PETER FALK ON CASSAVETES

He’s a very nice few minutes of Peter Falk discussing his fond memories of his friend and collaborator John Cassavetes. Falk is, as always, magnetic–hard to take your eyes off, insightful, articulate etc. Alas, I directed him in 2003 in a forgettable movie called ‘The Thing About My Folks’ and this wasn’t the Peter who we got. By then he was grouchy, disrespectful, always angry at someone or something and demanded constant takes (ten was too few for his satisfaction), none of which differed from the previous take in any appreciable way. As a director I could offer little that he was interested in listening to and the entire movie became a test of wills–how long could we all survive Peter and his eccentricities? Fortunately it was only a twenty-five day shoot but Peter worked twenty-four of those days. On the one day that he didn’t work the atmosphere on the set was entirely different–light, creative, spirited etc. I remember turning to my DP and asking if he noticed the different on-set vibe. He said, ‘I guess it just shows that a day without Peter is like a month in the country!’ I’m sorry that I didn’t get to know the Peter on display in this lovely segment. It was the Peter I had signed up for but for whatever reason he had disappeared…

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