A pleasant chat happened Thursday night between Lenny star Valerie Perrine and director-screenwriter Larry Karaszewski at Santa Monica’s Aero. She was relaxed and open and self-effacing and put everyone in a good mood. But Perrine has no love for W.C. and Me costar Rod Steiger, a foul-mannered “jerk” who treated her horribly during filming, she said.
(l.) Director-screenwriter Larry Karaszewski, (r.) Lenny and Slaughterhouse Five costar Valerie Perrine at Santa Monic’a Aero on Thursday, 3.7, around 9:45 pm.
And guess what? Bob Fosse‘s Lenny, which screened before their discussion, hasn’t aged very well. Mostly because Dustin Hoffman‘s Lenny Bruce material is either unfunny or tedious or old-hat. The film is no longer provocative — it now feels way behind the curve. If Hoffman had played Bruce as a slightly less likable guy, if he hadn’t smiled so much and been a little snippier or more combative, and if he’d made more of an attempt to “become” Bruce rather than just perform Bruce’s material in a thoroughly Dustin Hoffman-like fashion, his performance would play better by today’s standards.