Actors that have been around Hollywood for a while can develop some specific requirements. This could be a restriction on who directs them, like Marlon Brando to Robert De Niro, or, like Donald Sutherland, a demand for where in the narrative the filming process starts.
Gillian Anderson, who made a Moby Dick drama series with Sutherland, revealed that he requires production to start at a specific point in the screenplay. “Donald Sutherland once told me that in his contract has it that any scenes that he does in the first two weeks are from the middle of the script,” She told Collider.
“Isn’t that interesting and incredibly smart and must come from someone who’s worked a lot and knows what happens and decided to protect himself,” She adds. “He said, ‘because if the audience believes you for the first period of time, you can not necessarily be all there in the middle, and they’ll buy it because you’ve gained their trust in the first third of the film’.”
Having made some of the best movies of all time, Sutherland definitely knows his way around a set and finding his top work. He’s been involved in classics such as horror movies The Invasion of the Body Snatchers and Don’t Look Now, as well as blockbuster adventure movies like The Hunger Games.
Making films since the ’60s has no doubt taught him some tricks of the trade, that he’s now passing onto the next generation of performers. Certainly sounds like it’s something that Anderson’s decided to take into consideration for her work, and no doubt plenty of his other co-stars over the years feel the same.
Still happily working, Sutherland Miranda’s Victim, a movie based on a true story, is coming next year. This year, he was part of Netflix movie Mr Harrigan’s Phone and disaster movie Moonfall. Next time you watch one of his pictures, try and pinpoint the scene filmed first, because it sounds like it might be occasionally noticeable!