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Tuesday, 15 May 2012

The Therapy Zone

Peter Bowles - Ask me if I'm Happy

   The following extract is taken from Peter Bowles book, which is published this year, so full credit goes to Peter Bowles and his biography. I'm sure fans of the Prisoner may find it of interest.

    "A number of years later I was asked to be a villain {I think} in an episode of the Prisoner entitled 'ABC'. When I arrived at make-up at , the make-up man, who I had known for years, said "Have you seen or worked with Pat recently?"
    "No, sadly I haven't," I said.
    Well'', Peter, be very careful. Pat is not the man he used to be."
    "What do you mean?" I asked.
    "I think I've said enough," he replied mysteriously. "Just be careful."
    I walked onto the set not knowing what to expect. Pat was delighted to see me, he threw his arms around me and lifted me off my feet.
    "I'm so pleased you're doing this, Peter. We will have a great time together."
    Everything was normal, two old friends together again. What was the make-up man talking about? The first scene to be shot was quite a long two-handed scene between Pat and myself. I was introduced to the director - an American - and placed in position. Pat stood opposite me, and the director said that was fine, just play the scene now.
We did.
    "Excellent," said the director. "You take a break while we light it and we'll get straight for a take."
    Pat took me away to a quiet corner of the studio. "What do you think of the director, Peter?" he asked.
    "He seems quite a nice man" I replied.
    "A nice man?" said Pat "He's is a complete prat, he has no idea how to direct. The way he placed us in that scene is crap. Look, Peter, let's do the scene again just for ourselves, and I'd like you to express yourself, move around, instead of being stuck in one place."
    "That sounds a great idea, Pat," I agreed. "I do feel rather stuck in position."
    "Of course you do, let's go."
    We free wheeled through the scene.
    "Wasn't that good?" Pat sounding quite excited and elated. "Isn't that the way the scene should be shot?"
    "Yes," I said, beginning to feel a bit elated myself, "that is definitely how the scene should be shot."
    Pat's demeanour suddenly changed, he grabbed me hard by the arms and thrust his almost snarling face into mine. "That is not how it's going to be shot. I'm the star, I'm the producer and to do it that way costs me money." There was a strange glint in his eye I'd never seen before. "We will do it the way the director wants."
    "Okay Pat, okay, that's fine by me." I said and the moment was over.

Peter Bowles - Biography 2010


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