John McTiernan reflects on working with the late Sean Connery during the filming of his 1990 Jack Ryan thriller The Hunt For Red October. The Hunt For Red October was the first of the Tom Clancy Jack Ryan novels to be adapted into a major Hollywood film. The story follows Ramius (Connery), a Soviet submarine captain, as he defies orders and heads right for the U.S. in a new undetectable sub, leaving Ryan (Alec Baldwin) and the CIA scrambling to determine his true intentions.
Connery was already a well-established actor by the time of The Hunt For Red October’s Release, having starred in the likes of six 007 films, A Bridge Too Far, The Untouchables, and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. The Hunt for Red October was a hit, earning mostly positive reviews from critics and taking in over $200 million at the worldwide box office. The film would ultimately mark the only time either Baldwin or Connery appeared in a Jack Ryan film, with the franchise rebooted only two years later with Harrison Ford in the starring role. Connery, of course, continued to have a successful acting career following the film’s release and passed away in 2020 at the age of 90.
In a new interview with The Empire Film Podcast, Red October director McTiernan reflects on his time filming with Connery, explaining that he was actually frightened by the actor at first due to his reputation for being difficult to work with. McTiernan reveals that those feelings quickly passed, however, calling Connery a “tremendous professional.” The director goes on to explain that Connery was interested in working with people who had new ideas and, given that McTiernan was shooting the film in a somewhat innovative way, the two “had a wonderful time” on set. Check out McTiernan’s full comment below:
While there are conflicting reports regarding whether the James Bond star was actually difficult to work with, McTiernan’s comment suggests that, so long as you weren’t a “fool,” Connery was a consummate professional. McTiernan’s experiences with Connery aren’t dissimilar to Michael Bay’s recollections of his own time on set with Connery for The Rock, with the director previously recalling feeling similarly intimidated. Like McTiernan, however, Bay looks back on his time with Connery fondly, explaining that, while the star was perhaps a little tough on the outside, he was also nothing but professional.
Although it’s easy to see how somebody who “doesn’t suffer fools” could develop a reputation for being somewhat difficult to work with, it would seem that Connery had respect for his work and the people who help bring it to life. The Hunt for Red October is one of the dozens of memorable roles that Connery took on over the course of his long and successful career. While Connery may not be around to make movies anymore, stories about the actor continue to provide new ways to appreciate his existing classics.
Source: The Empire Film Podcast