John Badham on Directing Stars

Legendary director John Badham (Saturday Night Fever, Wargames, Supernatural)
talks with Per Holmes about directing movie stars. How are stars different
from 'normal' actors? Do they need more direction? Less? How do you handle
disagreements? What are you allowed to say or not say? How do you handle the
power imbalance between an up-and-coming director and a very experienced
actor? This episode answers these questions and countless more in this
amazing episode.

John Badham on Directing Stars

Legendary director John Badham (Saturday Night Fever, Wargames, Supernatural) talks with Per Holmes about directing movie stars. How are stars different from 'normal' actors? Do they need more direction? Less? How do you handle disagreements? What are you allowed to say or not say? How do you handle the power imbalance between an up-and-coming director and a very experienced actor? This episode answers these questions and countless more in this amazing episode.

Prep Show

Get notified about new episodes

Listen As A Podcast Apple Podcasts Spotify

Episode Details

EPISODE LINKS

John Badham IMDb: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000824/

John is also the author of one of the best and most brutally honest books on filmmaking ever written, “I’ll Be In My Trailer”, about the relationship between actors and directors. https://www.amazon.com/Ill-Be-My-Trailer-Directors/dp/1932907149

His new book “On Directing 2”, is dropping in the fall of 2020. Check it out on his website: https://www.johnbadham.com/

Episode Outline

0:00 - Intro
2:37 - Welcome to John
4:56 - Differences between "normal" actors and stars?
7:53 - How does conversation with a star sound differently?
10:47 - What does the first conversation with an actor sound like?
12:55 - Directors direct too much?
13:39 - Directing in actions
15:08 - Different actor results in different performance
15:49 - Directing a regular on a TV show
19:30 - Making the scenes work
20:46 - Making an actor not do something
23:27 - Criticizing actors
24:43 - Retakes for the heck of it
25:28 - Every take doesn't need direction
27:50 - Shaking up the scene
29:39 - Directing Jack Nicholson
34:17 - Marlon Brando testing his director
37:06 - What if actor won't discuss character?
40:38 - Gaining an actor's trust
44:32 - Calming an actor's nerves
47:38 - Super-confident actors
50:02 - How much to direct
52:51 - Taking bad direction back
53:33 - Giving actors attention after a take
56:02 - Being there for actors
57:01 - Directors should try a bit of acting
58:23 - Actors can see through a director
59:12 - Gaining the trust of actors
1:02:38 - How much freedom should actors have?
1:12:36 - Does a director need to be certain?
1:15:21 - Getting everybody invested in it
1:18:48 - How much or how little to direct?
1:25:51 - Imaginary directing situation: Joe Pesci
1:28:15 - Giving actors obstacles instead of directing them
1:35:48 - Working with strong-willed actors
1:40:25 - Strong-willed actors testing the director
1:46:49 - Summary of insights
1:53:07 - John's new book On Directing
1:56:07 - Wrap up

Related Episodes (see All Episodes)