Bono (and U2) are mentioned in this Phil Joanou article from the LATimes.
Joanou’s relationship with Bono has also broadened his horizons. He recently spent several weeks in Africa, filming a documentary about Bono’s efforts to fight AIDS through a new project that launches in October with corporations raising money for AIDS relief through consumer purchases. "We were in shantytowns with 80,000 people and no toilets, in clinics where there were five babies to a bed. You just couldn’t imagine people on our planet live like that every day."
Besides Bono, Joanou found one other supporter, Neal Moritz, who’d been at USC when Joanou was there. Now a top producer, Moritz tried to hire him on an earlier film, but the studio, knowing Joanou’s reputation, wanted nothing to do with him. Moritz finally persuaded Sony to hire Joanou for "Gridiron Gang."
"He’s not the arrogant young guy he once was," says Moritz. "No one understood this movie better than Phil. He’s got his head on straight and our movie is lucky enough to be the beneficiary. The film is all about these kids getting a second chance, so we really have the right guy to tell that story."
Joanou doesn’t view his years of struggle as wasted time. "In some ways, I’m lucky I wasn’t such a big success. When you fail, people are a lot more honest with you, so I’ve learned more about myself. When I was young, I was always going after the big guns, like Scorsese. This time I wasn’t trying to emulate my heroes. It was just me, trying to tell a story I cared about."
Joanou recently bought a famous Richard Avedon photo of John Ford, showing the fabled director at the end of his life, a patch over one eye, his face mottled with sagging flesh and liver spots. Joanou put it up right by his front door. "I like seeing it every day when I walk out the door because I think, ‘Now that’s what a real director looks like.’ "
Read the complete story here.