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Four Directors Who Torture Their Actors, from Hitch to Trier (CLIPS)

by Ryan Lattanzio
March 25, 2014 5:13 PM
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  • Jen Lackland | April 29, 2014 1:05 AMReply

    Navel to Neck is a great song.

  • pepek | April 27, 2014 1:45 AMReply


  • Shitface | April 25, 2014 2:23 AMReply

    You fckers!! helllo from school !

  • Dannie | March 31, 2014 1:19 AMReply

    Alfred Hitchcock was in love with Hedren.

  • cadavra | March 28, 2014 3:09 PMReply

    James Cameron, Michael Bay, Michael Mann (reportedly over 100 people quit or were fired on the MIAMI VICE feature) and William Friedkin are also well-known to treat their casts and crews like crap. Going back to the old days, people like Fritz Lang, Otto Preminger, Michael Curtiz and Sam Peckinpah were legendary tyrants.

    On the other hand, the Hitchcock/Hedren thing is a bit of an anomaly. The likes of Cary Grant, Grace Kelly, Jimmy Stewart and Gregory Peck would not have worked with him repeatedly if he were that awful, regardless of how successful he was.

  • PM | April 3, 2014 2:15 PM

    I agree with you on the Hitchcock thing, but couldn't the same be said about James Cameron. Michael Biehn, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sigourney Weaver, Bill Paxton, and although they're not actors James Horner and Stan Winston have all worked with him multiple times.

  • tyler4all | March 27, 2014 11:10 AMReply

    Now compare the work of these directors with that of actor-directors like Robert Duvall and Clint Eastwood, seasoned actors who know what it takes to get a good performance out of an actor They don't berate or torture their actors. They don't do 100 takes. They simply create an atmosphere in which an actor can work freely. blah, I'm over everyone's adulation for the obsessive, control-freak directors mentioned in this article. Torturing someone in real life and then capturing their misery is not acting or directing. Getting inside a character's head, imagining a life wholly unlike your own and embodying that, now that's real storytelling.

  • salvador | March 26, 2014 9:04 PMReply

    stanley kubrick es un director sobrevalorado defectuoso y aprovechador del talento ajeno

  • Beryl | March 26, 2014 2:18 PMReply

    FOUR!? That's all you could come up with? You need to get out more.

    Now how about a piece called, "Four Critics Who Torture The General Public"?

  • Barney | March 27, 2014 1:43 PM

    Dozens more Ryan- could you list just a few as you know dozens more to prove that is not bullshit. Also, could you name any female directors who torture their actors. PS point to consider when you glibly suggest the torture helped the work- those actresses may have turned in those performances DESPITE what they had to put up with from the director. Just sayin'

  • Ryan Lattanzio | March 26, 2014 2:40 PM

    Yes, there are dozens more. But I am but one writer, thus I chose four directors I especially love and know well.

  • Brian | March 26, 2014 11:38 AMReply

    I don't think any finished work justifies this kind of behavior from a director. If you can't get the performance you want from the actor voluntarily and in completely safe conditions, then either you or the actor don't belong there. In the case of von Trier and Aronofsky, I can certainly do without their films. In the case of Kubrick and THE SHINING, he certainly could have gotten an actress of stature who could have done that part the way he wanted without being subjected to verbal abuse and the movie wouldn't have suffered. (Not that it's such a great movie, either.) Certainly, THE BIRDS is not a better movie because of the abuse heaped on Miss Hedren. What I don't understand in that case is why the crew didn't rebel and simply refuse to use the live birds. They would have been well within their rights and their union would have backed them up.

  • SK | March 26, 2014 5:18 AMReply

    If you think the Stanley Kubrick from "Making of The Shining" was anything more than a character he wanted you to see, you're fooling yourself

  • Dan | March 25, 2014 9:19 PMReply

    Hey Ryan, thanks for the read. Oh, the life of an actor. Since you write about films, I'd love your feedback on an iPhone app I've just had built. The plan is to evolve it but i'm trying to validate the idea. Would really appreciate you taking a look. i can't add a link because it's considered spam but it's called BooksFilmsBands (iPhone only). Thanks!

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