American director and screenwriter John Carpenter on the set of his movie Halloween. (Photo by Compass International Pictures/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)
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The Size Of The Thing's Cast ‘Intimidated’ Director John Carpenter
After all of the frightening things John Carpenter has brought to life on screen, it's hard to imagine the filmmaker being intimidated by anything. However, he was apprehensive when he set out to make the horror classic “The Thing.” With an ensemble that included Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, Richard Dysart, and Keith David, Carpenter revealed that the cast intimidated him.
Carpenter told L.A. Weekly he would defer direction to his actors. He said, ”Sometimes I would encourage them to do what they wanted to do. [The scene where they discover the blood bags opened up] was also complex. I was intimidated by how many actors I had to work with. I wouldn't be intimidated today, but I was a young man then. Well, a younger man.”
Fortunately, the cast remembers Carpenter’s directing fondly, as Brimley said, “John's a wonderful man. Everything he did put us in the right frame of mind. He understood what a director is supposed to do, and that's his gift. He didn't say very much, which I think is the best way to be.” Despite his fears, Carpenter successfully directed the ensemble in arguably his best film.