5 Discoveries About 2001: A Space Odyssey (from Keir Dullea’s AMA on Reddit)

Actor Keir Dullea (Dave from 2001: A Space Odyssey) did an ‘Ask Me Anything’ on Reddit recently. He gave us some great insights on making 2001: A Space Odyssey and working with Stanley Kubrick. I decided to make a Top 5 list to explore some of the information he revealed and here is what I found…

Transcript

Hi everybody, Tyler here. Actor Keir Dullea, most famous for playing Dave in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, did an ‘ask me anything’ on reddit recently. Here’s what we found out…

Number 5…

At almost 80 years old, Keir looks better than his old man make-up from the movie. He chalks up his good looks to genes. Go figure…

Number 4…

During the filming of 2001, Stanley Kubrick remained calm. Keir says, “He never raised his voice, he had a quiet droll sense of humor and was a man with great curiosity.”

Number 3…

Stanley Kubrick’s perfectionism caused them to stop production on Keir’s first day because the shoes “weren’t right.”

To be fair, the shoes do make the man. And now that I look at them, they are pretty great.

Number 2…

This is a cool one: When asked about his favorite scene he was in he said his favorite was the scene where he dismantles HAL’s brain. He talks about him of the ending of Of Mice and Men, specifically the scene where George is forced to kill his best friend, Lenny to avoid Lenny being killed by an angry mob.

George: “And then, down on the flat, we’re gonna have a field of alfalfa.”

Lenny: “For the rabbits!”

He says, “in some way, emotionally, that scene from Of Mice and Men affected the way I played the scene with HAL.”

Let’s take a look…

HAL: “And he taught me to sing a song. If you’d like to hear it, I can sing it for you.”

Dave: “Yes. I’d like to hear it, HAL. Sing it for me.”

Number 1…

This one is my favorite.

When asked about shooting the famous stargate sequence, Keir responded, “The visual effects of my journey through time and space were created well after I had finished the film. Stanley filmed me mostly in close-up reacting to something that I actually wasn’t seeing. He created an old silent movie trick: he played some extraordinary music to put me in the mood. Specifically, a movement from Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Sinfonia Antartica. If you’re interested, look it up and wait for a very mysterious section of the piece. That’s what helped me react to something I wasn’t seeing.”

And, just in case you were wondering, it sounds a little something like this…

I put the full questions and answers in the description and if you enjoyed this video, click ‘like’ and subscribe for more. You can check out some of my other videos here. I’m a huge Kubrick fan and planning a couple of in-depth videos for the future. Thanks for watching.

This video essay was written, edited, and narrated by Tyler Knudsen.

 

Link to the full AMA: http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/2nh4ru/im_keir_dullea_dave_from_2001_a_space_odyssey_ask/

Edoardocan asked, “What is something people misunderstand or misinterpret about Kubrick?”

Keir responded, “I’m often asked: was Kubrick a task master. The answer is no; anything but. He never raised his voice, he had a quiet droll sense of humor and was a man with great curiosity.”

OgGorillaKing asked, “Kubrick was a notorious perfectionist. Do you have any interesting anecdotes about that?”

Keir responded, “On the first day of shooting, Stanley noticed my shoes and felt they weren’t right. We stopped shooting for the rest of the day until they found the right pair. Let’s face it, feet don’t play a huge role in films.”

KingOfCruel asked, “What was your favorite scene you participated in?”

Keir responded, “I think my favorite scene was where I’m dismantling HAL’s brain. It reminded me a bit of a famous movie and also play called Of Mice and Men when Lenny is speaking with George regarding their plans to start a farm. This is a scene that comes at the end of the film after Lenny has indadvertedly caused the death of a young woman. Now there’s a posse that is looking for him intending possibly to string him up. This discussion of their plans to start a farm has been heard throughout the film, and so with some love and compassion, with a hidden pistol behind his back George reviews their plans with Lenny and half-way through their discussion he shoots him behind his back to avoid him being killed by a posse of men. In some way, emotionally, that scene from Of Mice and Men affected the way I played the scene with HAL.”

Dr-Strangelove95 asked, “What are your memories of shooting the stargate sequence and your reaction of the scene when you saw the finished film for the first time?”

Keir responded, “The visual effects of my journey through time and space were created well after I had finished the film. Stanley filmed me mostly in close-up reacting to something that I actually wasn’t seeing. He created an old silent movie trick: he played some extraordinary music to put me in the mood. Specifically, a movement from Vaughan Williams’ Sinfonia Antartica. If you’re interested, look it up and wait for a very mysterious section of the piece. That’s what helped me react to something I wasn’t seeing.”

Get updates on Facebook

Follow me on Twitter

cinematyler Written by:

Understanding filmmaking through watching, researching, and analyzing film.