Excerpt from: The New York Times - 4 July 1999

Title: What They Say About Stanley Kubrick

Arliss Howard (actor; featured in "Full Metal Jacket")

I remember him saying: "The hardest thing in making a movie is to keep in the front of your consciousness your original response to the material. Because that's going to be the thing that will make the movie. And the loss of that will break the movie." He said when he did "Spartacus," he was astonished at how many people were allowed to have opinions about the content of the movie -- not just the execution of it. They'd actually have conversations with secretaries about the content. But he was very much about finding, in each little piece that he was putting together, the essence of what had excited him about that moment the first time.

....My grandfather had bird dogs so intent on being bird dogs they would run headlong into trees. And Stanley was sort of like that without the penchant for running into things.

He would say: "I know how to do virtually every job on a movie. I can light, I can record sound, I know where mikes go." He could come into a room and say, "We're two stops off in this light." They'd say, "No, we just checked the camera." He'd say, "We're two stops off," and they'd be two stops off. But he would say: "I don't know how to act. But I'll tell you this, we will get the best shot."

What Stanley really didn't like is if you wasted his time. And what he considered to be time-wasting was if you didn't know your lines. One day we had to do this thing called the Rifleman's Creed where we laid on the bed and recited this speech, and we had to do it with a tiny speaker in your ear and do it to playback, which was very disorienting for me. We got to take 16 and he said to me, "You're not prepared." And I said, "No, I know the thing -- I'm just having trouble with this thing in my ear." And he said, "You don't know it if you don't know how to be able to do it with that in your ear." We got into an argument about how well I knew it, but I finally realized that he was absolutely right.

Much later, he related a story to me about "Spartacus," that all the English actors were muttering, and he was sure they were talking about him and he was very paranoid. It was Olivier and Peter Ustinov and Charles Laughton -- they were always muttering. And he discovered when he snuck up behind them one time that they were doing lines from their work. And he said: "This is something American actors don't do at all. They do not learn text." He blamed Lee Strasberg.