Being on a movie set must be at least a little scary and intimidating for any child actor, but when Sarah Polly says that when she was working with the director terry gilliamone of his heroes, on the 1988 film The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, she was put in real danger and left with trauma that continued to affect her for years. In an excerpt from his new memoirs, Run towards dangerpublished by The Guardian, Polley recounts her experience as an eight-year-old child making the film, shares how she changed her mind about the adults she blames for exposing her to heartbreaking situations, and talks about how a co -star finally admitted publicly that his memories are not off base. Read on to learn more about the situation.
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In the excerpt from the memoir published by The Guardian, Polley, now an actress, writer and director, says she and her family were big Monty Python fans, so when they heard about a casting call for a fantasy film from Monty Python member Gilliam, she was thrilled to be able to audition. Polley was cast as Sally Salt, Baron Munchausen’s sidekick (John Neville), when she was eight years old.
“Terry was laughing, having fun, exuberant,” Polley writes of meeting the director. “He reminded me of the kind of disobedient, unregulated kid I’d avoided in school to stay out of trouble.” But, once they started filming, Polly says “things quickly started falling apart. Terry was erratic, a dreamer, someone who didn’t live in the world of ‘logic and logic’. raison “.”
Polley goes into detail about the scenes she filmed for the movie and how they scared her into hysterics. In one scene, she had to walk through a set designed to look like a “bombed city”. She writes: “Explosions of debris erupted on the ground around me, accompanied by deafening booms that made me feel like I had exploded myself. A log I had to run under was partially on fire. The Gigantic explosions continued and shook everything around me.” She says the scene was difficult for her, and that while “Terry didn’t show any frustration about the delay, he also didn’t seem to notice how scared he was. [she] has been.”
Polley also shares that, during a scene in which she and other actors were sitting in a boat in a chariot, a horse accidentally surfaced an underwater explosive, which detonated near her. “I remember a hard, crushing feeling in my chest and being carried to an ambulance as the crew watched in alarm. I remember the doctors being nice, my parents being told that I had nothing wrong and went back to work the next day,” she wrote.
Also, Polley reveals that when she was very sick for a few days, feverish and vomiting, she went to work anyway, because her father told her there was no other option.
Polley includes in her memoir emails she exchanged with Gilliam when she was in her twenties. She explained in her emails that she didn’t blame him for being put in dangerous situations on set – instead she blamed her parents for not protecting her – but urged him to be mindful of the welfare of any young actor he worked with. forward.
Gilliam was receptive to the email, but also told him: “While things may have looked dangerous, they weren’t. The only time events have come close to trouble is when the horse jumped out of the boat.” For the stunt with the horse and the underwater explosive, he apologized. However, he also wondered if Polley remembered which parts of the film were her and which were actually her stunt double.
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In 2018, when Gilliam made controversial comments about the #MeToo movement, someone tweeted about the email exchange between Polley and Gilliam – which she had also published in an article she wrote for the Toronto Star– as an example of his character. In response, the actor Eric Idlewho was also in The Adventures of Baron Munchhausen, tweeted“She was right. She was in danger. Many times. It was amazing that we never lost anyone. It was me, her and Jack Purvis at the back of the boat. The explosion startled the horse, which backed towards us, and the brilliant rider knocked it overboard.”
Polley writes in her memoir, “Someone who was there appeared out of nowhere to confirm my memories and verify my version of events. I swear that’s about when I stopped taking cover when I heard the sudden sound of a car door slamming.”
While Polley blamed her parents for not protecting her better in the email she sent Gilliam in her twenties, she now feels the director was most responsible. The 43-year-old writes: “I don’t blame my parents as much as I used to, I understand better now how difficult it would be to get up and shut down a huge production under terrible financial and time pressures. Over years on and terry make more and more comments that demonstrate not only a childish inability to understand adult issues, but a willful rejection of movements that seek to claim equality and acknowledgment of past wrongs, I see it , and the role he played in the chaos at the time, differently.”
Best Life has contacted a Gilliam representative for comment but has yet to receive a response.
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