Stanley Kubrick: Five legendary stories of the filmmaker 'with the black eyes'

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Everyone knows Kubrick was a notorious stickler for detail, but during the making of A Clockwork Orange he found himself with a very unusual problem to solve.

For a final sequence in the movie known as the “ascot fantasy,” a fair-haired young actress (Katya Wyeth) thrashes around naked on top of McDowell’s delinquent Alex while a crowd in formal Victorian dress applauds from the sidelines.

“Stanley came in and said, ‘Do you want to meet Katya?’” McDowell recalls, breaking into a Bronx accent for Kubrick’s voice. “I said, ‘I know her, Stanley. She’s the wife of a great friend of mine!’”

“Awkward” was the word McDowell used for that day of shooting. But before they got naked and sprawled in the fake snow, Kubrick and McDowell went to pay Wyeth a courtesy call to make sure all was well.

“So we go to the make-up trailer. It was all a bit embarrassing. He goes, ‘Okay, Katya, umm, can you drop the robe?’”

When the actress put out her cigarette and undid her covering, Kubrick’s black eyes narrowed.

“Stanley goes, ‘I thought you were a blonde.’” But it turns out, the hair on her head was just dyed.

“The make-up girl goes, ‘It’s alright, Stanley, I’ll fix it!’” McDowell recalls, breaking into a cockney accent and miming a small woman brushing hair coloring onto Wyeth’s nether regions.

“So she fixed it – and it went green!” McDowell says. “So … that was a bit of a hold-up for that day.”

NEXT PAGE: Kubrick trashed ‘Barry Lyndon’ star Ryan O’Neal’s ‘Paper Moon’

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