{Of all lies, art is the least untrue - Flaubert}

Monday, May 21, 2007

Billy Wilder on Monroe, Chaplin and God !

In the collection of interviews with directors, the most funny and humorous interview is that of Billy Wilder. When asked about the difficulty of working with Marilyn Monroe, he quipped, "Look, if I wanted somebody to be on time and to know the lines perfectly, I've got an old aunt in Vienna... but who wants to look at her?" Here is what he has to say about Charlie Chaplin

Now, on the subject of collaboration, there are a lot of people who are so
ego maniacal that they will absolutely not permit another name on the script.
Take the famous story of Chaplin making Monsieur Verdoux. Orson Welles came up
with the idea. With Chaplin it was not only that he wrote it, only only that he
directed it, not only that he acted in it, but he also composed the music, which
most of the time he stole. But before I go any further I would like you to know
that Mr. Chaplin, up to the moment he started writing dialogue, was an
absolutely unique genius. He was a God, just so that you don't think I'm
demeaning Mr. Chaplin.

And this is what he has to say on the notion of "Thinking Actor"

I'm terribly fond of Jack [Lemmon]. We understand each other very well and its a
pleasure to work with him. He is a thinking actor, but not an argumentative one.
By that I mean if we start shooting at 9 o'clock, he would be there at 8:15 and
would come to my office and say, "Hey, I've got a great idea! Look, why don't you
do this?Blah, blah, blah, blah." And I just look at him, and he says, "I don't
like it either." And he walks out.

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