Badlands: An Oral History: Movies TV: GQ

Martin Sheen:

Terry called one night and said, “I want you to play the part.” I had to get up very early the next morning to go to work, and I was driving along the Pacific Coast Highway in a little Mazda. I was listening to a Dylan album I was fond of, and the song “Desolation Row” was playing, and the sun was rising, and it hit me that I was going to play the role of my life. I had been a professional actor since I was eighteen. I was thirty-one, I had four children, I was struggling, doing a lot of television—a lot of bad, silly work just to make ends meet—and I wasn’t having any luck in features to speak of, and here was the part of my life. And I was overwhelmed, and I pulled off to the side of the road, and I wept uncontrollably.

Also, from assistant director Bill Scott:

We were so green. A couple years ago, Terry told me that on that first morning of filming, after he got his big wide shot, the cameraman turned to him and said, “Should we go in for coverage now, Terry?” And Terry said, “No, let’s do an over-the-shoulder shot’"—which is coverage. And I remember when someone asked me if I had ordered the honeywagon, I said, "Yeah, the catering’s all lined up.” The honeywagon’s the toilet truck.

I gotta watch Badlands again.

Badlands: An Oral History: Movies TV: GQ

Wall Street

Wall Street. First movie I saw in 2012, because money never sleeps. Michael Douglas and Martin Sheen are really good. I like how Oliver Stone worked in a couple small moments of respite–the sunrise on the beach, the “Who am I?” on the balcony–and then gets right back to business. The only other Stone-directed films I’ve seen are Platoon (pretty good), The Doors (eh), and Natural Born Killers (ugh). I felt a little sad to realize I have little interest in anything else he’s done.

Badlands

Badlands. My second Malick. Like in Days of Heaven, which I really liked, we have another young female narrator, but this one, though older, seems more innocent and caught up in fairy tale language. Both of these characters are caught up in their own narrative, their own little world. Inspired by real people. Martin Sheen is really, really good here. Lots of eye candy and some great moments in the soundtrack. I’ve got to see The Thin Red Line soon.