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Brooks Muses On <i>The Muse</i>

Filmmaker Albert Brooks imagines a typically offbeat scenario in The Muse, in which he also stars as Steven Phillips who gets fired and turns to a muse named Sarah for creative inspiration.

Thalia Assuras captures Brooks' insights about the film for This Morning.

In the movie, Sarah agrees to take on the screenwriter as a client, but she has many needs, including food, lodging and 24-hour telephone access to Steven, who impatiently agrees to all her conditions.

Closer to home, despite misgivings, Steven's wife Laura (played by Andie MacDowell) accepts Sarah into their home, and she and the muse become fast friends.

"It is taking a jab at Hollywood. Hollywood is the place to take a jab at," Brooks says.

But he also explains, "This movie is not about show business really. Once the muse shows up to save my career, she moves into my house and it becomes a domestic farce."

For Stone, who plays the muse, the movie marks her first comedy.

"As a director, there are two things that are hugely exciting for me," says Brooks. "One is to discover an actor that nobody has ever seen, somebody brand new."

"Second, it's to take somebody who is established and very well known and show them in a brand-new light. And that's the case with Sharon," he says. "She's, like, you know, comedy waiting to happen."

The Muse is sprinkled with cameo appearances, including three by Hollywood directors Rob Reiner, James Cameron and Martin Scorsese.

"I was amazed to get Marty," Brooks says. "He hates to fly and was about to start his own movie, so I was thrilled that he even accepted."

In fact, the only famous person who refused Brooks was Bill Gates, who was busy with business in Washington.

While he enjoys directing and acting, Brooks puts writing on the top of his list of professional pursuits.

"Writing is the hardest, yet also the most satisfying aspect of what I do, because the writing is everything," Brooks explains.

"If I finished a script and then got hit by a car, somebody could still make a movie. But if it's not on paper; it's never going to be anywhere," he says.

In 1997, he married Kimberly Shlain, a multimedia creative artist, whom he considers one of his muses.

"One of the reasons I married my wife is that she's got this wonderful brain and great sense of humor," he explains.

"I talk to her about everything," he says. "Also, over the years, I've written all but one of my movies with Monica Johnson. She has great comedic sensibilities. She innately understands the Albert Brooks character in these films."

Last October, his wife gave birth to their son, Jacob Eli Brooks.

"He's 10 months old, and he hasn't written anything funny yet. Every morning, I keep shaking him, saying, 'You are expensive! Come on! Give me something back!' But he hasn't done it," Brooks otes.

For an interview with Sharon Stone, see "The Goddess Plays The Muse"

For an interview with Andie MacDowell, see "MacDowell: Movie Star? Nope"

Visit the official Web site for The Muse.

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