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I am writing a novel about a character who lives and breathes film. In the plotting I have two or three scenes in which my fictional protagonist has fictional conversations with film directors who are still living. For example: a conversation with Martin Scorsese about the film Goodfellas; a conversation with Woody Allen about Annie Hall, etc.
The conversations are lighthearted, friendly, and take a tack similar to that of a journalist interviewing them about their work. I am using the real characters to give verisimilitude to my fictional lead. The words these directors speak are mine, but have been informed by statements and ideas they themselves have uttered or spoken about in the past. So they are not saying anything they haven't really said before, albeit in a totally fictitious circumstance.
Is what I am describing above legal? Or is it better now to abandon the tactic to avoid problems down the line?
If I were you I'd change the names just a little to avoid any prosecution. You can always have one of the directors be named Tim Harrelson who marries his friend's stepdaughter or something like that. (Tim Allen + Woody Harrellson)
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