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YAPHET KOTTO ON THE 'DIRECTOR PROOF' SET OF 'BLUE COLLAR'

Yaphet Kotto and Harvey Keitel in BLUE COLLAR circa 1978
Paul Schrader's BLUE COLLAR is a really good film with a really great cast: Richard Pryor, Harvey Keitel and, providing his account, Yaphet Kotto as auto laborers going up against a corporation and, more dangerous, their work union.

And Richard Pryor
"First of all, by this point in the shoot we had gone so far off the script. I’m told Paul Schrader was annoyed, at least that’s what I’m told. The whole thing had become one improvisation after another, but if my memory serves me correct, he told me and Harvey and Richard to improvise. He said we were 'Director Proof' actors and to 'improvise when you feel it’s necessary.' Then when we did as directed, I’m told he was annoyed. Well I don’t really know if he was or not. But he was lucky to have had us. The movie is a classic.

How was it filming the death scene in the paint room?
 "It was all right, no problems. We took about two days to shoot if my memory serves me right. The only thing that bothered me was that it was the second film in which my character dies and that bugged me a little. Otherwise everything else was cool." Kotto's character would also die, the next year, in ALIEN as he did in TRUCK TURNER and LIVE AND LET DIE.
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