Saturday, September 15, 2012

Video: Interview with Norman Lloyd

Videos of an interview with Norman Lloyd about his career and his experience on St. Elsewhere, courtesy of the Archive of American Television and YouTube.

Norman Lloyd (Dr. Daniel Auschlander) discusses his long
career and his time on St. Elsewhere.
Here are some clips from an interview conducted from September 7, 2000, hosted at the Archive of American Television, and also divided into sections on YouTube. In the full version of the interview, Lloyd discusses his long and accomplished career, from studying with Eva Le Galienne (who came out of retirement to appear in the Emmy-winning episode "The Women" in season two), joining the Mercury Theatre, appearing in the title role of Alfred Hitchcock's Saboteur and his long association with the legendary director, and much more. I haven't watched the whole thing (it's long), but I'll bet it's interesting. If you're looking for St. Elsewhere stuff, jump to six minutes into part six.

The following clips from YouTube are excerpts from this full version.

Here, Lloyd discusses how he was cast on St. Elsewhere as Dr. Daniel Auschlander, the New York doctor with liver cancer who was originally hired only for the first four episodes. But his popularity led to the "longest remission on record."

In this clip, Lloyd gives an overview of his character, a Jewish agnostic with a sordid romantic past.

In this one, he discusses St. Elsewhere's shooting style. St. Elsewhere employed handheld cameras and long, sweeping shots that moved through the hallways and in and out of rooms. He gives high praise to the quality of the ensemble of actors with whom he worked.

He discusses working with Ed Flanders around the 9:00 mark of the full version, and says there was no better actor in America than Flanders. But despite his recognition and critical acclaim, Flanders lamented that he wasn't a bigger star, among his other "devils." Lloyd says those devils made him such a fascinating actor.

I recommend checking out the full version. There's a lot of good stuff in there that the short clips leave out, including discussions of particular episodes, including "Hearing", where Daniel gets stoned in an attempt to treat his chemotherapy side effects. There was a version written that the network forbade in which Wayne and Luther show Daniel how to roll a joint.

Norman Lloyd in Hitchcock's Saboteur.
Photo from "Norman Lloyd has Stories... and Stories and Stories",
from the LA Stage Times.
He says that though they were on the brink of cancellation during the first season, the network execs were encouraged by the demographics, which showed that older people were responding to the show. He also says that doctors really responded well to the show, who said it was the "most authentic" medical show ever made. He met a doctor who said that he never missed a show as an intern, and that "the way Auschlander saw things, the morality of it, so to speak, was an absolute inspiration to him."

Lloyd says that he didn't like the way the series ended. He thought it was a "cheat," and that the snow globe at the end was stolen from Citizen Kane. But he went along with it, and acknowledges that some people think it's a brilliant ending.

Lloyd discusses his friendship with Charlie Chaplin and his appearance in Limelight (1952), Chaplin's last film made in the US. At one point, Lloyd and Chaplin, both rabid tennis fans, would play each other four times a week.

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