was there, which was a strange place to be at the time. And I was supposed to fly back like September 13 I think. So, I couldn’t fly back, it was disturbing.3

 

But in any case, I liked Czech very much. Prague is gorgeous, the architectural integrity is incredible, because for whatever reason, Czech in general didn’t get as bombed as most of Europe, and it’s a real jewel of architectural integrity because of that.4 So, I knew it was a very beautiful place. I needed to buy property. After we made Everything is Fine, I put most of my salary from the Charlie’s Angels film into the sets, and I actually had a real difficult year, because in 2001, which is the year we finished shooting Everything is Fine, there was a writer’s strike, and then there was an actor’s strike, and then there was the World Trade Center thing. And I didn’t work that entire year, and I’d spent all of my money on the sets.

 

I was very concerned financially, and then luckily the next year the sequel to Charlie’s Angels came, which I kind of knew was coming around, but I was having trouble financially before that, and luckily there was a different studio film that came along, a children’s film, called Like Mike, and then while I was making Like Mike, I got the offer for Willard. So, I ended up having my best financial year. I was trying to think — my initial plan was I would buy a property in Los Angeles, a house, which I did in 1992, and then — I was born in New York, and I thought I would like to own an apartment in New York, and I thought I’d buy an apartment second. And then sometime way later in the distance, I would buy some piece of property somewhere in Europe, I didn’t know where.

 

But I was talking to a producer in Prague, that I was writing a screenplay for them, that never ended up happening. And I was telling them, I was thinking maybe I’d buy some kind of barn or something in upstate New York, because obviously you can’t buy this size property in Manhattan to shoot in. It would be impossibly expensive. So, I was thinking maybe I’d buy a barn or something in upstate New York, and then get an apartment in New York, because I wanted it to be some place that I liked. And as I was describing this to him, he said he had just read an article about a real estate agent who specialized in Czech Chateaux, and that they were going for a very good price. And as soon as he said it, I knew that’s what I was going to do.

 

And I contacted that real estate agent. I went and saw three chateaux in the Bohemian vicinity of Czech, central Bohemia surrounds Prague. And I found the one that had the stables that made sense to where I’d be able to build the property, build the sets.

  1. Want To Be Individual []
  2. Two Mixed Kinds []
  3. Event Fission, Martial Art Pt. 1 []
  4. Freedom To Intervene []
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