Friday June 25, 2021
What does it mean to you to direct an actor or an actress?
You cannot generalize that. That is like asking a doctor the same kind of question. “Well, there are some nice patients, there are some terrifying nudniks, there are hypochondriacs and there are some jolly ones who say, 'So I've got a 106-degree fever, I'll be all right, Doc.'” It all depends. Maybe if there is some kind of generalization possible, I would say that fifty-five percent are bores. Yes, expecially when they start digging deep into the character, because then you have to spend a week with them saying, “Yes, blah, blah, my father, my grandfather, blah.” And then I say, “For Chrissakes, learn those goddamned lines and let's get it over with.”
-- George Stevens Jr. interviewing Billy Wilder in Conversations with the Great Moviemakers of Hollywood's Golden Age