Before he began production as the star of his recent television series, "The Lieutenant," Gary Lockwood spent three and a half weeks at the Quantico U.S. Marine base, watching real-life marine lieutenants. He wanted to know how they walked, talked and conducted themselves. This kind of authentic on-the-spot research wasn't possible for his role as Poole in 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY. A real-life Poole, a kind of super-astronaut, with an education equivalent to that of two college professors and the physical stamina of a professional football linebacker, just doesn't exist yet.
For the acting requirements of the role, Lockwood drew on his experience as a television veteran, on the Broadway stage ("There Was A Little Girl") and in the motion pictures (Splendor In The Grass, Wild In The Country andIt Happened At the World's Fair). For the considerable physical demands of his role in 2001, Lockwood was also well equipped. A rugged six-footer, he began playing football at UCLA and later began his film career as a stunt man.