All in Good Sport

May 31, 2009

Apparently, things were as rough on the set of Lindsay Anderson’s This Sporting Life as they were on-screen. In a new piece for the Guardian, written on the occasion of a theatrical rerelease of the film in the United Kingdom, Robert Sellers, author of the book Hellraisers: The Life and Inebriated Times of Burton, Harris, O’Toole and Reed, takes a brief look back at Anderson’s casting of the then unknown Richard Harris as the film’s ready-to-rumble rugby player, touching upon the “masochistic relationship” between the enamored director and the actor. Sellers’s anecdotes about Harris’s aggressive first day of shooting and his decidedly ungentlemanly reaction to winning best actor at Cannes are especially amusing.