Jon Stewart is about to take a break from the show with which he is synonymous. This June, Stewart is going on a 12-week hiatus from The Daily Show to direct Rosewater, which he wrote. Daily Show regular John Oliver will fill in for Stewart during this time.
The movie, a drama adapted from 2011 book, Then They Came For Me: A Family’s Story of Love, Captivity, and Survival by Maziar Bahari and Aimee Molloy, will be Stewart's directorial debut in a feature film. Whether Stewart is up to directing a drama is a good question, but his first directing gig will be, at the very least, intriguing.
The film's source material, Maziar Bahari and Aimee Molloy's Then They Came For Me: A Family's Story of Love, Captivity, and Survival, is about Bahari's journey to cover Iran's presidential election in 2009 as a journalist for BBC. He left his pregnant wife thinking that he would be back in a week, but he spent the next 118 days in an Iranian prison. There, he was interrogated by a man who smelled of rosewater, hence the name of the film.
Stewart told the New York Times "Art Beat" that "one of the reasons we are in this business is to challenge ourselves and I really connected to Maziar’s story. It’s a personal story but one with universal appeal about what it means to be free."
He also went on to say: "One of the things that appealed to me about the story is that it does have lighter moments. One of the things that kept Maziar alive was his ability to keep his sense of humor – to remember about joy and laughter – and see the absurdity of his situation."
That sounds more like the Jon Stewart of The Daily Show than the director of a dramatic film.
Stewart has seemingly been The Daily Show's host forever, but he has been involved in other projects before. He had a big role in Adam Sandler's Big Daddy. He played a small part in Half Baked. He even once played Andy Dick's twin brother on News Radio. Most of his previous projects were comedy based. It will be interesting to see how Stewart handles a more serious subject, but here's hoping that Rosewater will be a great film.
Here is Jon Stewart's News Radio clip: