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Burt Reynolds says he 'hated' Paul Thomas Anderson

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Everett Collection

Burt Reynolds scored an Oscar nomination for his performance in Paul Thomas Anderson’s breakout feature Boogie Nights, but don’t expect the pair to ever work together again. Speaking at an event hosted by The Guardian, Reynolds said he “hated” Anderson so much in the wake of the 1997 film that he turned down a role in its follow-up, Magnolia.

“I’d done my picture with Paul Thomas Anderson, that was enough for me,” Reynolds said this week. The actor said he has never actually seen Boogie Nights all the way through.

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Reynolds’ animosity toward Anderson during the shoot is well-documented. In an oral history of Boogie Nights published by Grantland, multiple cast and crew members recalled an incident where the star and director got into a heated argument that almost ended in blows.

“I had to pull Burt’s arm back when it was cocked,” producer John Lyons said. “I was in the middle of it. Burt was getting ready to slug him and I was like, ‘Burt, Burt, no, no, don’t, don’t do it.’ And then I had to take Burt back to the trailer. And I spent a lot of time in Burt’s trailer. A lot. I love Burt. I thought he was incredible. He was old Hollywood; there were a lot of people on that set that just didn’t really have the time or the interest in it.”

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Reynolds is now promoting his memoir But Enough About Me, but has discussed Boogie Nights when asked about the film and Anderson.

“He was young and full of himself,” Reynolds told GQ of Anderson, who was 27 when Boogie Nights was released. “Every shot we did, it was like the first time [that shot had ever been done]. I remember the first shot we did in Boogie Nights, where I drive the car to Grauman’s Theater. After he said, ‘Isn’t that amazing?’ And I named five pictures that had the same kind of shot. It wasn’t original. But if you have to steal, steal from the best.”

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