Adam and Kubrick

2013 interview with Ken Adam on his decades-long relationship with Stanley Kubrick. On the Dr. Strangelove War Room set:

“We had big rows because on other films I’d been used to telling the director where to do his establishing shot from. But Stanley said the hell with you I’m not putting my camera there — and you’ll thank me in the end.”

The war room is an acknowledged classic of movie design and Sir Ken can’t resist quoting the biggest compliment he ever received.

“I was in the States giving a lecture to the Directors Guild when Steven Spielberg came up to me. He said ‘Ken, that War Room set for Strangelove is the best set you ever designed’. Five minutes later he came back and said ‘No it’s the best set that’s ever been designed’.”

On Kubrick’s uncredited contribution to Adam’s work on the Bond franchise:

In 1977, designing the Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me, Sir Ken had built a vast set at Pinewood studios. It included a supertanker which was proving hard to light.

“So I called Stanley up and asked him down to Pinewood to give me ideas. At first he said I was out of my mind but eventually he agreed to come on a Sunday when only security were around.

“He spent three or four hours with me telling me how he would light the stage. And of course the whole thing being in secret appealed to Stanley’s sense of drama. But I knew we would never work together again. And Stanley didn’t ask — he’d been so scared when he saw what happened to me half way through Barry Lyndon.”

Friday, 11 March 2016