‘Joe Kidd’ Star Paul Koslo Called Robert Duvall a Class Clown on Set

by Chase Thomas

When you think of Robert Duvall, the first thing that comes to mind might be The Godfather. With such an iconic role as Tom Hagen was, it’s hard to look past folks sometimes and separate the character from the person. Duvall is a good example of that. What we mean by that, Outsiders is that according to Joe Kid star Paul Koslo, Robert Duvall was a class clown set.

In an interview in 2017, Koslo said “Bobby’s a real cutup.”In the interview, Koslo wonders aloud if anyone else had the privilege of working with the iconic actor. He then proceeds to tell the story of a hilarious fart let off by Duvall on set. It still cracks Koslo up today. The reaction even surprised Duvall at the time as Koslo tells it with him joking with folks about the impact of the passing of gas.

Robert Duvall in ‘The Godfather’

As mentioned above, Duvall was a star. in the big-time trilogy The Godfather. It was the most iconic role he ever played. His character was so interesting and important in the first two installments.

Duvall told NPR, “A third of the way through [the original] Godfather, I said, ‘This is going to be pretty important.’ I gained a lot of respect for Coppola because they had a standby director on the set whose best friend was the first assistant director under the auspices of the studio in case Coppola failed — [because they planned to] fire him. And I gained a lot of respect for Coppola for working under those conditions. I can remember when the film was finished and we had a party, and there was a wonderful buzz and a wonderful feeling around the whole film.”

Character Development

Duvall revealed he respected Coppola, who directed the film, a lot. It was a tough situation for the director to be in but he handled it well.

He told GQ of the character, “My friend Louis Concertina lived in East Harlem, where Carmine Tramunti was one of the five families in Manhattan. He talked about this one guy who used to go around and hold his chair for him, light his cigarette for him, get food for him. Like a gopher. Like the secret service. And I said, “Yeah, I’m in the position of a gopher, but you better not—anybody—make light of that.” So that’s kind of what I was, like a professional gopher to Brando.”

How interesting is that, Outsiders? This is where Duvall learned the part and how to do it right. His character was like the secret service and extremely important on the outside. He’s also got to be on the outside watching, like ‘gopher’. However, that worked especially next o a legend like Marlon Brando in The Godfather.