Burton on Palance

Jack Palance (left) with Jack Nicholson in Tim Burton's 'Batman.'

The best stories in filmmaking are when the old-timers let the rookies know who's boss (read William Friedkin's awesome Hitchcock story here). These moments are part genuine anger, part rite-of-passage hazing. Below is director Tim Burton's story about the legendary Jack Palance (Shane, Panic in the Streets) on the set of Batman.

"I think it was the first day of shooting Batman. It’s probably the only time I’ve ever been terrified of anybody. I was nervous – you know, I’d never really done a big film before. It was a shot of Jack Palance coming out of the bathroom. So we set up the shot. I think my voice was changing - I was just going through puberty then, so I went, kinda like, (in high-pitched voice) ‘Action!’ Jack didn’t come out of the bathroom. And I go, ‘Okay, so… Cut! Come out of the bathroom…’ I probably wasn’t a good people person at the time or whatever, but he started to get angry with me. He started going, (in icy Jack Palance voice) ‘I’ve made over a hundred films. How many have you made?’ I literally left my body. I had a white-out experience that I will never forget. In fact, the hairs on my neck… when I think about that story, I still start to get freaked out." -Tim Burton, DVD commentary, Batman

1 comment:

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