True Grit star John Wayne was so infuriated by Robert Duvall he threatened to punch him
John Wayne with Glen Campbell in True Grit (Image: GETTY)Hoffman has previously shared how Duvall ended up incorporating his real-life anger into his performances. The True Grit actor would pick out an audience member he pretended to hate and then shouting ‘f*** you!’ when he left the stage following a curtain call.As a method actor, he became frustrated when Wayne and True Grit director Henry Hathaway’s plans for his character didn’t match up with his. As a result, confrontations on set became commonplace.He said in 2015: “The director and I didn’t get along — I don’t get along with a lot of directors.” And on another occasion, added: “Henry Hathaway… we won’t talk about him.”
Duvall became irritated by Hathaway’s dictatorial and aggressive directing style, with the actor remembering: “He’d say, ‘When I say, ‘Action! Tense up, Goddam you.’ It’s hard to work under that as a young actor.”
As a result, the pair would have fierce arguments which eventually were interjected by Wayne himself. True Grit was Duke’s passion project after all and the Western legend ended up fighting with Duvall himself to the point where he threatened to punch him if he didn’t stop arguing with Hathaway. The Lucky Ned Pepper star may never have gotten over his feuding with Hathaway, but would speak highly of Wayne despite this altercation.
Despite winning Best Actor for True Grit, Wayne wasn’t happy with his performance as Rooster Cogburn and later called the award “beginner’s luck”.
Yet Duvall admitted: “Wayne wasn’t as bad as some supposedly serious actors I’ve seen who trained at the Actors Studio and all that… Wayne was interesting to be around. He was pleasant and outgoing.”