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“He Was Young And Full Of Himself”: Burt Reynolds On Why He “Hated” Paul Thomas Anderson During ‘Boogie Nights’

"He Was Young And Full Of Himself": Burt Reynolds On Why He "Hated" Paul Thomas Anderson During 'Boogie Nights'

What happens when you bring together a Hollywood legend with a rising young director? Sometimes you get magic, and indeed, for Burt Reynolds, his turn in Paul Thomas Anderson‘s “Boogie Nights” might have been his last great performance. However, as the veteran actor tells it, he had a horrible time making the ’70s set, porn world movie.

Doing the rounds for his memoir “But Enough About Me,” Reynolds admits that he’d probably never work with Anderson again because, as he tells GQ, “Personality-wise, we didn’t fit.”

READ MORE: Look In The Mirror: Supercut Breaks Down The Influence Of Martin Scorsese On Paul Thomas Anderson’s ‘Boogie Nights’

“I think mostly because he was young and full of himself,” he continued. “Every shot we did, it was like the first time [that shot had ever been done]. I remember the first shot we did in ‘Boogie Nights,’ where I drive the car to Grauman’s Theater. After he said, ‘Isn’t that amazing?’ And I named five pictures that had the same kind of shot. It wasn’t original. But if you have to steal, steal from the best.” Perhaps Reynolds does have a point, given that “Boogie Nights” does owe some of its verve to Martin Scorsese, particularly “Taxi Driver.” 

That said, Reynolds admits he hasn’t watched “Boogie Nights” the whole way through, and while he tells The Guardian he “hated” Anderson, it seems the antipathy wasn’t reciprocated. The director apparently offered him a role in “Magnolia” which he turned down. “I’d done my picture with Paul Thomas Anderson, that was enough for me,” Reynolds said.

As always, there’s another side to the coin. In Grantland‘s excellent oral history of “Boogie Nights,” it paints the actor as old school Hollywood type who was perhaps upset he wasn’t getting the respect he thought he deserved from the young cast around him.

At any rate, it’s an interesting tale, and a reminder that sometimes fractious relationships on set can still result in great films. [via EW]

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