New York, Frank Sinatra, JOE discussed on Fresh Air


Now, Audrey Hepburn who wrote the introduction to your biography says that she was so nervous about dancing with a stare. She actually. Lost her breakfast. She she she she threw up the morning of the first performance together. We aware of how nervous she was. Yes. It. It is terrifying to to work with Fred Astaire, particularly if you're a dancer as Audrey Hepburn is was a very trained dancer, so Fred Astaire was everyone's idle, and and suddenly she's thrust into being his equal. Of course. It's terrifying. For and was he very gentle, very helpful very he'd been through this with other people that were equally terrified of working with him. So what he'd loved Audrey as everyone did another movie? I want to ask you about is on the town with three guys on leave in New York. And this some of this numbers are actually shot in the streets of New York, which you've pointed out this. This isn't the first time that production numbers were shot on location, but it was still unusual. In fact, I think you had to fight to shoot the movie in New York instead of on the set. That is right. Yes. We had to fight very hard. We didn't shoot as much as we wanted to shoot a New York, but we did get a bit of the movie. What were you up against in New York since the city was probably not used to movies being shot on the streets. No. The the city was not used to it. And certainly wasn't used to Frank Sinatra in a sailor suit singing on the street. So we had problems of crowd control or hiding a camera or or trying to get the shot without the people realizing what was going on or we had to use many different ways of of getting it done. And this is the actual city of New York was very helpful to us. They wanted the picture to be photographed on streets. But just to think of traffic and noise and on lookers staring at him and staring at the cameras are hearing, the playback and all of that caused great difficulties. Now, the three leads three male leads Frank Sinatra, Gene, Kelly and Joe's mansion. Yeah. And he apparently was afraid of heights, and he was terrified of heights and where was the production number on top of the building. Well, there were several there were several one on top of the building. But it turned out. He was even afraid when he when we got to New York to shoot he said can my room beyond the ground floor. I don't even wanna be one floor up. He was absolutely. Thrown into a catatonic state at height and. There was nothing for it. But to try to get it done. And I must say that he was extremely brave because knowing what kind of fear he had he he managed to go and stand up on a roof high and in New York, and and sing and move and not and not show his fear. Whereas when we would go to the roof to be to do the scene he would actually ride in the elevator on his hands and knees. It sounds funny. But it's terrifying. Somebody who has kind of phobia is in a terrible, sweat and that he was able to overcome. It is a tremendous courage. Did you know, did you know that he was afraid of heights when you cannot when we when I cast him never occurred to me. No when we didn't none of us were aware of it till we got on the plane and wanted to come to New York, I didn't fly with him. So I don't know what he was like in an aeroplane. But certainly when he got to New York he said, I can't go on. Up in the elevator. But he did we must have had a sinking feeling in your stomach when you had the production numbers plans already. Yes. Well, we did with best. We can we we sometimes put gills munching between Sinatra and Kelly. So he would feel somewhat supported by them in these high spots. The whole sequence wasn't done up on the rooftops. Some of it was done in central park and Rockfeller center and Fifth Avenue and Chinatown little Italy all over New York. The Brooklyn navy yard. They're all kinds of places where he wasn't in mortal fear, how does Sinatra and Kelly get along they got along great. They were great friends from from before that we had done. This was the third picture that Kelly Sinatra and I had worked on together. So they were great buddies and remained. So until Jean died. But Sinatra was hard to work with right? I wouldn't categorize him as hard to work with. He was very willing to do what you wanted him to do. He just had certain feelings of he wanted to go to lunch when he went to lunch or he. He wanted to not rehearse much of perhaps we would but he managed to. Force himself to do what we wanted, gene. Hell was terrific because he admired, gene so much. So it was wasn't all that hard. Film director Stanley Donen recorded in nineteen ninety six. He died last week at the age of ninety four coming up. We remember a legendary obituary writer who celebrated ordinary men and women he himself was anything. But ordinary I'm Dave Davies this is fresh.

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