Kubrick was a riddle wrapped in an enigma. Hear from an actor who knew him.
Stanley Kubrick is one of the most important filmmakers of all time. It's hard to imagine what he would be doing with all the tools and techniques available today. But his body of work shows cutting-edge techniques and revolutionary ideas. It's why we love him.
Sterling Hayden starred in The Killing and Dr. Strangelove, where he was able to develop a working relationship with Kubrick. So what was it like to work with such a legend?
Listen to the stories in his words.
What did Kubrick see in Hayden that got him cast in The Killing? Hayden muses that Kubrick saw confusion in him and a weakness that he felt could embody the crook for the movie.
One of the other stories he shared was how his agent told him about Kubrick. Kubrick was known as a weirdo but also a genius. When Hayden accepted the role in The Killing, he had to adapt to shooting with Kubrick, which was actually easy for him. Hayden liked the way he shot and that the camera was always moving. He also liked moving as an actor. The blocking made his job a little more interesting.
The final story he told was incredible. It was the first day on Dr. Strangelove, and Hayden was blowing it. He was doing a scene, and the takes were flying by. Now he's suddenly on take 48. And everyone knew this was bad.
Kubrick walked up to him and said, "Sterling, I know you can't help what's going on, and you know I can't help you, but the terror on your eyes and in your face might just be the quality we want in this jackass General Jack Ripper, if it is not, come back in a couple of months and we'll do it all over again."
And that was the kick in the butt Hayden needed. Hayden went out, had a few drinks at a bar nearby, came back, and he was able to pull off the scene.
When great directors pass, it's important to keep their stories alive. I love finding out about who Kubrick was through these tales and putting together the image of the man in my mind. Sometimes that's the best way to learn about them.
Got a great Kubrick story? Put it in the comments.
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