Still from Green Book, courtesy of Universal Pictures

Alumnus Peter Farrelly '86 Discusses Hit New Film 'Green Book'

November 30, 2018

Writing Alumnus Peter Farrelly '86 is known for comedies like There’s Something About Mary, Dumb and Dumber, Me Myself & Irene, and Shallow Hal, a record of comedy that makes his latest film, Green Book, a surprising turn in his career. The dramedy, out through Universal, is receiving praise from both audiences and critics as we head into awards season.


Green Book is a 2018 American comedy-drama film about a tour of the Deep South in the 1960s by African-American classical pianist Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali) and Tony Vallelonga (Viggo Mortensen), a white Italian-American bouncer who served as Shirley's driver and security. Directed by Peter Farrelly, the screenplay was written by Vallelonga's son Nick Vallelonga, with Farrelly and Brian Hayes Currie. The film gets its title from The Negro Motorist Green Book, a mid-20th century guidebook for African-American roadtrippers, written by Victor Hugo Green.


In a Behind the Lens interview, Farrelly tells Pete Hammond from Deadline Hollywood that he knew that Green Book was going to be an “instant home run.” "I wish I could get up when I show this movie and say, it's hard to believe that was only fifty something years ago that it was like that, but it's not that different from today," Farrelly said. "... I do think people will relate to it because there's so much racial division in our country right now."


Green Book was named the year’s top film by the National Board of Review, besting films like A Star Is Born and If Beale Street Could Talk


Peter John Farrelly is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, and novelist. Along with his brother Bobby, the Farrelly brothers are most known for directing and producing quirky comedy and romantic comedy films with great box office success.