Making Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon Had a Huge Impact on the Cast and Crew


Although he thought he was into something great, O’Neal was frustrated with the experience, as well as the length of filming, which lasted nearly a year according to “Making Time in Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon by Maria Pramagiorre. Like O’Neal wrote in his shooting diary, Kubrick “works you hard. He moves you, pushes you, helps you, gets angry with you but, most of all, he teaches you the value of a good director.”

He was not alone in either of his assessments. If Kubrick was in any way a pilot, he was always in service of making “Barry Lyndon” a bigger movie. When struggling with the composition of a shot or the direction of a scene, he posed O’Neal and actress Marisa Berenson from Lady Lyndon in the postures of 18th-century portraiture. In the American commercial way of making movies, that might seem like a waste of time — in “Barry Lyndon,” it deepens the actors’ connections to the world they portray.

The supporting cast, usually below O’Neal’s movie star salary, treated Kubrick with admiration and respect. Describing his unusual non-audition for the role of Reverend Runt, Murray Melvin said the preparation for Kubrick’s arrival “was fit for a Roman emperor”. Such was the dedication of actor Leon Vitali, who played adult Lord Bullingdon, that he gave up a promising acting career to serve as Kubrick’s personal assistant after the film was completed, until the director’s death. in 1999.

The difficulties that accompanied the creation of “Barry Lyndon” may have been immense, but as an ensemble acting piece, it features the best acting direction of Kubrick’s career. O’Neal claimed the entire cast was “crazy” about the director.


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