Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Interview with... Lawrence Montaigne

People who know me know that I love Hogan's Heroes. Especially the behind-the-scenes related stories.
So when I had the opportunity to interview Lawrence Montaigne, Hogan's Heroes was going to be one of the questions.
As all as questions about Star Trek, Batman, and The Great Escape.
Lawrence's feedback is not to be missed! Enjoy.

1. What was it like on the set of Star Trek: The Original Series?

It appeared to me as if we were all in a state of confusion. We had nothing to relate our characters to and we were flying by the seats of our pants. I think that Gene was the only one who knew where this whole thing was going.

2. What difference, as an actor, did you find between Star Trek, and the Batman TV series?

Batman had an historical background. You only had to pick up a comic book to research a character and if it wasn't there, at least you were familiar with the characters around you which seemed to make it easy to relate. With Star Trek it was "try this" or "try that" until the director said it felt right.

3. Which do you prefer, comedy or drama?

I've always preferred comedy but with a face like an ugly Jack Palance, I didn't have much choice. The few comedy parts I did land (The Flying Nun, Hogan's Heroes, etc.) they were a piece of cake.

4. What was it like on the set of Hogan’s Heroes?

I can't speak for other actors but the particular episode in which I played Sergeant Steinfeld, although the role was fun, the conditions under which I was working were physically taxing. We were shooting on the back lot of Desilu in Culver City in the heat of August. I was wearing a winter, German uniform, including a topcoat. The temperatures were in the nineties and the regular cast was in the habit of goofing off and doing retake after retake. No one took into consideration that the new guy on the block was melting right in front of the camera until I finally blew my stack and we all settled down to getting in out of the heat.

5. I’m a big fan of the show so would like to ask, what can you tell us about the Hogan’s Heroes cast?

I think I've covered it!

6. The Great Escape is an iconic film. What was it like to film?

In my autobiography, A Vulcan Odyssey, I stated, "Every actor should have A Great Escape." I meant it. Not only was it a great learning experience but it was a key to the kingdom. I no sooner arrived in the U.S. after the release of TGE, than the doors to every casting office in L.A. opened up to me. Unfortunately, most of the cast has passed on but working with such a renown group of actors was a blessing for which I shall be forever grateful.

7. What’s coming up next for you?

Lunch, if I live that long.

8. Is there an event or charity you would like to bring to my readers’ attention?

My wife, Patricia, and I are avid animal lovers. Every day we learn of some horrible abuse or neglect of pets and it drives us up the wall. If you can adopt a pet or give a dollar to any humane society, we would thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Lawrence has a brilliant website all of his own, www.lawrencemontaigne.net/
It's well worth checking out if you're interested in knowing more about Lawrence's work.

I thank Lawrence for his time and responses. I certainly got a really kick out of them.

What did you think of this interview?
Please comment, or email me directly at mgbouw@yahoo.com.au
Until next time!

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