Roughly five-dozen of Robert Altman‘s celebrity friends appear in the legendary director’s 1992 effort “The Player,” and part of the acidic Hollywood satire’s fun lies in watching each of them send up the two-faced practices of the film industry. The town loved it regardless, giving the film three Oscar nominations including Best Director, but in an archival interview about the production with Altman, he gives some insight into the cameos that never made it into the final cut.
Charting the workings of a slimy studio exec (Tim Robbins) and his swift spiral into blackmail, murder, and manipulation over a slighted, struggling screenwriter, the film frequently sketches in Robbin’s work bubble with the likes of Bruce Willis, Peter Falk, and Julia Roberts in brief scenes. During “One on One with Robert Altman” (via The Seventh Art), a DVD extra feature, he discusses and screens even more moments that didn’t make the film, including one with Jeff Daniels playing golf, and Patrick Swayze showing off karate moves nearby.
Altman also describes the more biting elements of the film, and defends his views on Hollywood practices by saying, “You can’t do a satire unless it’s mostly about yourself — unless you recognize all of things in yourself. I find myself doing many of the same things.” Check the full clip out below for the rest of his comments, and if you haven’t already, check out “The Player” to see how the studio system has changed, and how it still remains the same.