The 1997 hit Boogie Nights not only launched Mark Wahlberg and Paul Thomas Anderson to the limelight and kickstarted their ascend to the top, it is also considered Burt Reynolds’ best work. Starring alongside Wahlberg, whose character embarks on a journey to attain success in the p-rn industry before falling face-first after being addicted to drugs, Reynolds plays the role of his mentor.
And while he attained enormous acclaim for his portrayal of a veteran p-rn filmmaker in the film, which earned him his first and only Golden Globe win, the actor famously despised the film.
It Wasn’t Burt Reynolds’ Kind of Film
Rosing into prominence in the ’60s, Burt Reynolds delved into a lot of action flicks in the ’70s and ’80s, with his motivation behind taking the gigs being mostly fun. But for the complex drama Boogie Nights, which is universally adored by fans and critics, including Quentin Tarantino, Burt Reynolds wasn’t too kind on it, as he revealed he hated working alongside PTA. In addition, the actor expressed that it wasn’t his kind of film. And while speaking with Conan, the Oscar-nominated star admitted that he didn’t bother watching the movie, which he initially rejected 7 times.
Expanding on his rift with Paul Thomas Anderson, Reynolds further jokingly admitted, “I just wanted to hit him”, and in a separate interview with GQ, he described PTA as “young and full of himself.”
Boogie Nights Benefited From the Tension Between PTA and Burt Reynolds
Reflecting on the reports of Reynolds’ rift with him on Boogie Nights, Paul Thomas Anderson admitted that the reports were true. However, it wasn’t a problem, as the Magnolia director explained that the tension between the two ameliorated the nasty part of the film. He told The Ringer’s Bill Simmons:
“I think that when Burt and I kind of got into it, it may have been the day before or the day after, but it was a really tense three days on the set of ‘Boogie Nights,’” Anderson said. “The other 57 days were really fun and a lot of laughs, but there were three tense days there in the middle where Mark was fighting with Burt, or in the film. Looking back, it was really in the nasty part of the movie, too, when really everything’s kind of going wrong.”
But it isn’t Reynolds alone who regretted making the film as Mark Wahlberg, whose career skyrocketed after Boogie Nights, doesn’t look fondly to his decision to star in the classic.
Boogie Nights is available to stream on Paramount Plus.