As with most people yesterday, I was saddened by the death of Burt Reynolds.
I was fortunate to get to interview Burt in 1995 to talk about a movie that ended up being possibly the biggest box office bust of his career. The movie, called The Maddening, was actually sent straight to video, which is why the distributor was looking for radio interviews from a morning guy in a small town in Texas.
I remember being nervous waiting for the phone to ring, even though I felt I had prepared with some good questions, most about what looked to be a terrible movie.
After getting him on the phone, the nerves all went away, when I realized I was interviewing one of the nicest superstars I would come across.
You see, even though Burt was on to talk about this awful erotic psychological thriller that nobody would ever see, he actually ended up talking about football, one of his favorite subjects. He talked about his days at Florida State, where he had a roommate named Lee....yes...Lee Corso from College Gameday fame.
We talked about the Longest Yard and I remember asking him why there wasn't a sequel. His response was something like "I would rather make a different kind of football movie" which he did three years later with the classic movie "Semi-Tough". Looking back, I guess I had a scoop there. He did say that if they ever remade The Longest Yard, he hoped he would be around to see how they could screw it up. Amazing that they did in 2004 and he even appeared in the Adam Sandler version.
The coolest part of the interview to be when I asked him if he could just do a little of the voice of Charlie B. Barkin from All Dogs Go To Heaven. He did one better, by singing a little of Let Me Be Surprised.
Did we talk about The Maddening? For a few seconds. A few seconds too long.
But as I look back, I realize that if he hadn't made one of the worst movies Hollywood ever churned out, I wouldn't have got to spend 10 minutes on the phone with one of the BEST Hollywood ever churned out. R.I.P. Burt