RUTANYA ALDA RECALLS MEETING DE PALMA, AND ALSO TARANTINO'S ENTHUSIASM FOR 'HI, MOM!'
Near the start of the above video, Rutanya Alda tells Robert Bellissimo, "A friend of mine, he said, 'I was just at this guy's, he's holding some auditions and he wants people that like to do improv, and I know you're good at improv.' I had done some improv. I had fun, I loved improv. He said, 'He's looking for these people that can do improv.' And to 'go over there, his name is Brian De Palma.' So I said, 'Oooh, good, thanks, I'll go over there right away.' So I went over there, and, you know, it was like an open door, you didn't have to... so I just waited, next one. I said, 'Well, I'm good at improv.' He said, 'Let's see. Let's play around a little bit.' So I played around a little bit. He said, 'That's great. You're great. So I think there's a part in this movie for you, called Greetings.' And then the second film, Hi, Mom! Which, by the way, I ran into Quentin Tarantino last year. He was out, you know, doing the Academy rounds, and screening. And so Quentin said to me, 'Rutanya, you're in the best scene in film history.' And I went like, 'What is he talking about? What does he mean, "You're in the best scene in film history"'?" I must have had this puzzled look on my face. He said, 'The "Be Black, Baby" scene in Hi Mom! was the best scene in film history.' I was like, 'Ooooh...' I was speechless. Good thing my girlfriend ... was with me, otherwise, nobody would have believed it."
Bellissimo then asks Alda about how the scene was shot. "Because I know it was improvised, right? So what did you know before the cameras rolled?"
Alda replies, "It's about these people going to the theater, that no matter how bad or how, maybe, violated you're going to feel, because a critic said that 'This is great theater!' these people are going to go because the critics said that this is good. So we're going to go up there to journey to see this show called 'Be Black Baby.' And we have no idea. Brian just said, you know, just react how... we're going to have things happen and react. So Quentin was shocked. Shocked that we filmed that scene, and it was a one-take, and we filmed that scene in probably an hour. Brian had found this-- because that time he didn't, we didn't have much money. There was no money. He found this building that's kind of a... in the west 60s, that his friend had, it was a super long, it was like an industrial kind of building. So we had like an afternoon there. He snuck us... his friend just opened up the building for us and didn't tell anyone. And so he snuck us in and we started the improv. And that was improv. It had to be one take because we had no luxury of going and reshooting. It wasn't a studio that was a real set. And so that was the scene that came out of there."