Oral History: Andy Garcia and Nick Nolte Rank Directors

by Jack Tewksbury March 26, 2019
Actor Andy Garcia, Golden Globe nominee, and actor Nick Nolte, Golden Globe winner

hfpa archives

For over 40 years the HFPA has recorded famous and celebrated actresses, actors and filmmakers. The world's largest collection of its kind - over 10,000  items- is now in the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences Margaret Herrick Library.

In this excerpt from our archives, it's the 1990s and Golden Globe winner Nick Nolte and three-time Golden Globe nominee Andy Garcia talk about how they work with different directors.

 

Andy Garcia:

What makes Francis Coppola so unique is that he rehearses the actors in front of the camera.  Scenes begin to  work themselves out on camera. He'd say, ‘Let's do a take without saying anything, play the scene without dialogue.’  Francis likes looseness. He'll tell you to take off and go in whatever direction, what he calls his free takes. Then he'll say, ‘Let's get back to the material.’

(The Godfather Part III) was the only movie I've ever been involved with in which there was a rehearsal period. Francis really takes his time setting up a scene, setting up the atmosphere before he begins to roll the camera. This was a great revelation because I always thought him to be a film animal and he turns out to be a theatre animal.”    

Nick Nolte:

“The first thing I say to a director is, ‘Don’t be afraid to get on my ass because I have a human problem, and my problem is when I reach a comfort  zone, I don’t like to go beyond that.’  And that’s just what you can’t do as an actor. You have to go beyond that. One way or another a good director will find a way for the actor to go as deeply as he possibly can.  Through the years I’ve found a way to do that myself, but I can fall into the habit of  finding a comfort zone and thinking that’s  acceptable.”