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Director Madden Stages 'Proof' for the Screen

If genius is a spark that can be passed from generation to generation, can it also be accompanied by insanity? The question surfaces in David Auburn's award-winning play and in the new film version of it, starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Anthony Hopkins.

The story centers on a brilliant but unstable mathematician (Hopkins) and his daughter (Paltrow), who fears she may have inherited her father's illness. Hope Davis also stars as an estranged sister, and Jake Gyllenhaal plays a former student of the mathematician.

John Madden directed Paltrow in a 2002 production of the play, and was charged with the film adaptation. He talks with Scott Simon about the project, saying he tried "reconfiguring the narrative in movie terms" while staying true to the drama's feel. Proof opens Sept. 16.

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