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Santa Mari-a
Happy Holly Days


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There's a story that while they were co-starring in Marathon Man, Olivier said to Hoffman (who was staying up all night to look haggard), "Dear boy, why don't you try acting?" or something to that effect. There's nothing preposterous about this, and yet it seems a bit too pat a contrast between the older generation classically trained British actor and the younger method-acting American. Can anyone confirm or deny this happened?

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Si hoc comprehendere potes, gratias age magistro Latinae.

Posts: 1720 | From: Charlottesville, VA | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Faith
Happy Holly Days


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I've heard Dustin Hoffman make mention of this story on chatshows in the UK and kind of confirm the Olivier remark happened but that his haggard look was caused by his staying up all night at Studio 54 rather than Dedication to the Craft.

He may enjoy the story as much as anyone, I suppose.

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"You watched it. You can't UNWATCH it."

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Alex Buchet
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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Another story I enjoy features actress Helen Hayes. During rehearsal of a play, in one scene where she merely had to stay in the background, she kept adding bits of business-- touching her hair, fiddling with her purse, etc.

Finally, the director got so fed up he shouted:

"Don't just do something-- STAND THERE!"

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Toad Buddy
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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Funny you should mention that! I was just reading Michael Slade's 'Bed of Nails' and he says the same thing in the book. I looked it up in IMDb trivia here where it says that "he cleared up the story" in 2004. Hoffman told Olivier that he was tired from partying hard the previous 2 nights. Olivier's comment "related to his lifestyle and not his "method" style of acting."

~Toad Buddy

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Griffin at the Maul
Joyeux New Sale


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That same quote is in Gene Wilder's Autobiography Kiss Me Like a Stranger. I do not remember the exact situation, but supposedly it was told to Gene early on in his membership to the Actor's Studio by one of the older/greater members.

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Where are we going, and why are we in this handbasket?

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AliBaba
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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Al Pacino told a very similar story in an interview in, IIRC, Playboy magazine many years ago. He was talking about the thrill of working with his mentor, Lee Strasberg, in The Godfather Part II, and how hard he was working to try to impress his former teacher with how dedicated he was to the Method.

Pacino said he'd gone up on his lines a number of times, changing them each take, because he was so deep into the character, and the Actor's Studio teacher had taught Method, and innabiting the character. Finally, during a break he said that Strasberg patted him on the cheek and said "learn your lines, dahlink."

Ali "method man" Baba

Posts: 3068 | From: Kensington, MD | Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
   

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