The Godfather Star Had No Kind Words for One Visionary Director Who Made Actors Miserable: “He was an actor’s enemy”

The legendary director was known for his penchant for hundreds of takes while filming.

the godfather star had no kind words for one visionary director who made actors miserable

SUMMARY

  • Actor Robert Duvall starred in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather and has worked with acclaimed directors.
  • The actor has had a seventy-year career in the industry and has an Academy Award to his name.
  • Duvall had a bone to pick with legendary director Stanley Kubrick and called him an actor’s enemy.
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Actor Robert Duvall became known for his role as Tom Hagen, the consigliere of the Corleone crime family in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather. The actor featured in the film along with prominent artists such as Al Pacino, Marlon Brando, James Caan, and Diane Keaton. Duvall also earned an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for the film.

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Duvall has worked with many acclaimed actors in his seventy-year career. He reunited with The Godfather director in more films and has worked with directors such as Sidney Lumet, Ron Howard, and Tony Scott. However, the legendary actor seemed to disregard the work of noted auteur Stanley Kubrick, calling him an ‘actor’s enemy’.

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Also read: Stanley Kubrick Burned Down an Entire Studio While Filming The Shining Only To Have Steven Spielberg Fill It With Snakes Later

Robert Duvall Considered Stanley Kubrick An Actor’s Enemy

Robert Duvall in The Godfather
Robert Duvall in The Godfather

Robert Duvall made his film debut in the iconic Gregory Peck starrer To Kill A Mockingbird. His illustrious seven-decade-long career has been a mix of the stage, TV, and film. The actor has worked with many legendary filmmakers and is known for his collaboration with Francis Ford Coppola, starting with The Godfather.

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Duvall made an appearance on the 2010 Awards Watch Actor’s Roundtable hosted by The Hollywood Reporter along with younger actors such as Ryan Gosling, Collin Firth, Mark Ruffalo, Jesse Eisenberg, and James Franco. The legendary actor amused the rest of the gang with his old-timey stories of classic films and directors.

Also read: “I could control everything… like Stanley Kubrick”: John Woo Claimed Most of His Films Were Shot Without a Script For an Insane Reason

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Stanley Kubrick on the sets The Shining
Stanley Kubrick on the sets The Shining

During the talk, Eisenberg spoke about his The Social Network director David Fincher and his penchant for more number of takes. This seemed to have irked Robert Duvall as he went on a rant about another legendary director notorious for filming many takes of the same shot. Taking a dig at Stanley Kubrick, Duvall said,

“To me, the great Stanley Kubrick was an actor’s enemy…I can point to movies he’s done, the worst performances I’ve ever seen in movies: ‘The Shining,’ ‘A Clockwork Orange,’…maybe great movies but they’re terrible performances. How does he know the difference between the first take and the seventieth take?”

The hot take by Duvall on the legendary director seemingly amused the rest of the actors at the roundtable, especially Ryan Gosling who was seen snickering at the entire rant.

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Also read: “I don’t do a lot of takes when it’s good”: Stanley Kubrick Blamed “Undisciplined” Actors For Fabricating Lies About His Extreme Work Process

The Godfather Star Had Complaints About Doing Multiple Takes

Robert Duvall and Marlon Brando in The Godfather
Robert Duvall and Marlon Brando in The Godfather

In the roundtable talk, actor Robert Duvall continued his crusade against directors who demanded multiple takes by going after director David Fincher. Two of Fincher’s alumni were on the table, namely, Jesse Eisenberg and Mark Ruffalo, and The Godfather star seemed to be extremely curious about Fincher’s working style.

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Asking about Fincher to the rest of the group, the actor said,

“He’s always been like that, David Fincher? How about when he did ‘Se7en’? He got good results from that… I turned down a part in ‘Se7en’ maybe [his methodology is] the reason I did. Subconsciously I knew.”

Duvall, who has also directed, mentioned that his process would be more actor-centric instead of technical precision as he would be putting the actor’s performance first and then go for other shots. When asked if his The Godfather director Francis Ford Coppola took that many takes, he quipped,

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“[Coppola] did many takes. He was trying to get us to be serious while working with Jimmy Caan’s jokes…he is the greatest guy in the world. Brando is still trying to remember a joke Jimmy said twenty-five years ago.”

The actor would go on to work with his The Godfather director on multiple films such as Apocalypse Now, The Conversation, and The Godfather Part II.

Also read: Stephen King Didn’t Want Stanley Kubrick To Cast Jack Nicholson in The Shining, Didn’t Like the Actor’s Looks Enough

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Written by Nishanth A

Nishanth A is a Media, English and Psychology graduate from Bangalore. He is an avid DC fanboy and loves the films of Christopher Nolan. He has published over 400 articles on FandomWire. When he's not fixating on the entire filmography of a director, he tries to write and direct films.