The Border was my second feature film after the Longriders. Tony Richardson, the director, had seen the movie and called me in for an interview. Vilmos Zsigsmond had started the picture but due to a writers strike had taken another picture. (He told me later he was happy to be off the Border and away from Tony. There is a saying in Hollywood that is quite common; 'who do I have to F... to get off this picture." I believe that is how Vilmos felt. Anyway when strike was settled we went back to work with me as Director of Photography. Naturally with a cast of people like Jack Nicolson; Warren Oates; Harvey Keitel; Valerie Perrine...how lucky could a guy get? My first day of the set it was handshakes and introductions all around. I was standing in the parking lot where all our vehicles were parked, everyone busy unloading equipment etc. when Valerie Perrine comes walking up to me. She introduced herself, a big smile on her face...she is a very attractive woman with all the necessary attributes that a woman should have...says to me; "Ric I have just one problem."
I smile and say, what's that, Valerie? Where upon she pulls up her dress almost over her head revealing her legs and just about everything else since Valerie did not believe in lingerie - "I have cellulite, please don't photograph my legs." The dress stayed up for what I thought was an awfully long time before being lowered. Of course every grip, electrician, technician on the crew was just standing there gawking.
I said I would make every effort to avoid filming her legs. And with that she shook my hand again and walked away. Now this is only my second film and I had never worked with stars like I now had. I thought, is this how it works? Well, it doesn't work quite that way every time. But it was a most memorable moment. I have lots of other anecdotes to relate as to the making of this film which I'll share with you later in the week. Stay tuned in.