“It’s one thing to be a visionary genius; it’s another thing to get a movie made,” says Haug. “Getting a movie made requires an awful lot of political savvy, charm and charisma. You have to talk people into believing in you. He’s very, very good on that front.”
A small but potent demonstration of Forster’s persuasive skills comes as his SUV approaches the Lebanese café in Colón. A few hundred yards before the destination, the narrow dirt road is blocked by a deep pit.
“They’re working on the street,” the driver tells Forster. “We’ll have to go around.”
“We can go over that,” says Forster, pointing to a dirt pile on the road’s shoulder.
“We have to go around there,” repeats the driver, gesturing toward a dark and uncertain detour around the block.
“Oh, really?” Forster asks in a tone that gently suggests that there must be a better solution. “You have four-wheel drive.”
The driver hesitates and then cautiously, gingerly, shifts into four-wheel drive, squeezes past the pit and delivers Forster to the restaurant’s door—just as the director wanted and, more to the point, exactly on time.