Sunday, March 11, 2012

To Peter Lawford, Lassie was a "vicious bastard."

Peter and his costar in Son of Lassie.
In 1945, at 22, Peter played his first over-the-title lead role in the sequel to Lassie Come Home. It was not a pleasant experience for him. "You want to know how we did those scenes [of canine affection]? I had raw meat stuck up under my arms and under my shirt and rubbed on my face and stuck up my clyde. What you saw on the screen was sheer animal hunger...Lassie was a vicious bastard!"

Peter began to refer to the film as "Son of a Bitch," and was really angered when he realized that during dangerous scenes in the bone-chilling, treacherous rapids of the Columbia River in Canada, Lassie was tethered to the shore with rope while Peter was left to his own devices. He learned that Lassie was insured for a million dollars. "I had the suspician that if I was insured at all, it was for a considerably smaller amount."

During a publicity tour for the film, Peter didn't reveal any of his resentments, but he did say, "As an actor, you don't have a dog's chance if you act with a dog!"

1 comment: