In a new book about the making of the 1972 film, “Under Milk Wood,” the film’s director, Andrew Sinclair, spills juicy details about how his three megawatt stars, Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor and Peter O’Toole, behaved on set.
According to Sinclair, the difficulty he faced trying to work with three of Hollywood’s biggest names was like “fixing a weekend between Howard Hughes, Queen Elizabeth II and Puck.” And it included having to deal with movie legend Richard Burton’s extreme drinking habits.
The director reveals the-then 47-year-old vowed to stay sober while filming the classic.
Burton told Sinclair, “I am not drinking on your film. That means only one bottle of vodka a day. I’m sober on two, but when I’m drinking, it is three or more.”
O’Toole, Taylor & Burton in “Under Milk Wood”
But the Welsh actor’s heavy boozing wasn’t the only headache the young director had to deal with on-set.
Sinclair writes of Taylor’s many demands, which included three special French nightgowns that cost around 50% of the film’s costume budget.
The Oscar winner also refused to travel to the Welsh town of Fishguard for filming, so her scenes were shot separately at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire, England.
But possibly the most outrageous claim is the story of Taylor being plied with alcohol after she refused to perform on a scheduled filming day.
Sinclair writes that Peter O’Toole was forced to hold her up as she drunkenly read lines in front of the camera.
After hearing these stories, we’re surprised the film ever got made!