HOLLYWOOD- Sir Edwin Fluffer once again delves into his personal memoirs – soon to be published as ‘Not THAT Kind of Fluffer!!!’ – to recall the actress they called the ‘Holy Arse’: Charlton Heston.
Years ago Technicolor was quite the in thing and I was all for it. I know that Spencer Tracy wasn’t a fan, but that was only because it made his knees look silly. There was a time when if you were filming a biblical epic it had to be in Technicolor, or Charlton Heston would refuse to have anything to do with it!
They were lovely pictures to make, even if they all ended up as long as the Roman Empire, and if truth be told they weren’t really that difficult. All you had to do was put on a toga, swap your brogues for a nice pair of sandals, and remember to say ‘aye’ instead of ‘yes’.
To this day I’ll still tell anyone who’ll listen about the time we were standing at the bottom of a mountain waiting for Heston to make his was back down with the Ten Commandments, and I bet Yul Brynner $15 that he wouldn’t be able to remember them all. He got stuck after the first three and started blabbering on about guns instead, and poor old Yul had to pay up!
The only bit I didn’t enjoy was the chariots, because as soon as Heston got behind a horse good manners went out the window and he’d start racing around like a mad man and try to knock you over. I was also in that one with Betty Taylor where she played Cleopatra, what was it called? Memory falters.
During the death scene I had a lovely bit of comic business where it was revealed that I was terribly afraid of the asp, and my delivery of the line ‘why did it have to be snakes?’ brought the house down! Sadly the film was already running at over three weeks long and my part ended up on the cutting room floor, but when I suggested to little Stevie Spielberg that he use it in Raiders of the Lost Ark he jumped at the chance. Spielberg repaid the favour by casting me as Harrison Ford’s father in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, but I had to let Sean Connery have the part after I broke one of his golf clubs.
Incidentally it was my idea that he should have a bash at a Scottish accent in The Untouchables, but that’s another story…