Martin Landau on Working with Woody Allen and the Trouble with Writers: “They have all the characters speaking the same way”

Veteran actor Martin Landau, who voices a character in the new Frankenweenie, has some things to say about Woody Allen’s directing.

“Woody doesn’t direct at all,” he told The Orange County Register.  “Seriously, he says that all the time.  He doesn’t know how to direct.  He says he hires you to do your job, and then he fires you if you can’t.  On Purple Roses of Cairo, he started with Michael Keaton, who worked for three weeks, and then he let him go.  He couldn’t use any of it.  Then Eric Roberts came in, and worked for 10 days, and then Woody let him go, too.  A third actor came in, but I can’t remember who that was.  And, finally, he got Jeff Daniels.”

“I had a different brother in Crimes and Misdemeanors for the first three days.  Woody knows what he wants, but he doesn’t direct.  He lets you completely on your own.  He doesn’t want to talk about the movie.  He’ll talk about the Knicks, about hockey, about anything.  If the circus is in town, he’ll tell you how much he hates clowns.  Anything to not talk about directing.”

After decades in the business (and an Oscar for Ed Wood), Landau knows how to approach a new character. “I’ve never met two people who were exactly the same, so I look at the character’s physiology, like where he comes from and what he sounds like,” he said.  “For instance, where I grew up in Brooklyn, all the Irish guys sounded like this [slips into thick Irish accent.]  The Italians were different [with Italian accent.]  The trouble with characters today is the writers.  They have all the characters speaking the same way.  The way a character sounds is so important to how you’re going to play him.”

Frankenweenie is in theaters now.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Latest Videos

http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/sir-ben-kingsley-talks-about-the.jpg
Sir Ben Kingsley Talks about the Unique Way He Voiced His Character in the Animated Film, ‘The Boxtrolls’ (video)
I could listen to Sir Ben Kingsley talk about acting and.. well, I could listen to him talk about anything. He’s starring in the new Laika stop-motion animated film, The Boxtrolls, and he and some of the cast (along with the director) joined in on a Comic-Con panel about the film. The Boxtrolls is about [...]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/bill-hader.jpg
Bill Hader: “I kind of fell into acting” (video)
Bill Hader, starring in the soon to be released The Skeleton Twins, talks about the film and how he fell into acting and then got “crazy lucky” in this quick video from USA Today.
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/director-john-carney-narrates-a.jpg
Director John Carney Narrates a Scene from ‘Begin Again’ Starring Kiera Knightley and Mark Ruffalo
Director John Carney (Once) narrates a scene from his new film, Begin Again. Starring Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo, the scene shows the first time the two characters meet. I haven’t seen it yet but I’ve heard it’s great.
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/holler-if-you-hear-me-gma.jpg
Watch the Cast of Broadway’s ‘Holler If You Hear Me’ Perform ‘California Love’ on GMA
The cast of Broadway’s newest musical, Holler If You Hear Me with music from Tupac Shakur, performed on Good Morning America this morning. Singing ‘California Love’, the cast (including the teriffic Christopher Jackson – read our interview here), show why they’re the most energetic and inspiring group of actors on Broadway. Holler If Ya Hear [...]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/behind-the-scenes-of-dawn-of-the.jpg
Behind the Scenes of ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ with Performance Capture Actor Terry Notary
Actor Terry Notary is 1 of 5 actors playing the apes in the new Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. “When you see armies of apes,” he says, that’s “five of us.” Check out the video where you can watch his performance capture work.