Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Arthur Penn on Franchot Tone

Franchot in Mickey One, 1965.

Discussing his directorial experiences, Arthur Penn talked about working with Franchot in 1965.
Franchot Tone is an absolutely fascinating actor. Before he went to Hollywood, Tone was the leader of young actors in the Group Theater with Strasberg, much earlier than John Garfield. He was remarkably well trained. I didn't know him before I made Mickey One, and he was very ill during filming. I directed him the same way I would have done with Newman, Brando or Jimmy Dean. It was quite remarkable that the language I used with actors from the old generation was also suitable for the next one.  I was very impressed by the skill he showed even while suffering from cancer. Every time we finished shooting, he would collapse into a chair, out of breath as if he just won a race. For me watching this man at work was unforgettable.
I wrote about Mickey One in 2015. You can read that post here.
Penn, Arthur. Arthur Penn: Interviews. University Press of Mississippi, 2008. p71-72.

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