Paul Koslo once had a nerve-wracking encounter with the world’s biggest Western star, John Wayne.
In 1975, the Canadian actor starred alongside The Duke in Rooster Cogburn. At the time, Koslo was only 19 and still relatively green in the industry. So working with the Hollywood legend was a bit stressful.
During an installment of World on Westerns, Paul Koslo shared his experiences with John Wayne, including a time where he nearly stepped on Wayne’s lines.
As the story goes, Wayne had a short 15 line monologue. And once he was finished, Koslo was supposed to respond. And as they were filming, Wayne said his part. But when it was Koslo’s turn, he froze.
“The director said ‘Paul, why didn’t you say your lines?'” the actor remembered. “And I said, ‘well, because I didn’t wanna cut him off because he hadn’t said all of his lines yet.'”
Hearing the conversation, John Wayne jumped in saying, “who’s gonna? Nobody’s gonna cut me off. I can say whatever I want, you got it, kid?”
Of course, the interaction made Koslo nervous, and the only response he could muster was, “okay, sir.”
However, the actor admitted that the Western icon wasn’t as intimidating as the story made him sound. Koslo shared that as long as his co-stars worked hard, Wayne was always their biggest supporter.
“My impression of him was that if you did your stuff, and you were right on top of it, he was your best buddy. But if you were like a slacker, or you weren’t prepared, he could get on your case.”
John Wayne Once Feuded With Katherine Hepburn
“I mean, Kate and him, they were always like this,” said Koslo, while punching his fists together.
According to Koslo, politics were behind the fight. Hepburn was a democrat and Wayne was a republican.
“It seemed like… in a fun way. I don’t know if it was for real,” he admitted. “You know, she would be sitting on the hood of a truck going like a hundred feet down to the set where they were shooting, and how Wallis was having heart attacks. She was really a daredevil, and she was full of piss and vinegar.”
The actor also noted that he didn’t get to spend much time with the actress, so he couldn’t get a proper gauge on the so-called feud. Almost all his time was spent with The Duke.
The only interaction Koslo had with Hepburn was while shooting an intense scene where they were “moving this nitroglycerin to another location because we were going to rob the U.S. Treasury with it, and [John Wayne’s] about to ambush us.”
And that happened right before Paul Koslo nearly stepped on John Wayne’s lines.