Michael Penn Sets The Mood For "Boogie Nights"

When looking for a musician to pen the score for his porn-in-decline flick "Boogie Nights," director Paul Thomas Anderson didn't turn to the 70s artists who dominate the time in the which the film is set. Instead he went with Michael Penn.

While the movie is now finding rave reviews, Penn says that at first he wasn't exactly jumping at the chance to work in film.

"Well, you avoid a director's phone call for just as long as you possibly can," Penn said of how he came to work with Anderson.

Speaking before taking the stage in New York City recently, Penn told MTV News Online, "Then you finally meet with the guy and go, 'Jeesh, he's young!' And then you go, 'All right, let's see the movie.' And you go, 'Wow, this is pretty good.' And then you go, 'Well, O.K., so what do you got in mind?' And he says 'Well, I've got this temp track, and this is sort of the vibe of the scenes, you know, sort of grand and orchestral here and small and sort of odd here.' Plus Paul's a big fan of the chamberlain, as it happens, so that was sort of a guiding focus as well. And just try to please him, 'cause it's all about you Paul."

"It is now," interjected Anderson, who was on-hand to catch Penn's act at Fez.

Apparently the artistic partnership has worked out, as "Boogie Nights" has earned a great deal of critical acclaim, and is gaining commercial success in its limited release.