The Canberra Times
A directorÂ tellsÂ his starÂ secret
By LIMINE LEE
June 14, 1992
GARRY Marshall, who hasÂ served as producer of TV showssuch as Happy Days, Laverne &Mtrley and Afork and Mindy and alsodirected movies including Pretty Woman and Frankie and Johnny. says hehas a secret when working with stars.
“I always try to hire an adult to workÂ on a project. Hector Elizondo is one ofmy favourite adults. (Elizondo costarred in Pretty Woman). All of myÂ shows had an adult. Conrad Janis MorkÂ and Mindy, Tom Bosley on Happy Days. Ron Howard was kind of aÂ young adult, he was so experienced.Â And Bcity Garrett on Laverne & Shirley. They always hold down the fort.”
Sometimes he seeks out an adult forasingle project
“It’s so you don’t go berserk,” he saysÂ I m a director who allows temperament. I think that temperament is partÂ of the arts, part of the creative process,temperament So, you’re allowed to be aÂ little crazy. But you have lo have somebody who is an adult who’s not crazy allthe time. And you can say, Today yougotta be an adult for me because it’s atough day or something.’ “
Some days he conscripts an actor forÂ the job: I’II say to AI Pacino â€” whichÂ happened â€” ‘Michelle’s [PfeifTer]Â brother is in the hospital so she’s a littleÂ shaky today. Vou have to help me carryÂ this today.’ I don’t say it outright but I’dÂ say, ‘Be an adult with me today â€” weÂ have no time for temperament causeÂ she s got a thing.’ And then the opposite. On another occasion I said toÂ Michelle, ‘Hey, tomorrow is the Academy Awards, and he’s a little nervous,Â not so concentrated, so you and I willÂ carry it.’ And they usually respond veryÂ well-if I explain why.”
There are some that you can alwaysÂ count on, he says. “Bette Midler. NoÂ matter what’s happening you’ can say,Bette, I’m in trouble’ and suddenly she’s inÂ Â charge and supporting.
WeÂ had an actor in Beaches who wasÂ having all sortsÂ of marital problems andÂ she just took over andÂ made it easier forÂ him.
“My sister’s like that,” he says. “Doesnothing except in crisis. In a crisisthere’s nobody better. She just wandersalong, but if something goes wrong, yougo to Penny and she’ll always comethrough for you.”
He remembers one time during filming of Laverne & Shirley when therewas a bomb scare. The studio audiencehad already assembled. “So we had to tell the audience to go home; 300 peopleÂ had to go home a little depressed. So IÂ said, ‘Penny, this is not good. Let’s doÂ something. Let’s go out in the street likeÂ we used to do with Mom.’
“So we got a truck and they got theÂ whole cast on back of a truck, they sangÂ songs and told jokes. People lined upÂ along Melrose on the sidewalk. And weÂ did something just so they wouldn’tÂ have to go away for nothing. And PennyÂ was a giant that night. Penny was standing on the top of a track entertaining.Nobody paid her. We had a crisis.”
Marshall cast Julia Roberts in PrettyÂ Woman, which really launched her as alop-name actress. He says he saw in thedailies that something was happening.
“I felt that she was lighting up the screen. We all felt that. We knew eachÂ daily there was something that she really mi it Richard [Gere] was solid as aÂ rock, but she was the rocket Thank God he took the role of the adult with Hector. both saying, ‘We’re good. But thisÂ girl is special in this role. Let’s back ofTÂ and give her room.’ And they did.”