Today I found a new source for fresh material—Facebook. And I found one today with a Hollywood—Iowa connection. Author David Morrell (First Blood) posted some thoughts about why movie stars often have big heads—and he wasn’t talking about egos.
“Yesterday I posted about having watched Burt Lancaster give an acting seminar to the University of Iowa’s drama department when I was a professor in the English department. People ask, ‘What did he look like?’ The same as he did in his movies, especially his broad smile. Most major movie stars have one distinguishing characteristic. Their heads are large in a way that is out of proportion with their bodies. McQueen, Newman, Stallone, etc. Director Norman Jewison called move stars’ heads ‘Roman.’ The camera likes the perspective that a large head gives to an actor. In person, it looks a little unnatural, but onscreen, the large head allows them to dominate.”
Facebook post 9/11/12
And here’s the post Morrell wrote yesterday that led to today’s Facebook post:
“Rearranging my bookshelves, I came across a copy of A CLOCKWORK ORANGE that Anthony Burgess signed to me ‘with fond fellowship’. I was reminded of the circumstance. When I was a literature professor at the Univ. of Iowa, Burgess taught there for a year while he was readying an opera that the U. of I’s music department was producing. (Burgess wrote everything.) He had the office next to mine, and we frequently talked about all kinds of things. A fascinating, talented man. He and Burt Lancaster had done a Moses miniseries on TV. One week, Lancaster came to town to talk to Burgess about a new project. I had the thrill of watching Lancaster deliver a 90 minute acting workshop to the U of I’s drama department. Great memories.”
Facebook post 9/10/12
While Morrell is widely known for creating the character Rambo, among his other writings let me recommend his book The Successful Novelist. (I currently have the unabridged audio book on my iPhone and enjoy his thoughts and insights.)
P.S. If you’re unfamilar with Burt Landcaster’s 55-year career check out his Oscar-winning performance in Elmer Gantry as well as From Here to Eternity, Sweet Smell of Success, Atlantic City, and Local Hero to get a sweeping overview. (And, of course, he had a small role The Field of Dreams.)