All eyes were on Rob Reiner last night as the director’s famous friends, colleagues and co-stars payed tribute to this year’s Chaplin Award recipient at the Lincoln Center. Reiner was the 41st recipient of the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s award. Previous honorees include Meryl Streep, Barbra Streisand, Martin Scorsese, and Francis Ford Coppola.
Folks including Billy Crystal, Michael Douglas, Martin Scorsese, James Caan and Meg Ryan paid tribute to the director, best known for “This is Spinal Tap,” “When Harry Met Sally,” “The Princess Bride,” “Stand By Me,” and “A Few Good Men.” There was also an exclusive peek at the upcoming documentary “The Case Against 8,” in which Reiner, a gay rights activist, appears, and another one for his upcoming romantic comedy, “And So It Goes” (out wide on July 11th).
Below are some of the most memorable quotes from the evening.
Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan reminiscence about shooting “When Harry Met Sally”‘s most infamous scene:
Billy Crystal: “The scene that everyone talks about the most –“
Meg Ryan: “Was the longest day for me.”
Crystal: “It was one of the greatest days for me.”
Ryan: “I had to have thirty to forty orgasms that day.”
Crystal: “Which was an average day for me when I was 16.”
Ryan: “It was embarrassing to do that in front of strangers. The first take I was very tentative. Rob was not happy. I could tell because he was schvitzing. Finally he said, ‘Meg let me just show you what I want.'”
Crystal: “So Meg steps out and Rob sits down.”
Ryan: “And Rob says to me, ‘Pay close attention.'”
Crystal: “So Rob proceeds to have an orgasm. He’s pounding and pounding on the table. Those little spice balls on pickles — they’re flying everywhere. I’m thinking, ‘I pity the woman who has to go through this.'”
Ryan: “It was a hard act to follow.”
Crystal: “I was getting a little excited actually. So Rob takes me aside and goes, “Buddy, I shouldn’t have done that. I just had an orgasm in front of my mother.”
Morgan Freeman on wanting to play President for Reiner.
“Why did he think I was wrong for the lead in ‘The American President’? Instead of a President, Rob makes me a grouchy alcoholic in ‘The Magic of Belle Isle,’ and killed me off in ‘The Bucket List.'” Go figure.”
James Caan on why he didn’t win an Oscar like his co-star in “Misery,” Kathy Bates.
“Kathy just loved to rehearse. Me, not so much. I told Rob, ‘Listen, I don’t want to know what the heck she’s going to do when she comes through the door. I don’t want to know if she’s going to kiss me or kill me.’ So Rob worked it out and did all the rehearsing with Kathy, to the point where he could play both roles. Rob’s brain solution won Kathy an Academy Award. So I’m thinking… maybe I should rehearse.”
Michael Douglas on his special bond with Reiner.
“Rob and I have something unique in common. We were the sons of very special fathers; something we never really talked a lot about until recently. Over the years we both managed to emerge from those giant shadows, and thrive in our light.”