Director Martin Scorcese is known for making film in his hometown of New York City and his love for it. This is no more clear than in the 1977 film “New York, New York” which is a musical tribute, featuring new songs by John Kander and Fred Ebb as well as standards, to Scorsese’s hometown. The film also marked the final screen appearance of actor Jack Haley in the uncredited cameo of the character Master of Ceremonies. To Scorcese, it seems, New York is always the place to be.
“You can’t make a good sale without showing the goods.”
– Josh Brolin, “Sin City – A Dame to Kill For”
Actor Ron Perlman is known for playing roles that involve extensive make-up. This includes 2008’s “Hellboy II: The Golden Army” and 2004’s “Hellboy” as the character Hellboy, 2002’s “Star Trek: Nemesis” as Reman Viceroy, 1996’s “The Island of Dr. Moreau” as Sayer of the Law, the 1987-1990 CBS series “Beauty and the Beast” as the lead character Vincent, and the 1986 film “The Name of the Rose” as Salvatore.
However, the first role he did this was actually his first film role which was the 1981 film “Quest for Fire”, adapted from the 1911 Belgian novel by author J.-H. Rosny, as a Neanderthal named Amoukar. Funny enough, this film won the Academy Award in 1983 for Best Make-Up. I guess Perlman always was gifted in the art of prosthetic characters.
“The mind is like a universe, it is constantly expanding.”
– Alejandro Jodorowsky, “Jodorowsky’s Dune”
Sometimes, actors find their schedules affecting the films they do when two separate film schedules collide. For Depp’s 2010 film “The Tourist”, in which he played the lead character Frank Tupelo / Alexander Pearce, the whole film was made in only a little over 11 months, counting from the day director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck came on board to re-write and direct to the day of the premiere in New York.
The reason the film had to be shot so quickly was that Depp had to leave for Hawaii to start filming the fourth film of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise, 2011’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides”. This was also the reason post-production had to happen so quickly because all commercially interesting release dates in 2011 were reserved for the potential start of “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides”.
This is the risk you take being a desirable star. You face the chance of your commitments clashing and filmmakers having to accommodate each other. That is the compromise of filmmaking among each other.
“I know you can’t live on hope alone, but without hope life isn’t worth living. So you and you and you, you’ve got to give them hope.”
– Sean Penn, “Milk”
The 1996 film “Matilda” didn’t just feature young lead actress Mara Wilson as the lead character Matilda, but her truly showing strength off-camera. Wilson’s mother, Suzie Wilson, died of breast cancer during filming and yet Mara pressed on bravely, impressing her adult co-stars.
The film was dedicated to Suzie Wilson, as seen in the end credits. Strength is something that you must find when the challenge arises, but for a child to do it and act in the film without showing that pain, that is the greatest strength you could ask of a child.
“Her nose was so high, she’d drown in a rainstorm.”
– Glenda Jones, “Bernie”
Even the smallest person can be great as many have so famously said. This was no exception for kid actor Alfred Lutter who co-starred in the 1974 film “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore” as the character Tommy.
Director Martin Scorsese’s casting director auditioned three hundred boys for the role of Tommy before they discovered Lutter. Scorcese described meeting him as, “I met the kid in my hotel room and he was kind of quiet and shy”.
When Scorcese paired Lutter with Burstyn and suggested she deviate from the script, he held his own. Scorcese went on to say, “Usually, when we were improvising with the kids, they would either freeze and look down or go right back to the script. But this kid, you couldn’t shut him up.”
Never underestimate the young and their ability to stand tall.
“It’s a one-way street, whichever way I go.”
– Matthew McConaughey, “The Wolf of Wall Street”