Even with a four-hour run time, 1940’s Gone With the Wind is still considered one of the best movies ever created. In a new interview with Closer Weekly, Mickey Kuhn and Olivia de Havilland, the film’s last surviving stars, open up about what it was like to shoot it 80 years ago.
“I have very good memories of it,” Mickey, 87, exclusively recalled to Closer in the magazine’s latest issue, on newsstands now. However, he admits he did feel a great deal of pressure playing Beau Wilkes. As a child actor, he had to get his lines right.
“The entire cast felt the same way,” he said. Mickey especially remembers acting alongside the film’s leading man, Clark Gable, and feeling very nervous.
“My line was, ‘Hello, Uncle Rhett,’ but three times I kept saying, ‘Hello, Uncle Clark,’” he recalled. But instead of Clark kicking him off set, he pulled Mickey aside and gave him some encouraging words. “He said, ‘You’re right, my name is Clark, but here my name is Rhett.’ He didn’t belittle me because I was a kid. We did the scene again and, of course, it was OK.”
Clark and his leading lady, Vivien Leigh, tried to perfect their characters Rhett Butler and Scarlet O’Hara by rehearsing numerous times together.
“The whole world had a very definite idea of Rhett. [Clark] was terrified of not fulfilling their notion of the character,” Olivia remembered, and Vivien felt the pressure too. “It was her American debut and she wanted to do an excellent job,” Mickey added. And Vivien succeeded!
Once the cameras turned on and Vivien and Clark became their characters, it was very hard not to look away. “You could see it when they were rehearsing. There was a spark,” the Red River star said. “It was a mutual respect between two great actors.”
But even though Mickey has been highly praised for his portrayal as Beau in the movie, he says he’s had enough of Gone With the Wind. “I’ve seen it once,” the actor said. “That’s enough.”
For more on Gone With the Wind, pick up the latest issue of Closer Weekly, on newsstands now — and be sure to sign up for our newsletter for more exclusive news!