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KURTWOOD SMITH INTERVIEW

Dan: From the get go did you know it was going to be big?

Kurtwood: No, I thought this was going to be fun.

Buck: Cause what had Verhoeven done by that point, had he done anything in America?

Kurtwood: No, he had only done foreign films The script read like a “B” movie. It wasn’t until I got the job, and I was just happy to have a job, I read for Clarence and Dick Jones, the part that Ronnie Cox played.

Dan: Both villains right?

Kurtwood: Yeah. And then when Belle (his agent) called and said we got an offer from Robocop, I assumed it was for Dick Jones, cause that was more the kind of part I played and she said no its for Clarence. (his eyes get big) Just because he wasn’t exactly the way he ended up being. We made him funnier than he was initially in the script. A lot of the one liners I made up as we went along.

Buck: Oh cool, spot on.

Kurtwood: Not all of them but some of them. That character really grew in the filming process. I was really happy to do that part. They didn’t pay me…. It was like TV money. But I didn’t care cause it was a fun part and then I found out who Verhoeven was after I accepted the part and was going to have lunch with him. I asked Belle to find out what he had done and rented three of his movies and went WHOA! This is gonna be an interesting movie. I could tell while we were doing it and by watching the dailies that it was going to be a good action film, was pretty sure it would be a successful film, but I didn’t really know how interesting a movie it was because I didn’t see the other parts being shot. I didn’t realize the sense of humor of the film until it was all put together. And also a lot of the stuff Peter did made it deeper film then the comic book that it read as.

Dan: Were these earlier films that he did in Europe, were they along the same line? Were they violent?

Kurtwood: The violence was there yeah. They are very different. The Fourth Man was very dark. Creepy. Dark Quite good.

Buck: I think it’s the one that most people talk about in the European stuff.

Kurtwood: Soldier of Orange and Spetters both have Rutger Hauer, but The Fourth Man is Jereon Krabbe .

Buck: What’s Verhoeven like to work with?

Kurtwood: He’s demanding…but he’s only demanding what he should be getting.

Buck: So he knows what he wants…

Kurtwood: (Through a smile) Yeah he knows what he wants. He didn’t always express it in the right way.

Buck: Was there a language barrier at that point?

Kurtwood: Sure, not finding the right words at times. Basically I had no problems with Paul. His problems were with crew people. Things not being ready. And so he wouldn’t always deal with it in the right way and would scream and yell. But it was always about the stuff, it wasn’t about him. It wasn’t about him being powerful. Ya know? He was working on a very limited budget and had less time than he needed.

Buck: Do you remember what the budget was on it?

Kurtwood: I think it was like $11 (million) and went to $13.

Buck: It’s amazing. When you think about it.

Kurtwood: Nothing. Not even close to John Travolta’s salary.

Dan: When you guys were making it were you aware of the level of violence in it?

Kurtwood: When we looked at the dailies we said “Whew!”

Buck: A lot of red.

Kurtwood: (nods) Well I remember shooting the scene where we kill him (Robocop) and it went on and on all day. The rest of the stuff we knew it was going to be violent.