How It Happened

Two years ago, actress Jessica Meyer, 23, home in Washington D.C. on vacation from drama school in London, learned from an older sister that their favorite director, Roman Polanski, had just bought film rights to “The Pianist,” by the famous Polish-Jewish pianist Wladyslaw Szpilman. The book, originally published in 1945 and recently reissued, recounts the author’s story of his survival in wartime Warsaw. After reading the book, which she loved, Meyer murmured to her father that she’d like to just call up Polanski and ask him if she could play Halina, the sister of the main character.

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