Author amazed by 'Seabiscuit' phenomenon

Jan. 29, 2004 at 8:16 PM

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 29 (UPI) -- Laura Hillenbrand says she never expected her book "Seabiscuit, An American Legend" to become a publishing phenomenon.

"I was thinking, 'If I can sell 5,000 copies out of the trunk of my car, I'll be happy.' I just wanted to tell the story," Hillenbrand is quoted saying in production notes for the film based on her best-selling book.

"I loved the script, and I thought that (director) Gary Ross did a fabulous job of adapting (Hillenbrand's book,)" the film's star Tobey Maguire told reporters in Santa Anita, Calif. recently.

"I had read the book prior to reading the script, and I love the story," Maguire explained. "It's such a great book and Gary, I thought, using the kind of documentary, historical device of showing the photos and having (noted historian David) McCullough do some narration, I thought was a brilliant way to establish the time period and what was going on there, and how that ties into the characters' own personal situations in their lives, and that's so tremendous."

"Seabiscuit," the true story of an ornery, Depression-era racehorse that becomes a champion with the help of his three tenacious caregivers (Maguire, Chris Cooper and Jeff Bridges,) was nominated for seven Oscars, including best picture, earlier this week.

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