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Tuesday 22 October 2019
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SIR EDWIN FLUFFER REMEMBERS ROBERT ZEMECKIS

SIR EDWIN FLUFFER REMEMBERS ROBERT ZEMECKIS

HOLLYWOOD – Sir Edwin Fluffer recalls his encounter with Robert Zemeckis and the birth of an American masterpiece.

Being an old hand at all this Hollywood lark I feel almost duty bound to lend the benefit of my experience to the younger generations as they make way their way up through the ranks. Some are kind enough to listen, others just look at me the way Lassie used to look at Jayne Russell, before slowly shaking their heads and turning away. But without my help, and passion for gardening, one of the most successful franchises in this business we still lovingly call show may have never come to pass.

A few years ago I suddenly got a call from a talented young director called Robert Zemeckis. He’d just had a hit with a picture called Romancing The Stone starring Kirk Douglas’s little boy, Michael. Bobby, as I instantly came to know and love him, wanted to talk to me about his next project. It was to be a comedy about time travel. I invited him over for a chat and one of my ex-wives served us drinks in the garden while the smoke from Paul Newman’s barbecue wafted over the fence. The smell was truly awful so we went for a wander ‘round the grounds and I showed Bobby some of my favourite plants, including a fuchsia that Claude Rains left me in his will. We spent an absolute age walking up and down the long borders trying to think of a suitable name for this film of his. Eventually I looked up and noticed we’d returned to the exact same spot we left all those hours earlier, but we were still no nearer a title.
‘Well,’ I said ‘here we are. Back to the fuchsia.’
And the rest as we so often say in Hollywood, is history…
Bobby was kind enough to show his gratitude by offering me the role of Dr Emmett Brown, but an in-growing toenail and some tax problems that forced me to leave for Switzerland under an assumed name meant I had to politely say no. I could tell he was disappointed and I promised to make it up to him by telling him about the time Marlene Dietrich asked me to put up some shelves in her new bungalow. 
But that’s another story…
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