'Popeye': Director Robert Altman on Shelly Duvall

In this exclusive clip from one of four featurettes included on Popeye's all-new Blu-ray edition, Robert Altman raves about Shelly Duvall's standout performance as Olive Oyl.

Video Transcript


ROBERT ALTMAN: Shelley Duvall, to me, was Olive Oyl. Gilda Radner was the first person who was kind of thought about at Paramount, and I met with Gilda, and she would have been good. But to me, Shelley was Olive Oly. I mean, she just had all of those qualities.

SHELLEY DUVALL: Why would they manufacture deliberate ugliness, unless they wanted me to look ugly?

ROBERT ALTMAN: I'd wanted Shelly for it, and Paramount people, Charlie Bluhdorn, who was the head of that company, and guy named Don Simpson, they came over, and Simpson, he had no connection with this project other than he was active at Paramount. And he didn't want to use Shelley Duvall. And I just, at that moment, I said, this is who I'm using in the film or I'm not doing the film. Of course, she was the best thing in the film. She was perfect. She had all the naivete that made that character, other than just an imitation.

SHELLEY DUVALL: I said phooey, and I mean phooey. Phooey!