When Robert Evans died last October, Hollywood lost one of its most legendary and enigmatic figures. Evans, who was a clothing retailer before being “discovered” for a brief acting career, rose to become a top producer and the head of Paramount Pictures by the end of the 1960s, presiding over a period in Paramount’s history that produced classics like the first two Godfather films, Chinatown, Harold and Maude, and Love Story.
Evans had a larger-than-life presence in Hollywood, to the point that he’s served as inspiration for a number of film and TV characters over the years, including Dustin Hoffman’s Wag the Dog producer, Entourage’s Bob Ryan, and even Bob Odenkirk’s Breaking Bad/Better Call Saul character, Saul Goodman. In 1994, he wrote his memoir, The Kid Stays in the Picture, which was made into an intriguing documentary in 2002.
Over the years, we had the pleasure of speaking to Evans on a number of occasions. He was enigmatic and engaging, and a walking time capsule filled with hundreds of incredible Hollywood stories. Many of them made it into the documentary (which we highly recommend), but we got a few stories from him as well, which we wanted to share with you.
On why The Godfather will always stand as the gold standard for movies about the Mafia: (Click on the media bar below to hear Robert Evans)
On making the Jack Nicholson classic, Chinatown: (Click on the media bar below to hear Robert Evans)
On making a movie about his own life: (Click on the media bar below to hear Robert Evans)
The Kid Stays in the Picture is available on digital streaming platforms and on DVD.