Warner Bros. Studio Burbank, ......... 843 6000
RYAN O'NEAL IN IRELAND
There were days when Ryan O'Neal could have charmed the birds down out of the trees. There were nights when he acted like a bag of cats back from an empty bone yard.
Compared with Sean Connery, Richard Harris, Telly Savalas or Marlon Brando, he was like a wet day in Waterford. Like Paul Newman, he'd stick out like a church in a fairground.
But Ryan did smile more in Ireland than he did in the stately mansions of top drawer England.
The role of Barry Lyndon is easily the most important one of his career, and the most challenging job of work any actor could land.
Controlling his daughter, Tatum, a star in her own right, accounts for some of Ryan's ups and downs. Especially since he's treated more like an older brother than a father. Besides Tatum, Ryan has other children, older and younger.
His youthful looks, at 34, belie his earlier life, b~fore he set out on the road to stardom via "Peyton Place." Before he broke boxoffice records with "Love Story," he managed to land himself a prison record for assaulting an entertainments manager.
Consequently, a major fight scene in "Barry Lyndon" didn't call for his stand-in. Ryan himself faced the London-~ish wrestler Mick Roche.
The fight was fought for days in Castle Grace in the Comeragh mountains. By the third day the make-up girl was almost demented as she worked between takes.
Off the set, Ryan and his bodyguard, an American Indian known as Joe, never stepped out of line. Not even on the night of a party thrown by the electricians on the set - they baptized him with beer. Afterwards, Ryan withdrew quietly to his room.
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Almost every morning of the six seasons we worked on "Barry Lyndon," the young star managed to inject a. bit of sparkle into his good mornings. By lunchtime, however, the blossom had usually flown from the all-American face. He was in almost every scene of the film and, with Stanley Kubrick, there was seldom any letup on the endless takes and re-takes.
It was clear that Ryan had great admiration for Stanley, even though the demands were stringent, and even though the arguments occasionally flared. Stanley always won.
One day Ryan had to dress as a Prussian office and ride a horse - a task he never liked. Stanley was on a rostrum at some distance preparing a long shot. Rehearsing the scene, the director reminded his star not to tip his hat in saluting other officers. Stanley had a military adviser and a room full of military books and knew what he was talking about. Ryan continued to dispute. "Look, Ryan," called out the governor, "I told you not to tip your hat. There's going to be some military buff in the audience who'll condemn this scene as a fake. Do as I say." Ryan retorted, "There won't be an audience, Stanley, by the time this film, let alone this scene, gets to be shown!"
Ryan O'Neal looked more at home in Ireland, browsing over the bridge in Cahir where the Suir lingers lazily. It was from this part of Tipperary that his great grandfather left for America. In Tipperary they say all Ryans are rogues, but not all rogues are Ryans.
Now, as Barry Lyndon, Ryan took leave of his mother, in a cottage off a road where Bianconi used to change his horses. Lie bade farewell and went to take up the challenge of Europes battlefields and bed chambers.
Though I dare say it myself, Ryan never looked perfect in period costumes despite his 60 suits of silk and velvet tailor -made by the "Cut above the I(ubrick company. Off the set, Ryan dressed casually in tee-shirts, sweaters and jeans. The continuous task of keeping his jeans patched was done with a. thrill by two seamstress sisters from Waterford. The sisters were so brilliant with the needle that they were invited to stay with the company when it moved from Dublin to Salisbury in England's West Country. Perhaps they patched up his pockets too ... for it was a dry and quiet night in Bath when Tatum stepped out in [lollywood, wearing a tuxedo and helped by her grandfather, to collect her Os£ar for her performance in "Paper Moon."
It was a big night in Hollywood, no doubt, and there was a very proud paternal heart in our group in the hotel in Bath. "Paper Moon" arrived in Salisbury a week later, and many of the company went to see Ryan and his daughter in the story of two opportunists of the Depression.
While shooting in Ireland was suspended in the autumn of 1973, Ryan
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appeared briefly on "The Late, Late Show," without Stanley's permission. He was dressed down later on, although he refused to talk about the making of the film.
The television appearance confirmed for his fans that he was indeed gorgeous. As the camera zoomed in on his flashing smile, the female hearts of Ireland fluttered in unison.
"Barry Lyndon" was written for the screen, produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick, and stars Ryan O'Neal and Marisa Berenson. For release world-wide by Warner Bros.
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Printed in U.S.A. 11376