Peter O’Toole the wizard

peter o'toole blog-1

I was very lucky over 10 years ago to do some stills on a production filming at Twickenham Stadium involving Peter O’Toole, who sadly passed away this week. Annoyingly the production company ended up with the negs, leaving me with just one print, though there actually weren’t many shots as the director’s last words to me before I started were: ‘oh yeah, you know he really hates photographers’. With that ringing in my ears, I kept my distance concentrating on recording the filming process, and when I finally manoeuvred myself close enough to get a portrait, the look that he gave me ensured it was only one.

I think in similar circumstances today, armed with the quiet shutter on my Canon – much less intrusive than the clunk of the Pentax 6×7 that this was taken on – and the small matter of a decades more experience under my belt, I would be a bit bolder to get the shot. Still I’m very happy to have at least some evidence of a brief brush with Hollywood royalty/Lawrence of Arabia!

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