Robert Duvall takes aim at “actor’s enemy” Stanley Kubrick

Posted by · 9:46 am · December 2nd, 2010

It was interesting this morning to see Robert Duvall’s recent comments on Stanley Kubrick’s process with actors making the rounds.  Duvall chimed in with trademark candor at The Hollywood Reporter’s Actors Round Table when the issue of exhaustive takes came up.  “The Social Network” director David Fincher is known for doing quite a few, and Kubrick was infamous for it.

The actor called the work of Kubrick actors “the worst performances I’ve ever seen in movies” and even went so far as to call the director an “actor’s enemy.”  I’d maintain that Kubrick’s films have rarely been about performance above formalism, but that’s me.  Though the comments did remind me of a similar aside I had with actor Leonardo DiCaprio.

I sat down with the “Inception” and “Shutter Island” star over the weekend to discuss, mainly, the latter and his work with director Martin Scorsese over the years.  In the midst of detailing his on-set process with the director, DiCaprio went off on a small tangent about the potential value of exhaustive takes and I thought it would make a nice rebuttal to Duvall’s point of view.  Check out the audio after the jump.


Of course, I think there is plenty of truth to what Duvall says.  It really just depends on the process and the kind of portrayal a director is looking for.  But it’s worthy of a spirited debate, so what do you have to say about it?

Check back next week for a piece built around my talk with DiCaprio.  It was an enlightening 45 or 50 minute discussion covering all bases.

[Photo: The Hollywood Reporter]

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54 responses so far

  • 1 12-03-2010 at 7:09 am

    Keil Shults said...

    If any of you reading this thread haven’t seen Network, get to it.


    And if you haven’t seen the first two Godfather films, well…you have no business being on the computer when you could be viewing two of the greatest films ever made. Meet me back here in 375 minutes and we’ll shake hands.

  • 2 12-03-2010 at 9:38 am

    sosgemini said...

    I just want to point out that my take on Gosling and Ruffulo’s awkward laughing had nothing to do with Duvall’s opinion and everything to do with Duvall having the balls to go there.

    These actors, throughout the entire interview, took pains to be PC and not offend the Hollywood establishment. They tucked their dicks way way deep into their pants and then Duvall whipped his out and beat them all down. Loved it!!!

  • 3 12-03-2010 at 8:12 pm

    austin111 said...

    To me it’s no surprise that Duvall loves westerns because he has the ability to take on the mythic persona that is obviously so much a part of that genre. I remember him in a western where he played Jesse James in a supporting role (long before The Assassination of Jesse James came along) as a kind of sociopathic killer. Until the latter film I kind of viewed that as the most realistic and definitive portrait of the famed outlaw I’d seen.
    sosgemini, Gosling and Ruffalo were properly deferential to Duvall, imo. He is, after all, a very respected elderly statesman actor. So he’s entitled to openly state whatever he wishes. They, on the other hand, probably both respect the work of Kubrick. They’d sound idiotic otherwise.

  • 4 5-30-2011 at 8:58 am

    DERR UFO said...

    I know for a fact there is a campaign to make Kubrick the new 21st century “4 Letter word” due to the fact that the truth is getting out of clues left in the movie the SHINING as well possibly the 2001 movie on how Kubrick aided or actually created ALL of the NASA moon trip films right here on Earth. My work to reveal the clues is on youtube at DERRUFO360. I am sure my videos will be censored from people seeing them, in many case less than 40 people have seen the videos there.