Pop quiz: When is a run-of-the-mill heist flick not a run-of-the-mill heist flick? When said movie teams Marlon Brando and Robert De Niro for the first time. Still, Frank Oz — who directed the acting legends in The Score (opening Friday) — admits that he tried not to let the unprecedented casting coup distract him from his work.
"As the director, if you're looking at them saying, 'Oh, this is historic,' you're totally [expletive]," the filmmaker tells TV Guide Online. "Of course, I had a historical sense of the movie when we cast it. But when I actually got on the floor, I couldn't think that way because my job is to help them bring that scene alive. I had to say, 'Let's make this scene work.' Those are my blinders."
On the other hand, Time magazine reported this week that Brando took a diva turn when filming The Score, and refused to appear on the set if Oz was present — forcing De Niro to serve as substitute director for a few scenes.Oz — best known for voicing such Muppet staples as Miss Piggy and Fozzie Bear, as well as helming such pics as Little Shop of Horrors and Bowfinger — admits that, "With Marlon, you don't direct." But he put a much more positive spin on the actor's behavior, adding, "These actors don't act, they just are the characters. They don't compete, they innately know and play catch with each other. It's very Zen."