Not many films could as aptly be described as a classic 80s film more so than The Outsiders. Adapted from a novel by S.E. Hinton and directed by Francis Ford Coppola the film follows a gang rivalry and the cast certainly is a who’s who of 80s actors.
Included were Tom Cruise, Matt Dillon, Patrick Swayze, Rob Lowe, and the Karate Kid himself, Ralph Macchio. Working with Coppola turned out to be a unique, and as Rob Lowe explains below during an appearance on The Kelly Clarkson Show, an intense experience as the director had some unusual preparation for Lowe and Tom Cruise.
“When we were doing The Outsiders we’re 18 and 19 years old. It’s Francis Ford Coppola, the director who directed The Godfather and Apocalypse Now, and the most intense kind of director imaginable. And in his effort to make us more authentic as greasers, as tough Tulsa wrong-side-of-the-tracks guys, he found a bunch of actual different Greasers who were now grown-up adults. And made us go spend the night and live with them.”
“They came to us at rehearsal and like ‘Ok so we’re gonna divide you up. Rob, Tom you guys are gonna go stay with Bill and Sandy Webber. And we just went to their little house and had dinner. Tom and I ended up in the basement on two cots. And we’re like ‘We don’t know these people.’ I mean, who vetted them? Do you think Francis Ford Coppola spent a lot of time vetting these people? I can tell you he didn’t.”
Yeah, that’s kind of weird. I doubt a director could get away with a technique like this today. I can understand Lowe’s concern, but thankfully nothing bad happened, and Coppola’s techniques now make for good stories. It’s not uncommon for actors to study the type of person they’re portraying, but it usually doesn’t happen with a director sending young actors off to stay with strangers.
As I’m sure most of you know, the cast went on to have fulfilling careers in Hollywood. Tom Cruise is of course now an A-list megastar. Macchio Won the All-Valley karate tournament, among other adventures. Swayze, Dillon, and Lowe were all successful as well.
Do you find The Outsiders to be an 80s classic? Let us know int he comments down below!
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