The OSCAR winner was determined to recreate the feel of the clubs where the tragic crooner made his name in the 1950s and 1960s - but discovered that all the old haunts had been renovated.
So, the movie star jetted off to Germany and turned Berlin's jazz nightspots into American joints.
He explains, "When it was first proposed to me that we shoot the film in Berlin I was very hesitant about it but it turns out that so much of the architecture in New York, for example, was influenced by German design and European design.
"What I think I would have faced if I'd shot the film in Los Angeles was trying to peel back decades of change in those clubs.
"(In Germany) you walk into those clubs and they haven't changed them, so they look exactly as they did when they built them in either the '40s or the '50s."
He adds, "That Warsaw street (from The Pianist) is my Bronx. We just changed all the facades."12/07/2004 09:34