4 Takeaways From Andrew Goldman’s Never-Before-Heard Peter Bogdanovich Interview for ‘The Originals’

During an interview before he died, the late director opened up about his previous relationships and how he hated working with Cher on ’Mask’
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On the latest episode of Los Angeles’ podcast, “The Originals,” Andrew Goldman shares his career-spanning 2019 interview with director Peter Bogdanovich, who died on January 6 at 82 years old. In the episode, the Last Picture Show and Mask director is shockingly candid about his tempestuous personal life and the extreme highs and lows of his career.

The 1974 Los Angeles magazine cover illustrating this article had a minor role in his undoing. The public began to turn against Bogdanovich in the mid-Seventies after he and girlfriend Cybill Shepherd, for whom he left his wife, began appearing on magazine covers together celebrating their love. “We were on the cover of Los Angeles magazine, where [Shepherd] was sticking her tongue out of the camera,” Bogdanovich said. “People didn’t like that. I showed Orson [Welles] a copy of People and he leafed through it and said, ‘I don’t know if I like this.’ Cary Grant called me and said ‘Peter, will you for Christ’s sake, stop telling people you are happy and stop telling them you’re in love…Because they’re not happy and they’re not in love!’ He was right.”

Bogdanovich found nothing to like in Marvel and DC films. “This superhero shit is so boring to me,” Bogdanovich said. “It’s just special effects. One of the great things about movies is they are a great recording device for things that happened. So when you see Astaire and Rogers dancing, it’s not tricks. There’s no special effects. The glory of movies that you’re seeing something that actually happened so it’s almost like a documentary of that moment. And now that they can do anything in special effects, who gives a shit? It’s all fake.”

The lyrics of Frank Sinatra’s song “Nancy (With The Laughing Face)” provided justification for his biggest scandal. In 1988, the then 49-year-old Bogdanovich was the subject of a huge tabloid scandal after he married Louise Stratten, the 20-year-old sister of his Playboy Playmate girlfriend Dorothy Stratten, who had been murdered eight years before. “I met [Louise] when she was 11 and a half,” Bogdanovich said. “Dorothy brought over to the house on New Year’s Day in 1980. We loved Dorothy, we both tragically felt lost without her, and we just got close and eventually got married. They made such a big deal out of the fact that I married her sister. In fact, why not? There’s a line in a famous song by Frank Sinatra, ‘You can’t resist her, sorry for you she has no sister. No [angel could] replace.”

Bogdanovich never forgave Bob Fosse for directing Star 80. Bogdanovich was appalled to learn that Bob Fosse was directing Star 80, the 1983 film about Dorothy Stratten’s murder. “Star 80 was completely ridiculous,” Bogdanovich said. “I knew Bob Fosse, and when I heard he was making Star 80 and I called him and I said, ‘Bob, if it happened to you, I wouldn’t do a movie about it.’ It was a terrible movie. The first time I appear on the screen under a different name, [the director character] says to her, ‘So what do you know about me?’ I thought to myself, ‘Okay, Bob, I get it. You’re a fucking asshole too.’ Jealous, envious, fucking awful.”

PLUS: one online-only extra not included in the episode.

Bogdanovich says Cher was the most difficult actor he ever worked with. Bogdanovich did not enjoy directing the singer for his 1985 film Mask. “[Cher] can’t act. She can’t sustain a scene. She’d start off in the right direction, but she’d go off wrong very quickly. So I shot a lot of closeups of her because her eyes have the sadness of the world. When you get to know her, you find out it’s self-pity, but still, it translates well in movies. I didn’t like her. I came on set and I said, ‘You know, you depress me. You’re always so down and acting like somebody’s stealing from you or something.’”

Listen to the new episode of The Originals podcast.


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