Monday, 11 August 2014

TWENTY YEARS ON TODAY: ROY HUDD REMEMBERS PETER CUSHING:


ROY HUDD REMEMBERS PETER CUSHING:

"I made my first appearance in a feature film mid September 1967. It wasn't quite 'Gone with The Wind', but a small budget horror film called 'The Blood Beast Terror'. I had a smashing little part as the mortuary attendant. I could hardly believe my luck when I looked at the script and saw i had two scenes with Peter Cushing!

I religiously leaned every word of my dialogue, backwards and sideways. Anyway, I arrived a good hour before I was called, around five am, at a tiny studio off the Goldhawk road. Eventually, I was called for make up and there, in the next chair , was the great man himself. "Good morning" he said 'I'm Peter Cushing" - as if I didn't know. "Have you seen the script for today?" he asked, Had I seen it? - Seen it?? I'd LIVED it for the past seven days. "oh yes" I stuttered. "Not very good is it?" said Peter. "Well..." I blustered. "No we can do better than that", he said. "Can we?", I said. "How can we make it funnier?" asked the great man. "Well...." I advised.. And that was the start. Together we rejigged the whole two scenes. Peter was very patient, encouraging, and VERY inventive. It was his idea to have me eating pickled onions from the jar between the legs of the cadaver!

If you have never faced a studio full of camera people, lighting guys, production staff, actors and extras then you don't know what FEAR is! I was, petrified! So anxious not to make a fool of myself. The director shouted, "Lets rehearse" but Peter said, "No, Roy's never done a film before, so I just want him to feel at home" He held up shooting for a good half hour while he showed me the set, where the lights would be, and where the camera would move, the lot!'

He did make me feel at home and that, all too short morning spent in his company has stayed with me for forty odd years. A GREAT star, taking time and trouble to make a raw beginner feel able to give his best.

Thank you Peter. You were a gentle, dear and wonderful man...

Photograph: Peter Cushing and Roy Hudd on right, on set during the making of 'The Blood Beast Terror' (1967)

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