‘Clash of the Titans’ at 40: Harry Hamlin shows the story within the serve of his on-dwelling romance with Ursula Andress
To listen to Harry Hamlin order it, Clash of the Titans precisely describes what took place onscreen and on the dwelling of the actual-effects heavy fantasy film, which opened in theaters 40 years ago, on June 12, 1981.
Talking with Yahoo Leisure, the actor — who played demigod hero Perseus — recollects numerous “contentious moments” all over which he found himself at odds with the film’s director, Desmond Davis, and its legendary visual-effects artist, Ray Harryhausen. “I stated at the time, ‘Right here’s no longer in any respect going to work,'” Hamlin remembers with a snicker. “‘Right here’s a paycheck for me. I am going to walk dwelling, and the movie obtained’t ever look the sunshine of day.'”
Nonetheless against the percentages, Clash of the Titans clicked with young moviegoers, to boot to the young-at-heart audiences who grew up all over Harryhausen’s heyday within the 1950s and 1960s. To at present time, the movie stays a nostalgic favourite exactly attributable to its dated particular effects and campy dialogue. And or no longer it’s a private movie for Hamlin, because he found delight in amid these within the serve of-the-scenes clashes, kindling a romance in conjunction with his co-critical individual — and global sex image — Ursula Andress. Their high-profile relationship lasted for four years and produced a son, Dimitri Hamlin.
Whereas Hamlin hadn’t met Andress sooner than Clash of the Titans, in a capacity he’d already known her for years. Born in 1951, the actor used to be 12 years historical when he noticed her breakout performance in Dr. No, the inaugural entry within the James Bond franchise. The then-26 365 days historical Andress made an impressionable entrance as the first-ever Bond Lady, Honey Ryder. Roles in approved movies contend with What’s New Pussycat?, Once Sooner than I Die and the 1967 Bond spoof, On line casino Royale, quickly followed. Andress used to be 43 — 15 years older than Hamlin — when she arrived on the Clash of the Titans in 1979, as it’ll be forged as Aphrodite, the Goddess of Be pleased.
“Now not fully had I viewed Dr. No, nonetheless for some unknown just my of us gave me a five-365 days subscription to Playboy for Christmas when I was 12,” Hamlin says now. “I no longer in any respect knew why they did that. Now that I even believe formative years, I mediate, ‘That is an odd thing to enact!’ Nonetheless Ursula used to be featured in a form of Playboys, and I be aware that thoroughly. I assemble no longer mediate I would possibly per chance well additionally told her that as soon as we first met. I’m no longer obvious I stated, ‘By the capacity, Ursula, I loved your format in Playboy when I was 13!'”
Hamlin significantly would no longer share any scenes with Andress in Clash of the Titans. Whereas Perseus is preventing all formulation of mythological creatures on Earth, Aphrodite stays in Olympus alongside a bevy of different notorious European performing icons, including Laurence Olivier as Zeus and Maggie Smith as Thetis. “I mediate they loved the paycheck,” Hamlin says of how these titans of the British stage and screen ended up in Clash. “Laurence Olivier wrote me a letter, which I unexcited believe framed upstairs, where he apologized for being within the movie! He knew I revered him and veritably stated, ‘It’s essential to perceive — I even believe so many mouths to feed.'”
Hamlin and Andress’s fateful first assembly took place at a forged dinner in London organized by the movie’s producer, Charles Schneer. “Everybody came, they veritably sat me subsequent to Ursula,” he recollects. “I didn’t know what to state to her exactly, nonetheless by hook or by crook the arena of flea markets came up, and I stated that I would possibly per chance well additionally been to a flea market the week before I flew over to London. After we obtained to Rome to starting up out filming there, she called me at the hotel one day and stated, “I’m fully five homes down from the hotel, and there would possibly per chance be a flea market the next day to come on the Porta Portese. Make it’s major to walk?’ So as that’s how that took place!”
Hamlin and Andress didn’t try to rob their delight in connection a secret from the Clash crew. Nonetheless the actor remembers that Davis came to imagine he used to be carrying on extra than one on-dwelling affair. “He notion I was having it off with any individual from the makeup department, and he used to be also enamored with that individual,” Hamlin says. “He used to be entirely jealous of me the total time! He would quit on the identical ground as me within the hotel to rob his door starting up and look whether or no longer or no longer I was working off into the makeup girl’s room. I would state to him, ‘Desmond, I assemble no longer know her. She staunch does my makeup!’ Nonetheless he used to be fixated on that the total time; it used to be very odd.”
Andress gave starting up to Dimitri in 1980, one 365 days before Clash of the Titans lastly arrived in theaters. She and Hamlin sooner or later parted strategies in 1983, and the rupture-up made global headlines. (Hamlin has since been married three occasions, marriage ceremony his novel wife, Lisa Rinna, in 1997.) Nonetheless the 2 dwell shut, reuniting for Andress’s 70th birthday in 2006 alongside their grown son. And contend with numerous ’80s formative years, Hamlin says that Dimitri watched Clash of the Titans over and over increasing up. “Perseus loses his magic helmet in a swamp within the film, so at any time as soon as we would possibly per chance force by one thing else that regarded contend with a swamp, he would state, ‘Dad, maybe the helmet is in there. Cease the auto!”
For the 40th anniversary of Clash of the Titans, we spoke with Hamlin about his possess background in mythology, his emotions in regards to the 2010 remake and Harryhausen’s outlandish working strategies.
Yahoo Leisure: I needless to state you studied mythology in college, so you for sure knew plenty in regards to the Greek myths that impressed Clash of Titans.
Harry Hamlin: Sure, I studied mythology at Yale and obtained my stage in Jungian mythology. So when I read the script, I believed it used to be comely thin. It used to be this roughly hybrid Greek mythology: , Bellerophon had truly flown Pegasus, no longer Perseus. And so they felt that they had to compile a delight in tale in there, so they invented the one between Perseus and Andromeda [played by Judi Bowker]. So it wasn’t the actual myths, nonetheless the story unexcited made sense in a capacity. I mediate the delight in tale is mainly no doubt one of the issues that made the first one work, and it used to be the object that didn’t truly work within the remake. In that one, Perseus [played by Sam Worthington] used to be in delight in with a goddess who used to be going to dwell forever. And I was contend with, “How does that work?”
Make you be aware while you occur to were up against any other actors for the role?
I was truly in one more movie at the actual same time called Tristan and Isolde with Kate Mulgrew and Richard Burton. Kate and I worked on that for a few weeks, after which I was called into MGM to meet on Clash of the Titans. It used to be a case where I was contend with, “Make I enact a movie with Laurence Olivier where the script is no longer truly very favorable, or enact I enact a movie with Richard Burton?” And I made up our minds that I truly wished to meet Laurence Olivier! It later turned out that Nicholas Clay, the actor who ended up taking half in Tristan, had also been up for Clash and truly wished the role. [Tristan and Isolde was released in December 1981 under the title Lovespell.]
The film opened the identical weekend as Raiders of the Misplaced Ark, which appears to be like dependable to mediate now.
Sure, and neither Charles Schneer nor Ray Harryhausen spoke to me for years after the movie came out because they notion we would possibly per chance believe killed Raiders at the sphere dwelling of job if I had long gone in conjunction with the arena publicity tour that they had dwelling up. The tour used to be underwritten by the metropolis of Johannesburg, and I was on an apartheid committee in Los Angeles. They came to me, and stated: “We’re going to walk to 20 countries, and or no longer it’ll assemble this film the biggest hit of the summer.”
I stated, “I will enact every other country nonetheless South Africa.” And so they stated, “Neatly, South Africa is underwriting the total tour, so while you occur to’ll be ready to’t walk, we can’t enact the tour.” We ended up no longer doing the tour they veritably believed they misplaced hundreds and hundreds of dollars from that. Charles no longer in any respect spoke to me all over again, nonetheless Ray called me up 25 years later and asked me to designate up for him for a retrospective he used to be doing in L.A. [Schneer died in 2009; Harryhausen died in 2013.]
You believe mentioned before that Harryhausen wasn’t the finest individual to work with.
He had his mounted strategies of doing issues. There is that scene within the movie where I’m preventing with the gargantuan scorpions. I stated to him, “Hi there, Ray, why don’t I imagine that the scorpion’s tail is coming appropriate down to sting me, after which I am going to connect my left hand up and rob the tail after which the reduce back it off with my sword?” And he stated, “Absolutely no longer. I assemble no longer desire that to be within the movie.”
Neatly, he rolled the digicam, and I did it anyway. I figured he would possibly per chance well additionally reduce back it out of the movie if he would no longer contend with it. He used to be so angry at me. He stated, “Decrease, reduce back — I told you now to no longer enact that.” Nonetheless while you occur to search at the movie, he ended up using it!
The Medusa sequence unexcited holds up beautifully. I mediate that’s up there with the finest of Harryhausen’s work.
Neatly, of route, Medusa used to be no longer there as soon as we shot it! [Laughs] I be aware that I was locked in my trailer for quite quite a bit of of that day, because they would not acquiesce to my demands to let me reduce back her head off with my sword. They were disquieted of getting an X-rating, so as that used to be a annoying day. They had all these digicam angles worked out for the killing of Medusa, nonetheless since we fully had an hour left to shoot, they staunch attach the digicam down and shot some pictures, then kept arresting it nearer, and that is the capacity they believe the stress. It be very streamlined, and I mediate the scene works because that they had to shoot it so rapid. If we would possibly per chance had all day, there would believe been extra angles and no more tension.
Since there used to be no Medusa on dwelling, what were you interacting with?
My thoughts’s explore! [Laughs]. I didn’t even know what Medusa used to be going to search contend with, or how mammoth she used to be going to be. Ray’s job used to be that you just would enact the performance, after which he would believe the monsters in conserving with what I would possibly per chance well additionally accomplished on dwelling. So he built Medusa after foremost pictures. I be aware visiting him at Pinewood Studios in England when he used to be doing the close-mosey, and that used to be appealing because it used to be staunch Ray on my own on this mammoth soundstage. He’d believe a chair and a bit of stool subsequent to the chair, with a bottle of Cynar, and a minute glass.
He had this cord that came from the digicam, and he would push a button to rob a body. Then he would upward thrust up stroll over to the monster, manipulate it and walk the lens staunch a share of an budge in all directions. Then he would stroll serve to his chair, believe a drink of Cynar and push the button all over again. He would repeat the job all day prolonged. He used to be doubtlessly tanked by the quit of the day!
I needless to state you were not keen on Perseus’s sidekick within the movie — the mechanical owl, Bubo.
I had read The Plague by Albert Camus, so I knew what a “bubo” used to be. I told the producers, “You most definitely can additionally’t name the owl Bubo, because that’s a bleeding pustule!” And so they stated, “Best doctors will know that, and that’s no longer our viewers.” So they named the owl Bubo! [Laughs] It be favorable to believe a bit of sidekick, I jabber. That is the one reference to the original that’s within the remake. Sam Worthington walks by a shelf, sees the owl and throws it within the trash!
They wished Bubo to believe mosey on dwelling, nonetheless they would per chance additionally no longer in any respect compile it to work. I be aware we would possibly per chance have to close filming, so any individual would futz with it and try to compile the eyes to walk. So quite quite a bit of the mosey used to be attach in after the fact. They also had a hell of a time seeking to compile the snakes to walk on the head of Medusa! They in point of fact had two heads: one who had the total mechanics stuff in it so it weighed about maybe 30 kilos, and one who used to be staunch rubber that rarely weighed one thing else in any respect.
Actual throughout the mammoth climax, as soon as we had to throw the head at the Kraken, we were taking pictures in these mammoth water tanks in Malta. The water in there used to be so inaccurate; if I fell in, they’d have to spray me down straight away with atrocious compounds that will per chance murder the total bugs. So I was throwing the rubber head, they veritably misplaced it! It used to be at the underside of the tank someplace.
Indirectly, they stated, “You are going to have to throw the one who has the total mechanics in it.” The dang thing weighed as worthy as a bowling ball! Within the film, I mediate I’m throwing it with my left arm, because I threw my favorable arm out. And then they misplaced that head, too, so each and each heads were missing at the underside of the tank, they veritably couldn’t derive a diver who used to be spellbinding to walk into that atrocious water. At ultimate they reduce back the 2 takes collectively, and that’s what’s within the movie.
I worship the capacity you are going to additionally be each and each baffled and gay by the enduring status of Clash of the Titans. What is the legacy of the movie for you?
Love you stated, I’m roughly baffled by it! [Laughs] I mediate or no longer it’s mainly favorable fortune. Surely, the script didn’t believe numerous depth to it, the dialogue is no longer truly exactly fluid and the effects are entirely dated. Nonetheless there would possibly per chance be one thing in regards to the chemistry of the delight in tale, and the creepiness of Harryhausen’s particular effects that assemble it work. It be worthy extra creepy, oddly ample, than looking out at these laptop-generated monsters that they had within the remake. Within the occasion you are going to be ready to search at the movie as a bouillabaisse, there would possibly per chance be by hook or by crook staunch the coolest amount of shellfish, the coolest amount of fish stock, the coolest amount of saffron, and the coolest amount of rice. It staunch worked.
Clash of the Titans is on hand to rent or buy on most VOD platforms including Amazon and Vudu.
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