Movie Questions

A question from Jessica:

I’ve recently taken on the endeavor of watching all of the films you’ve been in (that I can find) and I’m curious… When you look back over your career in film, television, stage and voice acting, what sticks out in your mind as being the “ultimate” role (ultimate meaning that it would be the one thing you would want to be remembered for)?

Thank you for your contribution to the performing arts through acting, directing, teaching, etc. 🙂

Hi Jessica-
Oh my! What a task you’ve set for yourself… I don’t envy you. As for an “ultimate” role… after so many years in the ‘biz’, I find that an impossible question to answer… sorry… you’ll have to do that for me.

All the best-
rené a.

Posted here August 29, 2013

A question from Helena:

Thank you René for all your wonderful work.

As an actor and a father, what are your opinions regarding the film rating system in the US? Perhaps they are important “meters of morality” as some like to call them. Maybe art is being stifled when a group of chosen people decides the fate of a film’s audience or even its distribution. Thoughts?

Dear Helena-
I agree… I think any “rating system” is prone to abuses of freedom of expression. People should be able to make their own decisions in this regard.

Thanks for your kind words.
All the best-
rené a.

Posted here January 11, 2009

A question from Eric:

I remember a movie or TV show in which you played The Mule from the Foundation story by Isaac Asimov. Am I remembering correctly or am I hallucinating? If you did play this role, what was the name of the movie and when was it released? Is it available on DVD? If I am mistaken about this, I want you to know that I think you would be great in that role.

Dear Eric-
Hmmm… sorry, but I think you’re “hallucinating”. Admittedly, I’ve reached the point in my looong career at which I can’t recall every role I’ve ever played… still, I’m pretty sure The Mule isn’t one of those.

Thanks for your kind words.
rené a.

Posted here January 11, 2009

A question from Alex from Germany:

Hi René,
I can see that many people love you because of DS9 or Boston Legal or your other great movies…except of M*A*S*H! Maybe I am blind but I can’t see any comments about your great role of “Dago Red”. So therefore I want to say, that your performance of Dago Red was really good. I really love M*A*S*H and I am sad, that you haven’t continued your work in the series. I want to know why you haven’t played Father Mulcahy in the series. Don’t get me wrong, I love William Christophers performance, but I really want to know: “How would a René Auberjonois – Mulcahy role in the series look like?” I think it would have worked great. So I hope that your work in the M*A*S*H Movie touched and influenced you and maybe you can tell me, how your feelings were, at this time.

Dear Alex-
Doing the film of M*A*S*H was one of the most important stepping stones in my long career. I went on to work with the director Robert Altman in a number of other films. He was a real mentor.

When the series was being cast I chose not to repeat the role. I thought that William Christopher was excellent… but, had I chosen to do that part, it most likely would have been all I ever got to do as an actor… that didn’t appeal to me. I’ve never regretted that choice.

Thanks for your message-
All the best-
rené a.

Posted here January 11, 2009

A question from Elaine:

Dear Rene:
The movies The Eyes of Laura Mars and Police Academy 5 are now ten to thirty years old. Is there possiblities of any remakes of them? And will you reprise your roles in them? They are some of my favorites!!!!

The Eyes of Laura Mars is the movie that introduced you to me. I was only 12 years old, then. And I’ve been your #1 long time faithful fan ever since.

By the way, I look forward to seeing you on Boston Legal again. It’s not the same without you. Tell David Kelly to put in as a regular judge instead. You were an excellent judge in Judging Amy and The Practice.

Thank you so much for being the actor that you are! All the best wishes to you and your career.

Dear Elaine-
How nice of you to write… thanks for all your kind and supportive comments. What a range? Eyes of Laura Mars to Police Academy???

I’ve been doing this for a looong time.

Thanks for recalling some of the work.
All the best –
rené a.

Answered July, 2008 (Posted here January 11, 2009)

A question from Alex:

Dear Mr. Auberjonois,
I just watched the episode of DS9 titled “Looking for Par’mach in all the Wrong Places” from season 5. I really like the relationship between Odo and Quark. It’s funny.

P.S. I have a question about one of your other movies: Does Snide and Prejudice have anything to do with Pride and Prejudice?? I haven’t seen it, but if it is like Pride and Prejudice, I WILL see it.

Dear Alex-
One of my favorite parts of working on DS9 was working with Armin Shimerman as Quark. We both enjoyed the relationship and the collaboration.

As for Snide and Prejudice, it has nothing to do with Pride and Prejudice… it’s simply a play on words. It is, in fact, a darkly humorous meditation on the rise and fall of Hitler.

All the best-
rené a.

Posted here July 1, 2007

A question from Chris:

Hi René,
I’ve got a few questions about King Kong. I know that some of that was filmed on location in Hawaii. But I’m not sure about some things. what about closeups of the wall and gate? Was that built on location, or was it a set built in Hollywood? And when your characters go running out by the sacrifice altar, after Dwan is taken, are you running out into, in reality, what is an indoor set, or an actual outside set on location, or in Hollywood? I know that the scenes that Kong is in, in and around the wall, is an indoor set, but what about scenes with just the actors on top of the wall, or inside or outside the wall or gate? Where were those scenes shot at? And…have you seen the 2005 King Kong? Personally I thought the gate pounding scene was much more exciting in the version you were in than in the 2005 version…Thank You! Good luck!

Hi Chris-
To answer your questions regarding the filming of Kong:

“What about closeups of the wall and gate? Was that built on location, or was it a set built in Hollywood?”

We shot all that in the back lot at M.G.M. in Culver City.

“And when your characters go running out by the sacrifice altar…”

Still the back lot.

“…what about scenes with just the actors on top of the wall, or inside or outside the wall or gate? Where were those sceens shot at?”

Back lot.

“And…have you seen the 2005 King Kong? … I thought the gate pounding scene was much more exciting in the version you were in…”

I haven’t seen the ’76 version in years. I loved the 2005 version.

Thanks for your interest-
rené a.

Posted here November 1, 2006

A question from Maureen:

When I was a kid I saw the movie The Birdmen…my mother and I loved it and have been trying to find it ever since. Do you have any inside information…will it ever be released..or do you know where i can get a copy? I would love to know…it was just such a cool movie. Thank you.

Dear Maureen-
I have no idea if it will ever be released again… I’m sorry to say I have no inside information to offer. I’m delighted that you remember it. If you find out anything… pass it along?

rené a.

Posted here November 1, 2006

A question from Mr. Johnston:

This will seem a curious request, but we are planning to celebrate the 75th anniversary of The Holden Arboretum next year and I am trying to convince the powers to be to do something with The Dark Secret of Harvest Home which was partially filmed here.

I wondered if you had any recollections of the filming or if you could put us on the track of where we might get a decent copy of the film in case I can convince them to show it as part of the year long celebration.

Dear Mr. Johnston-
I have very clear recollections of filming Harvest Home. As for hunting down a good print of the film, I’m afraid your guess is as good as mine. The words “Google it!” come to mind. That’s where I’d start.
Good luck!

All the best-
rené a.

Posted here January 17, 2006

A question from Raymond:

Hi René,
I’m not sure if you actually read these messages, but the articles posted on this website say you do, so I just give it a try 🙂

Yes, i’m a big fan, of startrek and in particular DS9, but i’ll leave all that to the other people 😉

I was wondering about one thing actualy: I recently saw an old Police Academy movie, with you, or at least, I think it was you, playing the bad guy. Here in Holland, they usually don’t show the end-credits, so I couldn’t verify who it was. Could you enlighten me?

Dear Raymond-
Yes, I have to admit, that was me in Police Academy. I had a lot of fun doing it, but I wouldn’t want it to be mentioned in my obituary! (o;

All the best-
rené a.

Posted here August 22, 2005

A question from Chris:

Dear René,
I used to watch you on DS9 all the time as it is one of my all time favorite shows. However, I recently watched Where the Buffalo Roam, and unbeknownst to me before, saw to my delight that you played a role. I wanted to know how close you got to Dr. Thompson and what it was like working with him. Also, congratulations on your many large and small screen accomplishments.

Dear Chris-
I met Hunter Thompson only briefly while shooting my small role in that film. I have always admired his work and I think the film was a lot better than the critics gave it credit for.

All the best-
rené a.

Posted here August 22, 2005

A question from David:

Dear Mr. Auberjonois,
I enjoyed your work as Odo in DS9, I always found him the most interesting character in that series. I also liked the noble preacher you played in The Patriot, and I was very amused by your voiceover for the skeleton in The Last Unicorn.

It’s actually The Last Unicorn that I am writing about. I understand that there is a live-action film in the works and you are reprising your role as the skeleton as well as taking the part of Captain Cully. My wife and I (she has been a fan of the story, since she was a little girl) are excited to see several of the voice actors from the old cartoon return to the live-action project.

Do you have any further information you can share about this project? Thank you.

Dear David-
Well, I keep hearing about The Last Unicorn project…from fans…but nary a word from the producers. Go figure!

Thanks for your kind words.
rené a.

Posted here August 22, 2005

A question from Christina:

A few years ago I went to the Air and Space Museum at the Smithsonian Institute and stumbled across the Enterprise model (which was in the basement gift shop). Any idea what happened to that other marvel of movie technology, The Big Bus? I’d love to see it! I really hope it hasn’t been compacted.

I’m sure it has been “compacted”. I’m not even sure it ever actually existed…other than as a model. Of course this was before CGI so we probably had some sort of “mock up”…but mostly we were just sitting on a set on a sound stage in Hollywood.

rené a.

Posted here August 22, 2005

A question from George:

Dear Mr. Auberjonois,
I have an odd question for you, but I just wondered if this ever happened to you. I was watching the film version of Fiddler on the Roof the other night, and I happened to notice that you bear a strong resemblance to the late actor Leonard Frey, the gentleman who played the tailor “Motel” in the story. Has anyone ever mistaken you for him, or asked you about the film and you had to tell them they had the wrong fellow?

Dear George-
Leonard and I were very good friends. We worked together in a TV film, Shirts and Skins, and on stage in Twelfth Night at Lincoln Center. We had the same agent. I was very fond of him, I admired his talent, and I miss him.

rené a.

Posted here April 12, 2005

A question from Talia Myres

Howdy René,

I know everyone’s been dying to know, so darn it, I’ll just go ahead and ask: When going to the movies, where do you suggest sitting to obtain the optimal movie-viewing experience?

1) The front row where you’re almost kissing the screen
2) Way back in the very last row, up high near the projector
3) Halfway up, in the middle seat, directly positioned in the center of the screen

I know I speak for the masses when I say that an insider’s opinion will be greatly appreciated in helping solve this age-old dilemma.

…are you being serious…do I really have time for this…? Just sit where ever the heck you want to. As for me…I sit at the back…but…who cares? (o;
best- rené

Posted here August 27, 2003

A question from Susanne

hi rené
i just want to say thanks for your visit at fedcon8 it was just great THANKS THANKS THANKS

my question is… i saw you a few weeks ago in m*a*s*h. how was it to work with the great robert altman?

i hope you visit the fedcon again.
p.s. i was the girl with the picture of the 19-year-old rené 🙂

Dear Susanne,
Yes, I remember you from FedCon. What a great convention!

I made four films with Robert Altman, a brilliant director and a good friend.

Thanks for your good wishes
René Auberjonois

Posted here November 22, 2000

A question from Shoshana

Mr. Auberjonios,
Did you like playing the part of Father Mulcahy in M*A*S*H, the movie?

Sincerely, Shoshana

Dear Shoshana-

M*A*S*H was the first ‘real’ part I had in a feature film. Getting to create the role of Father Mulcahey (Dago Red) was a delight. I couldn’t have asked for a better introduction to film-making.

Thanks for your interest
Best–René Auberjonois

Posted here February 2, 2000