Charlie Kaufman remembers the ‘completely unanticipated’ response to ‘Being John Malkovich’

Charlie Kaufman’s first film was unlike anything else when it arrived in theaters on this day in 1999.

Despite having a star-studded cast (John Cusack, Cameron Diaz, Catherine Keener, and yes, John Malkovich), it had a wildly meta narrative that was not so much confusing as unbelievable.

Kaufman told Yahoo Entertainment “it obviously changed my life professionally” and the film would go on to earn three Academy Award nominations.

He added, “I owe a great debt to Spike [Jonze] and to John Malkovich for agreeing to be in it because I certainly wouldn’t be having this conversation … if it weren’t for that.”