I recently interviewed actor Edmund Purdom in Rome. Here is the Q&A on LAFAYETTE.
In 1961, you played Silas Deane (a hero of the American Revolution) opposite Orson Welles as a hefty Benjamin Franklin in Lafayette. What are your recollections of working with Welles during his European nomad phase?
Edmund Purdom: All of my scenes, which were quite substantial, I shot with Orson Welles at a studio in Nice. I think I worked with nobody else in Lafayette. When I was finished, I went straight off to Yugoslavia and started a movie there (Suleiman the Conqueror). Then it was decided to add one more scene to Lafayette. So they shot Welles in single shots and still had to pick me up and cut me in to make it like a two-shot. Which they did, eventually, after many arguments and after I insisted that they pay me beforehand, because I didn’t trust them. They came and shot me in a mock-up set in Belgrade, where I was working. And they did a very good job on this added scene.
I found Welles to be a charming man. I had absolutely nothing to do with him off the set. He was a mystery to me. Welles was very courteous and professional. We played our scenes together, said our lines at one another — and that was that.