Keitel spent weeks working with a pimp from his neighborhood to tell his “Taxi Driver” function.
“We spent two weeks working within the basement of Actors Studio. He taught me dance with the woman. First I performed the woman and he was the man, after which we switched roles. He taught me be a pimp. At one level he says, ‘Oh, and you like the woman.’ I mentioned: ‘Yeah however you do not actually love her.’ He mentioned: ‘No, you like her.’ He repeated it a number of occasions. I nonetheless get the chills right now remembering it. And he had some extent.”
This improv was so profitable that it might inform Keitel’s strongest scene — his sluggish dance with Jodie Foster, who performs the younger intercourse employee Iris. “I confirmed the improvisation scenes to Marty and Paul Schrader and so they integrated them into the script,” Keitel revealed.
This wasn’t the one factor that Keitel delivered to the function himself; it was additionally his concept to put on lengthy hair and clunky equipment. Maybe this was to alienate the actor from the character or the character from his sufferer. Both approach, it was a profitable disguise — Keitel’s personal father did not acknowledge him when he visited the set.
Few actors are as unafraid as Keitel to dive into the psychology of the villainous characters they play. He knew that the easiest way to play a pimp was to really perceive one. The outcome was one of the unforgettable, bone-chilling performances in cinematic historical past.