Courtney Love Wrote the Most Beautiful Elegy We’ve Seen for Director Milos Forman
It was only last week that the world lost a cinematic legend, as Czech-born director Milos Forman passed away last Friday, April 13, at the age of 86. And while many in Hollywood have written beautiful tributes to the director responsible for such films as Amadeus and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, we found none more touching than the one written by Courtney Love.
Love worked with Forman twice in front of the camera, first in The People Versus Larry Flynt (1996), for which Love starred alongside Woody Harrelson as the wife of Hustler publisher (and 1st Amendment revolutionary) Larry Flynt, Althea. Her performance was critically acclaimed and garnered her a Golden Globe nomination that year.
The second time Love worked with Forman was for Man on the Moon, in which Jim Carrey portrayed famed comedian Andy Kaufman. Love portrayed his girlfriend, Lynne.
Here’s what Courtney Love wrote in honor of Milos Forman:
Milos, you were my first role model for what a real man was.
Against all odds, and a horrified studio, you plucked me from an audition and used your own money to get me bonded and insured, based on my word that I would not do drugs. (I did not.) Doing a good film is fun, but Milos made it a joy. I was so free, so blessed, and so supported.
I discovered what being treated like a princess was for the first time. He was always gentle and always brought out my best. I was surrounded by love on both of my films with him, and other than Kurt and Frances, they remain the highest points in my life.
Playing for 100K people is awesome, but it’s nothing compared to being directed by this tender man, who had also seen such hardship growing up — his mother died in Auschwitz, and his father [was] rumored to have been killed by the KGB. He was once jailed for going to an Ella Fitzgerald concert along with his best friend, the young playwright (and future Czech President) Václav Havel.
He was a genuine auteur, and not a baby when it came to casting — zero compromise. I recall on the set of Man on the Moon I was sent into his trailer as he dined over his steak (medium rare), his wine (always Pétrus), and cigar (illegal Cuban) to argue casting Chicago. He wanted me and Bebe Neuwirth and he wasn’t budging. I was fighting for a huge pop star, and he looked at me with his twinkling, crinkling, tender eyes with a flash of irony — and maybe pissiness — and said, “You tell ME about CASTING, Miss Courtney Love?” I shut my trap then and there.
Milos accepted me and my demons. He introduced me to my extended family — Edward [Norton], Woody [Harrelson], Danny [DeVito] and the wonderful Jim Carrey.
We have lost a cinema giant. My heart goes out to his beautiful and loving wife Martina, their children Jim and Andy, and the rest of his family.
To all of us who he put on the map, and to all of us who watch Amadeus or Cuckoo’s Nest over and over and over — the joy that man gave was unparalleled only by the joyous way he chose to live his life.
Milos, I’ve told you a million times, but I’ve never loved a human being the way I love and admire you.
Purely, joyously and devastated,