Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Richard Dreyfuss “hurt” by depiction as “jerk” in Jaws play

Richard Dreyfuss is none too pleased about how he is depicted in the play The Shark Is Broken, about the making of Jaws.

All of a sudden, Matt Hooper’s iconic quote – “I think that I am familiar with the fact that you are going to ignore this particular problem until it swims up and bites you on the ass!” – is more relevant for its speaker, as Richard Dreyfuss is now taking umbrage with a play about the making of Jaws. Co-written by and starring Ian Shaw, son of the late Robert Shaw – who died just three years after Jaws scared moviegoers in theaters (and out of the ocean) – The Shark Is Broken is the latest target of Dreyfuss, who is none too pleased about his depiction and that of the supposedly makeshift feud between himself and Shaw.

Although it debuted in 2019 and Richard Dreyfuss even attended a performance, he is not too happy that Ian Shaw didn’t consult him on the making of Jaws; instead, Shaw used his father’s diary as a reference. In a new Vanity Fair piece, Dreyfuss remembered, “It was pretty awful…Ian—who has more than any right to write whatever he wants—never called me and said, ‘Give me some background.’ Or, ‘Give me your take on this and this.’ And they just decided to make my character a big jerk.” He added, “The problem is that they made my character the fool…They didn’t do that to Roy, and they didn’t do that to Robert. And that hurt because it wasn’t true.”

Richard Dreyfuss has been known to have a reputation as being a bit cantankerous and cranky as he gets older. And sure, he has had some on-set feuds (see: Bob?, What About) and there was some ribbing between Dreyfuss and Shaw on the set of Jaws, but you can’t just throw Shaw’s bourbon over the side of a boat and not expect to have a pissy co-star. Dreyfuss maintains that the supposed feud is just part of the rumor mill, now heightened by the play. But overall Dreyfuss may have a point: with both Shaw and Roy Scheider dead, why not consult the last living member of the Orca crew?

Jaws, not surprisingly, is still Richard Dreyfuss’ highest-grossing movie, followed by another Spielberg pairing, Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Their third collaboration, 1989’s Always, is generally considered one of the director’s worst.

Do you think Richard Dreyfuss should have been contacted about the Jaws play? Give us your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Originally published at https://www.joblo.com/richard-dreyfuss-hurt-by-depiction-as-jerk-in-jaws-play/

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