Actress Holly Hunter may won the Academy Award for Best Actress for the 1993 film “The Piano”, but she also had three screen credits to show for it besides as the lead actress. Hunter also played her own piano pieces for the film and served as sign language teacher for co-star Anna Paquin. Talk about a Jack of all trades or, rather, a Jill of all trades.
“When you get upset or when you get mad, you turn red right? When you get envious or sick, you turn green. When you become cowardly, you turn yellow. And you’ve got the nerve to call us colored?”
– Kevin Phillips, “Red Tails”
Film techniques have to start somewhere. Much like with director John Ford who was a pioneer of location shooting and the long shot which frames his characters against a vast, harsh and rugged natural terrain. He is in particular a marvel as a filmmaker that we will do a full movie fact of tomorrow that will blow your mind at the talents of the past.
“All you got to do is persuade people that they need things that they’ve been happy without all their lives.”
– Will Rogers, “A Connecticut Yankee”
Never underestimate actors willing to go above and beyond to prove they can handle themselves among other actors. One such example is actor Jason Mewes in the 1999 film “Dogma”. Before shooting, director/co-star Kevin Smith, who played the character Silent Bob, warned Jason Mewes, who played Jay, that he needed to be on point due to the involvement of “real actors,” such as actor Alan Rickman who played the character Metatron. As a result, Mewes memorized not only his dialogue, but the dialogue for every character in the entire screenplay, much to Smith’s surprise, with his primary motivation for doing this because he, as he put it, “didn’t want to piss off that Rickman dude.” Like I said, never underestimate an actor until you see what they are willing to do for a role.
“It’s not a bad thing finding out that you don’t have all the answers. You start asking the right questions.”
– Stellan Skarsgård, “Thor”
Sometimes you become so well known for a particular genre of film it is hard to move onto other genres. Noted comedienne Zasu Pitts was originally cast as Paul’s mother Mrs. Bäumer in the 1930 film “All Quiet on the Western Front” and completed the film. However, preview audiences used to seeing her in comic roles, laughed when she appeared onscreen so director Lewis Milestone re-shot her scenes with actress Beryl Mercer before the film was released. To this day, the preview audience remains the only one who saw Pitts in the role, although she does appear for about 30 seconds in the film’s original preview trailer.
“You still think it’s beautiful to die for your country. The first bombardment taught us better. When it comes to dying for country, it’s better not to die at all.”
– Lew Ayres, “All Quiet on the Western Front”
Not exactly a movie fact but being a fan of legendary actor James Stewart I thought it be nice to share the praise he once received in which actor Cary Grant, a friend of Stewart’s, spoke of his abilities that would be followed by such actors as Marlon Brando. Grant said, “He had the ability to talk naturally. He knew that in conversations people do often interrupt one another and it’s not always so easy to get a thought out. It took a little time for the sound men to get used to him, but he had an enormous impact. And then, some years later, Marlon came out and did the same thing all over again—but what people forget is that Jimmy did it first.” It was that natural approach to portraying a character that made Stewart a legend and he didn’t need to win an Oscar to be it either.
“There is no past that we can bring back by longing for it.”
– Judi Dench, “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”