Steve McQueen’s ‘Bullitt’ Co-Star Reveals What It Was Like Working With Him on the Iconic Film

by Matthew Wilson

For a time, Steve McQueen was one of the biggest names of his generation. The actor always played cool and confident characters with a hint of a bad boy flair. One of his classic films “Bullitt” cast McQueen as a lone wolf cop fighting crime.

In a recent interview with Fox News, one of McQueen’s co-stars Jacqueline Bisset remembered the actor and their time together on set.

“I remember my first impression of Steve McQueen was that he’s terribly handsome,” Bisset told the outlet. “We read together and it was quite straightforward. I’m sure there were many others testing for the role. I remember hair and makeup. It was very uneventful.”

McQueen wasn’t quite who Bisset imagined. For one, the actor didn’t act like he was one of the biggest names in Hollywood. Instead, McQueen was often quiet and reserved toward his co-stars. He just seemed like a normal guy to Bisset. In fact, McQueen often hid whenever he went eating in public with the cast. He didn’t want to be recognized.

“I learned that Steve was quiet, charming, and thoughtful,” Bisset said. “I wouldn’t say shy exactly, but not introverted either, I just felt he was a normal guy. He treated me like a normal woman and it was pleasant. I was really just worried about the work because one wants to be good and one wants to get it right.” 

Steve McQueen

One thing Bisset didn’t look forward to was driving McQueen herself. After all, McQueen made a name for himself with his own driving skills. The actor felt comfortable behind the wheel and often drove fast. So, Bisset didn’t want to disappoint.

“I knew I was going to have to drive Steve myself, I was nervous about that because I knew he loved driving and I couldn’t stop thinking about it,” Bisset said. “I thought, ‘For God’s sake, you’ve got to keep calm.’ We were actually out there on the freeway and people were spotting us as we drove. He had his eyes closed most of the time. I don’t think he was relaxed at all when I was driving him. But I remember watching the other people drive. I was astounded that a car could do what those cars did on the streets and those hills.”

Fortunately, McQueen told Bisset she wasn’t quite as bad of a driver as she initially thought. But Bisset admitted the two didn’t end up interacting too much on set. For instance, McQueen often seemed hyperactive during production.

“I didn’t get to know Steve very well. He’d come rushing up to me and throw some drive talk to me which I didn’t understand because I didn’t know the lingo,” Bisset said. “I had no idea what he was talking about. I would just nod and he’d be gone again. He’d rush off. He was hyper. And he obviously was proud of this project and he liked the people he was working with. But he was great. He was charming, attentive, and helpful. And he had a lot of patience.”