For years, rumors have swirled that the steamy sex scene between Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland in the 1973 film “Don’t Look Now” was in fact real and the couple were having sex on set.
But Sutherland, 82, pooh-poohed the theory at the New York premiere of his latest film, “The Leisure Seeker.”
“They’re idiots,” the Canadian-born actor exclaimed when asked about people who believe he was actually making love to Christie.
“There were two cameramen in there,” he explained. “The takes were 15 seconds long, maximum. ‘All right, Julie, hold your head, OK, turn your heard a little to the side, OK, Donald, all right Julie, (climax).’”
As Sutherland listed the directorial instructions, he made a mechanical sex sound to enhance the story.
The veteran actor added that he adored the scene because it “reminded you of making love.”
Christie also has fond memories of it, telling a documentary on director Nicolas Roeg that the filmmaker “managed to get the extraordinary thing that happens when you are making love” and “I loved the squirming bits and all those things you don’t see.”
In “The Leisure Seeker,” Sutherland and Helen Mirren play a married couple who embark on a road trip before his Alzheimer’s and her cancer can catch up with them.
Sutherland admitted that like a lot of others his age, he worries about memory loss.
He was not long in New York, flying off the next day to London to continue working on “Trust,” a miniseries directed by Danny Boyle in which Sutherland plays the tycoon John Paul Getty.
Getty is also the subject of Ridley Scott’s latest film, “All the Money in the World,” starring Christopher Plummer as the billionaire who refused to pay the ransom for his kidnapped grandson.
Sutherland doesn’t view the billionaire as a villainous character but someone who had to deal with family members who had drug problems.
“Trust,” which premieres in March, also stars Michael Esper and Hilary Swank.
With Nicki Gostin