William Daniels The Actor

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Mr. Braddock, The Graduate

Film, 1967

I played the father of Dustin Hoffman's character. I was friends with Buck Henry, who wrote the screenplay. They wanted me to play the hotel clerk. I said no, so they suggested Dustin's father. That was a stretch because I was barely ten years older than Dustin. But that was my part. I don't think anyone who worked on that picture had any notion of how important it was to become. I remember Dustin, then a complete unknown, complaining to me that I was making more money than he was. I offered to switch parts.

The shooting went along very pleasantly for me. Nichols didn't do much prompting and let me do my own thing. For me he always remained the famous comedian of Nichols and May. I remember standing next to him at the pool of the Braddock house while he considered how he was going to film the next scene. He became aware of me standing next to him. "What?" he asked. I said, "I'm just curious as to how you're going to shoot this scene in the pool." Nichols turned to his assistant director and said, "Why is he attacking me?"