“There was a certain professionalism that was often there – a perception that a little something really unique was going on. You have these legends executing and the scenes have been really magical. You attempt to copy that, but ‘On Golden Pond’ lifted the bar.”
– Doug McKeon (Aug. 5, 2010)
Doug McKeon was 14 yrs aged, July 1980, when he, Katharine Hepburn, Henry Fonda, Jane Fonda and the relaxation of the cast and crew started filming “On Golden Pond” at Squam Lake in New Hampshire. In accordance to McKeon, the movie is an American vintage for its sincerity about more mature and more youthful generations obtaining toughness by way of one a different, and stated he considers it a role he’ll under no circumstances overlook.
When exploring for the role of thirteen-calendar year-aged “Billy Ray,” McKeon – now forty four yrs aged – stated the casting administrators started in California and produced their way to New York. “Which is when I obtained a get in touch with to audition,” he stated. McKeon – born June 10, 1966, lifted in New Jersey – auditioned for the role five occasions. “By the fifth audition, the amount of ‘Billy’s’ have been finding smaller. I was remaining requested queries like, ‘Have you ever gone fishing or driven a boat?'” McKeon stated he remained qualified, but was thrilled when he obtained the section.
His character “Billy” was prepared to be a younger teen from California who felt like a loner. “‘Billy’ did not come to feel like he belonged any where,” McKeon stated. “He was dumped by his father for the summer with unfamiliar persons.” However he couldn’t relate to “Billy” personally, he stated his knowledge of teenage rising pains helped him hook up with his character on a deeper level. He attributed part of his role’s inspiration to New Hampshire’s beauty.
Squam Lake’s serenity surrounded the cast and crew, in accordance to McKeon. He said he treasured his time put in on site because of the outside landscapes and kindness from the cast and crew. McKeon stated he admired the film’s director Mark Rydell and cinematographer Billy Williams for how they captured their surroundings on film. To capture the sun’s placement at dusk and in daylight, Rydell and Williams documented its site through the day. “This aided them capture the glow of the sunlight on the h2o,” McKeon stated.
Apart from timing, McKeon stated a memory he considers vintage includes film strategy. According to him, Rydell and Williams have been determined to capture organic landscapes. “I try to remember at lunch time one day, [Rydell and Williams] noticed the loons in a cove,” McKeon stated. “They stopped almost everything so they could get a shot of the loons. [Both of those] ran about and obtained the shot.” (McKeon’s memory of the loons can be observed in the film’s opening).
Illustrating his willpower to show he was the right actor for the role, McKeon stated “It was crucial for me to show these persons that I could hold my individual.” Displaying professionalism is a rule McKeon stated he’s held for himself through his entertainment career.
When it arrived to his co-stars, he acknowledged Hepburn and the Fondas’ as entertainment legends he was proud to perform with. McKeon described Hepburn as the “top qualified,” saying he felt he had to show the most of his performing ability to her. In accordance to him, his final instant with her on site stands out for her sincerity. “She often kiddingly referred to me as ‘the boy,'” he stated. “Following my previous day of filming, [Katharine] arrived about to me and stated, ‘Doug, it was a enjoyment operating with you.” McKeon described her as a chief who understood her character’s essence.
McKeon described Henry as silent, with a “amazing dry perception of humor.” When filming fishing scenes, he stated Henry talked about two hobbies he was passionate about: cooking and fishing. The crew filmed the scenes from a barge, even though Henry and McKeon put in time on a different boat acting and obtaining off-camera conversations.
However silent even though creating the film, McKeon stated he noticed a different facet of Henry at his home. “Henry was a amazing painter,” he stated. Throughout the film, Henry wore a few hats: a first scene hat, fishing hat and stop-of-the-film hat. Henry drew the hats and had the drawing turned into a lithograph. Only 200 copies have been produced. McKeon been given the eighth of 200 printed – a possession he stated he considers priceless.
December four, 1981, U.S. audiences have been introduced to the film variation of “On Golden Pond.” (Initially a stage perform by Ernest Thompson, “On Golden Pond” first opened to a stay audience in 1979). All around the film’s launch, the cast and crew have been invited to Common Studios in Los Angeles for a private screening. McKeon stated he was ecstatic to see the movie and to find out which scenes have been utilized or scrapped. “It was enjoyable for me to see how it all arrived with each other,” he stated. “Observing all those scenes on film, and then recalling the filming of them was unique. I try to remember looking at Henry or Kate do their scenes to the facet. It was excellent looking at legends.”
Observing a private screening of the film was enjoyable, in accordance to McKeon. On the other hand, he acknowledged his most significant thrill being when he watched the movie with a general public audience. McKeon stated he was anxious, but nervous to hear the audience’s response. “You often marvel what the reaction will be, but hope the public will embrace it,” he stated. “There was a more youthful crowd in the audience [when I noticed it], and they laughed at all the right destinations.”
“The first picture you see is of the loons, and everybody started out laughing,” McKeon stated. “I noticed the film with two various audiences and it did not fail to get a chuckle each occasions. Which is when you know the [general public] will respond in all the right destinations.”
McKeon stated he adores the full film, but revealed his favorite section remaining what he phone calls the “cruise chicks, suck encounter” scene. In the movie, “Billy” tells Henry’s character “Norman” he “cruises for chicks and sucks encounter” with them. On the other hand, McKeon stated he appreciates this scene for a deeper motive.
Right before filming a scene, Rydell had the cast rehearse the day just before. McKeon stated the scene was his favorite because of a little something Rydell shared with him about Henry, involving the guide “Treasure Island.” Rydell requested McKeon to go away the place so he and Henry could discuss privately. When McKeon returned, Rydell pulled him aside to share Henry’s ask for with him. “Mark stated to me, ‘When you remaining, Henry preferred to borrow ‘Treasure Island’ to reacquaint himself with the story, so that when he informed ‘Billy’ to read through the first chapter, he could say it with a lot more conviction,'” McKeon stated. “It was good of Mark to have shared that with me.” When Rydell revealed Henry’s “Treasure Island” ask for, McKeon stated the scene became his favorite.
In addition to appreciating his first scene, McKeon acknowledged the pleasure he feels when thinking about a personalized possession he utilized in the film. In accordance to him, Rydell preferred to enrich “Billy’s” loner persona by offering him a duffel bag to carry in his first scene, but the prop section did not have any out there. McKeon stated he was thrilled to have the bag required for his scene. “In my personalized possessions, I had a Pittsburg Steelers fans guide bag,” he stated. “As prolonged as we turned the bag about to cover the emblem, we could use it. When you see me going for walks up the techniques, I am carrying my Steelers duffel bag.”
McKeon joked about his memory, saying, “I can show to persons I’ve been a Pittsburg Steelers admirer all my daily life, and have my individual Steelers guide bag in an award-successful, main motion film to show it.”
December 2011 will mark the film’s thirtieth anniversary. McKeon stated his knowledge of “On Golden Pond” grew as he aged, and is proud to be section of the story’s record. “Henry’s character gave ‘Billy Ray’ that perception of appreciate, self esteem and regard,” he stated. “Billy acquired to open up and embrace life by knowledge it’s alright to share your inner thoughts and give hugs. At the very same time, Henry’s [character is] seeking for acceptance. When you come across a story like that, you require to grab it and embrace it.”
Katharine Hepburn – Ethel Thayer
Henry Fonda – Norman Thayer Jr.
Jane Fonda – Chelsea Thayer
Doug McKeon – Billy Ray
Dabney Coleman – Billy Ray Sr.
William Lanteau – Charlie Martin
Chris Rydell – Sumner Todd
Author’s take note: In the summer of 1980, a writers’ strike was in effect. “On Golden Pond” was one of the only films’ in manufacturing because of Henry Fonda’s failing overall health. Doug McKeon stated he is thankful to have labored with Fonda and remembers him as a “silent, but excellent guy.”
For a lot more on Doug McKeon, go to dougmckeon.com