Writer-director Lawrence Kasdan, a four-time Oscar nominee, worked with Oscar winner William Hurt, who died March 13 at age 71, on “Body Heat” (1981), “The Big Chill” (1983), “The Accidental Tourist” (1988) and “I Love You to Death” (1990).
William Hurt and I came into the movies together, and Bill had a huge impact on the way I thought about the process.
We met when I was casting “Body Heat,” the first movie I directed. On our initial meeting, we talked for hours about movies and life. We were trying to guess what it would be like to take that journey together.
I was still looking for my cast and eventually tested four couples for the two leads, but that first conversation with Bill stayed with me.
Bill immediately brought a seriousness to the whole process that I carried forward from that night. We did everything with the knowledge that what we were doing commanded our greatest effort.
William Hurt, who died Sunday at 71, had a look and an aura that appeared, at first, to fit all too snugly into Hollywood’s conception of what a movie star should be.
Tall and broad-shouldered, with a silky shock of wheat-colored hair, his handsome features set off by a cleft chin and a faraway gaze, he was, at a glance, the quintessence of the old-fashioned WASP he-man ideal.
(In hindsight, he looked like a blond Jon Hamm.) In movies, this sort of fellow was generally presented as a paragon of rectitude, a “strong silent type.” But there was nothing silent about William Hurt.
The first time audiences encountered him, he was floating in a sensory-deprivation tank in the loony-tunes acid-head psychodrama “Altered States” (1980), and the moment he climbed out of that tank, suffused with the visions he had seen, he couldn’t stop jabbering about them.
Great interview with Larry Kasdan, writer-director, who I worked for as a PA on “The Big Chill”…
“John and Craig sit down with screenwriting legend Lawrence Kasdan to discuss Star Wars, Raiders, The Bodyguard and how he’s shaped some of the most iconic big-screen stories and characters of our lifetime. This 90-minute interview comes as part of WGFestival 2016 Craft Day, and features audience questions as well. Our thanks to the Writers Guild Foundation and the…”