SPECIFICALLY 'CARLITO'S WAY' - SAYS CONTRACT WITH FOX KEPT HIM FROM BEING IN 'MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE'
Birth.Movies.Death.'s Jacob Knight posted an interview with John Leguizamo two weeks ago, and asked him about his work with Brian De Palma. Here is the excerpt:
BMD: Before I let you go, I’d be remiss if I didn’t ask you about working with Brian De Palma. He’s my favorite filmmaker of all time and you were in one of his absolute masterpieces, Carlito’s Way.
JL: Aw man, I was supposed to be in Mission: Impossible, too, but had a Fox contract that they wouldn’t let me out of. I was so looking forward to being in that movie. It would’ve been the third time I got to do something with Brian. I was so devastated. I loved working with him. I owe my career to him. He creates this environment where anything is possible.
In Carlito’s Way, I found myself as an actor. With my entrance as Benny Blanco, he let me do between twenty and thirty takes. And we’re talking about doing this on film, not digital. This was the era when you usually got three takes and had to beg for more. Not with Brian. Brian would let you play, because he was digging what I was doing; all my flamboyance and improv.
BMD: Do you have any specific recollections about how he directed you on that set?
JL: He loves to tell one actor one thing and another actor another thing and then just watch them go at it. It’s all about conflict with Brian. He just wants to get everyone riled up. He gets off on tension and watching actors cross the line. I’m so glad you brought him up because he’s really one of the geniuses of our time.
BMD: Earlier this year, I got to watch Carlito’s Way on 35mm and took my girlfriend, who had never seen it, and she was completely blown away.
JL: I think it’s due to finally get recognized for what it is. I was so proud of my work in that.
BMD: As you should be. You got to play against peak Pacino and killed it.