Belfast Telegraph

Friday 4 September 2015

Tenenbaums cast scared of Hackman

Published 17/10/2011

Wes Anderson pestered Gene Hackman to star in The Royal Tenenbaums
Wes Anderson pestered Gene Hackman to star in The Royal Tenenbaums

Wes Anderson has confessed he was scared of Gene Hackman.

The director and members of the cast of The Royal Tenenbaums, including Bill Murray, Anjelica Houston, and Gwyneth Paltrow attended a special screening Q&A of the movie at the New York Film Festival to celebrate the film's tenth anniversary.

Wes, Gwyneth and Anjelica all admitted they were "scared" of Gene and Wes revealed the veteran actor had called him several names.

Anjelica, whose first scene with Gene required her to smack him, revealed: "I was particularly terrified, because I could tell he wasn't in a very good mood that morning."

Gwyneth said: "He was kind of a bear of a guy, but I also found something very sweet and sad in there. I liked him a lot. I think he's one of the greatest actors who ever lived. To be in his presence and watch him do his thing. It's like - you know, you're Gene Hackman, you can be in a bad f***ing mood."

Bill added jokingly: "I'll stick up for Gene too. I'd hear these stories, like, 'Gene threatened to kill me today.' 'He can't kill you, you're in a union.' 'Gene threatened to take all of us and set fire to us.' 'It's a union shoot, it's New York, he can't set fire to you'."

Wes also defended Gene, admitting he had pestered him to be in the film after writing the part for him.

He said: "Gene passed for a year and a half. He was sort of forced to do the movie and that was not fair, really.

"I just kept asking him and bothering him. I just wore him down. Eventually he just kind of caved."

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