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EP 486: Oliver Stone on Writing, Directing and Surviving Platoon

Oscar-winning writer/director Oliver Stone (Platoon, Wall Street, JFK) discusses why he dropped out of Yale and volunteered to go fight in Vietnam, some of the horrors that he witnessed during that war, and how the black soldiers in his platoon opened his eyes to injustice and saved his life. He talks about how writing a screenplay about the experience helped him process what he had been through in Vietnam, why it took him 16 years to get Platoon made, and how the ouster of Filipino strongman Ferdinand Marcos nearly shut down production on the movie. He recalls writing the script for Scarface while trying to kick his own cocaine addiction, his wild adventures with the journalist who inspired his movie Salvador, and how that film opened his eyes America’s role in propping up Central American dictators in the 80s. Plus Oliver Stone reveals the hardest part about filming in the jungle, what he learned from a young Martin Scorsese in film school, and why he learns as much from his successes as he does from his failures.

Order Oliver Stone's new memoir Chasing the Light: Writing, Directing, and Surviving Platoon, Midnight Express, Scarface, Salvador, and the Movie Game on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold. Today's episode was sponsored by Chili. One of the most effective ways to get better sleep is through temperature regulation. Chilimakes both the chiliPAD and OOLER, two really cool gadgets that fit over the top of your mattress and use water to control the temperature of your bed. Go to, and get one-hundred fifty dollars off any sleep system with code KICK.

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