La d y haw k e

( 1985)

SFX - - Richard Donner -

“We never would have got Gregory Peck if we’d said, ‘ This is a hor­ror film’”

Michelle Pfeif­fer was in Cal­i­for­nia, and I was in Italy, pre­par­ing sets. Her agent got her to do an in­tro­duc­tion of her­self on video­tape and sent it over. At the end of it – this beau­ti­ful, beau­ti­ful woman – her hand comes in from out of frame and she has this lit­tle ca­nary on her fin­ger. She says, “I want you to meet Lady­hawke.” It was just charm­ing, so well thought out. That re­ally swung me. I wanted Rut­ger [ Hauer] to play the heavy. We met with him and he said, “It’s a won­der­ful role. But I don’t want to play any more heav­ies right now. I’d love to play [ hero] Navarre.” Then we had an­other ac­tor. He came over to Italy, and we talked. We were ready, we were all set. He hap­pened to be very much in love with some­body at the time and he didn’t want to be away from her, and he re­ally wanted to get out of the pic­ture. Lau­ren [ Schuler Don­ner] – who was not my wife at the time, who was my pro­ducer ( who I was in love with, though she didn’t know it) – said, “What about Rut­ger?” He came over and was won­der­ful in the role. It was kind of kis­met.

“Ring a ring o’ roses…”

No Damien, arms out if you want to im­i­tate one of those grave­stone crosses.

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