Exclusive Interview: Peter MacGregor-Scott on The Fugitive and Batman
CraveOnline: Well, U.S. Marshals I thought ended up being quite good, but we could have used you on the Revenge of the Nerds sequels.
Peter MacGregor-Scott: [Laughs] I actually appear in the original one. The boys are looking for accommodations and Booger goes to a house, rings a bell and the mail slot opens. A woman’s voice tells him to fuck off. In fact, it’s my voice. What happened, I said, “He can’t just react to a frozen door,” so when we shot it I dropped to my knees, unrehearsed, nobody was ready for it and the camera operator was laughing so hard we actually had to reshoot it because of the vibration in the camera, but it stayed in the movie.
You reshot the take after everyone calmed down?
We reshot, yeah, and how you can tell is that in the close-up, the mail slot is all polished and looks nice and in the wide shot, which we had shot the day before, it’s aged.
Revenge of the Nerds was a favorite of mine and I saw it very young. One scene that I didn’t quite get until I got older is when Lewis has sex with Betty while impersonating her boyfriend. He could have gotten in real trouble for that.
Today, he could’ve been in a lot of trouble.
He could have been in trouble back then if she hadn’t decided she liked him.
He may have actually been in a little more trouble than he realized.
Was that ever discussed in the scripting or on the set?
Would you have ever imagined the nerds would become cool?
No, we did not. There was an element that they get cool at the musical gathering at the end of the movie. They get very cool there, so it was, I suppose, an indication of what could come. After they did the one at the hotel in Florida, that was not good.
At least Revenge of the Nerds II went to theaters. The other two were for TV only.
Yes, yes. God. Well, you know your films.
I have a bunch I want to ask you about, but they decided to do U.S. Marshals which makes sense, because Gerard can chase other fugitives. Did you ever read the script for The Fugitive 2 where something was wrong with the evidence, Kimble goes on the run again and Gerard had to chase him again?
Yes, I did read that. I did read a version that had that thread going through it.
Was that ever really a possibility to get made?
To be frank, I don’t know. We were not directly involved in that.
I just never knew if it was a real script or a fake. It could have very well been they hoped it would be a good script that got Harrison Ford interested, but if he said no, that was it.
Right. Harrison Ford is an incredibly professional guy. It’s a struggle to get him in at home plate, but boy, once you’ve got him there, watch out. He’s fabulous.
I think you’re going to like my take on these films. You happened to be involved in the Joel Schumacher Batman films. People make fun of them but I remember the history. The public so rejected Batman Returns that they made Batman Forever lighter, and everyone loved it. Everyone said, “This is what we want.” Only two years later when you did another one like that, they rejected you.
Yes, they did. They wanted the darker version. They wanted it less camp and less the poppy version that we made with Val Kilmer. I think we were a step behind. We weren’t even a step even.
But how does that happen, that people forget they so hated the dark version and embraced the light version, but then didn’t want another light version?
[Laughs] I think that is the case. I can’t answer that question. I don’t have a significant answer to that. I think it’s just the whim of the population.
Well, whenever people make fun of that one, I always remind them it didn’t start with Batman & Robin. There’s a reason it got to that point.