John Wayne’s best-ever acting advice was blasted at Duke in foul-mouthed rant during WW2
Wayne recalled: “What [my fans] come to expect of me, I try to be on the screen. I remember when I was a young man and we were making a picture in which Harry Carey was playing my father. It was Shepherd of the Hills. We’re talking about pictures and I was imbued with the idea that I wanted to play every kind of part. And I was explaining all this to the – what were then – kids and are now matured and half of them dead. But at least at that time, they were very young in the business and I saw Ali Carey, that’s Harry Carey’s wife, sitting over there. And they love men and had been very nice to me. When all these people left, she said, ‘You’re a big jerk.’ [Well actually] she didn’t say jerk because it was the language of a truck driver.”
The Shepherd of the Hills poster (Image: GETTY)
Wayne continued: “I said, ‘What’s the matter?’ Harry Carey had just walked into the room and stood [with his hand on his other arm]. She said, ‘Would you like to see Harry Carey different?’ And I said, ‘No, of course not.’ And she said, ‘Well why don’t you wise up? The American people have taken you to their hearts and they expect a certain thing out of you. Don’t disappoint them!’ And I think that’s the best advice I was given in my life!”
Duke also confessed that he would occasionally watch some of his old movies, but found them annoying.
He added: “Occasionally. When there’s a real old movie like Wake of the Red Witch on the other night. I looked at that until I fell asleep. It’s kind of irritating to see. I was a good-looking 40-year-old man and suddenly I can look over here and there’s this 71-year-old. You kind of think, ‘God it was pretty wonderful then.’”