Stress on the Set of “The Stepford Wives”

NY Daily News
With Suzanne Rozdeba,
Ben Widdicombe
and Spencer Morgan

‘Wives’ fighting on set, director says

The director of “The Stepford Wives,” Frank Oz, is finding that his cast isn’t as pliant as the automatons some of the actors play.
Oz got on the phone yesterday to confirm rumors of conflicts between him and cast members including Bette Midler and Christopher Walken.

“Tension on the set? Absolutely!” he said.

“In every movie I do, there’s tension. That’s the whole point. And working people hard, that’s exactly what they expect me to do.”

Midler’s camp confirmed yesterday that the actress had clashed with Oz.

Her rep said, “Bette has been under a lot of of stress lately. She not only has been filming a very large production, but she’s had to finish her record [‘Bette Midler Sings Rosemary Clooney’], which came out yesterday. She’s also been rehearsing for her tour. She made the mistake of bringing her stress on the set.”

Oz said of Midler, “There’s tension there. There’s tension with Chris and Nic [Kidman] and Roger [Bart] and Glenn [Close] to a degree, there’s tension with everybody.”

We told you weeks ago about a screaming match he had with Walken. “Sure, we had words,” Oz admitted. “But I’ve had words with other actors, and then at the end of the day Chris was fantastic. This is like kids fighting for turf and then they’re friends again.”

Oz has a history of turning bad feuds into good movies. In 2001, he famously clashed with Marlon Brando on the set of “The Score,” with sources saying Brando demanded that co-star Robert De Niro direct his scenes.

Oz said yesterday, “It happens on every single movie I do and [with] most directors. You want passion, that’s what you’re hoping for.”

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