This was from a link submitted to this site by “Ryan”. It’s an anecdote about John Cassavetes based from Dennis Maitland’s experience of working as a sound man on Husbands. He also worked on the sound for Gloria. I copy-pasted this account from this website:
“I’ll tell you the first time I ever met John Cassavetes. I did a movie calledHusbands, and we went in to see a rehearsal, and…Ben Gazarra, and Peter Falk, and John were there, sitting at a table. They introduced everybody, (transportation) captain and script supervisor and so on down the line, and then the three guys start talking to each other, and you know, it was like a Friday, and I was off early, I want to go home. And I’m waiting for them to start doing a scene, and they’re talking about this poor guy who was a friend of theirs who died, I think the week before or something, they went to the funeral.
I listened to that thing for like 20 minutes, you know, and I’m saying, when in the hell are they going to do the damn story? So I turn to the script supervisor, I say: “Are they going to do this thing or not?”
He says, “What do you mean?”
I said, “When are they going to rehearse?”
He said, “They just did.”
I said, “THAT was the rehearsal?” It was so real that I thought… there was no way…[that] it was nothing more than just conversation between three friends.
Anyway, so the first day that we go on location, we’re at a blue collar bar on 86th Street and Third Avenue, and it was the kind of a bar where the owner lives upstairs with his family, and at night at 7:00, they pull the purple curtains down and it’s over, and at eight they open the following morning.
Now, John did a lot of homework. He loved to use people off the street and do adlib dialogue etc., so he went drinking at this place for a number of weeks, and he got together a coterie of, say, about six or seven neighborhood people. Some of them pretty bad looking.
And when we were going to do the scene, he has three cameras - wide, medium, and close - and it was totally adlib, and John said, “Don’t worry about what you’re going to say, we’ll ask you the questions, or we’ll bring you into it, we’ll lead you into what we want basically for you to say, so don’t worry about it, alright?”
I’m looking at this thing, and I went to John and I said, “John, I’m going to have to somehow wire these people.” And he said, “Why?”
I said, “Because you’re shooting the world with one camera, and half the world with the next one, and close-up with the next one. I can’t… how’s a boom going to…”
He said, “Well, the boom man will come down for that shot.”
I said, “How’s he going to know when to come down?”
He said, “He’ll come down when something’s interesting.”
I said, “You want my boom man to decide what’s interesting, and come down? No, I’m sorry, you can’t do that.”
And he said, “Are you telling me how to direct?”
And I said, “No, no, I didn’t intend to.”
He said, “Well, fuck you.”
And I said, “Pardon me?”
And he said, “Fuck you.”
And I said, “Well, excuse me, Mr. Cassavetes, fuck you!”
He stormed off the set, and I’m stunned. I thought he was kidding.
I go back standing behind the mixer, and he’s in the back, and Ben Gazarra goes over to him, got his arm around him and everything, and he’s apparently trying to explain to him what I have in mind… So, he’s down at the end, maybe 50 feet away. And he’s mouthing to me, “Fuck you.” And I’m saying to myself, what in the hell have I gotten myself into here? So I’m standing there, I mouth “Fuck You”.
He leaps to his feet, and he comes running down the bar. And he’s got one of these Jack Nicholson “Here’s Johnny!” looks, you know, from “The Shining” on his face. And I say, this son of a bitch is going to clock me. So I say, well, I’ve got to stand up. And as he’s coming down - and this is all split-second thinking, you know, and I say, what am I going to do? And I say, well, how close do I let him come before he’s in my territory? And you know it’s… purely a defense; I say to myself, “You take the shot. That’s something you can do, and then you’re going to be right. Just prepare for it.”
He ran up to me, and he went forehead-to-forehead and nose-to-nose touching, and he says, “Fuck you.”
And I said, “Fuck you.”
He said, “Fuckyoufuckyoufuckyoufuckyoufuckyou.”
I said, “Fuckyoufuckyoufuckyoufuckyou.”
He said, “You only said it four times, I said it five.” He kissed me on the mouth, and he said, “Wire everybody, let’s go!”
And that was my first meeting with John Cassavetes. And I wound up doing five of his movies, too. And …. if I would see him on the street, he’d say it out loud, as he was passing by: “Fuck you Dennis Maitland!”“
—San Francisco Chronicle film critic Judy Stone on Cassavetes’ Husbands