Your recent impatience with star/directors (Daily Variety, Nov. 13) does not really require rebuttal because you incorporated the rebuttal in your complaint. Please consider the remarkable films you alluded to in calling Mr. Redford, Mr. Beatty and other superstars-turned-directors to task. “Reds,” “Yentl,” “Dance (sic) With Wolves,” “Braveheart,” “Ordinary People,” “Prince of Tides” … some important arguments that what we all do has meaning. So what if some of their efforts fell short of your expectations of these talents? Ted Williams was the last guy to hit .400. These star/filmmakers bat much better than that in a much tougher game.
I just worked for two actor/directors, and, as a performer, I beg you not to discourage these guys. They are generous and inspiring to those they direct. They respect actors and acting and they respect our business as an art. Working for Faye Dunaway and Steve Guttenberg in their respective directorial debuts, I was impressed not only with their talent, but also their courage. They not only produced and directed, and wrote, and starred, but they financed as well.
Subtract the courage of actor/directors and actor/producers from the screen, and that AFI top 100 list would have a lot of empty spots. The Chaplins and Keatons, and Douglases, and Lancasters, Eastwoods and Lees, and yes, most certainly, the Redfords and Beattys, and Streisands, and Costners, and Gibsons you brought up enriched a business that needs all the enrichment it can get, even if it requires the intravenous injection of star demands to get a film made and made right.