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In 1989, Terry McMillan took the stories from her three-year relationship and turned them into inspiration for her novel Disappearing Acts. Over a decade later, the novel would be turned into an HBO, made-for-tv movie. You may remember the book as well as the movie but we bet you didn’t know these behind the scenes secrets.

Director Gina Prince-Bythewood

Surely by now you recognize Gina Prince-Bythewood’s name. She was the woman behind the camera for some of your favorites like Love and Basketball and The Secret Life of Bees. But before she did Bees, she took on the Disappearing Acts project. In preparation to direct this film, she read the book 10 times and worked with McMillan to write the script for screen. In an interview with JET Magazine, she said the hardest part of rewriting the script “was not being able to put more of the book into the script.” But she must of put her all into the film because she was so exhausted afterward that she almost missed the chance to direct her next film The Secret Life of Bees. She was so tired from the experience she threw the manuscript in her closet. It wasn’t until five years later, after someone else had been offered the director’s position, that she realized this was the movie for her. That person eventually lost the job and Prince-Bythewood picked up from there.

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