The July issue of Vanity Fair features an article on the rocky production of The V.I.P.s, written by a fellow named Kashner. Mainly styled as an account of the illicit affair and all-around indulgent behavior of its two main stars, there are also some brief sidebars on Welles that, if nothing else, offer a taste of how he was viewed by others during this period (late '62, early '63). There's also a brief quote of Welles' opinion of director Asquith, taken from This Is OW, which I've excluded.
The two remembrances of Welles come from Rod Taylor and the film's Hungarian assistant director Peter Medak (later a director himself), both presumably taken first-hand by the author. Nothing earth-shaking here, but for the benefit of those who didn't snap up the "It's Totally Raining Teens" issue of VF.....
"It was an ambitious year for Orson Welles: he was working on an adaptation of Crime and Punishment; he wanted to make a film of The King of Paris, about the life of Alexander Dumas pere; and he was planning on adapting Joseph Heller's Catch-22. Most important, he was still trying to produce Don Quixote, a project he'd started eight years earlier. In order to finance all of these, he had accepted the role of Max Buda [...] a self-important film director. Rod Taylor recalls Orson grumbling that he was appearing in the movie only because he 'couldn't get the f***in' funding for Don Quixote.' "
"The whole thing started with a wonderful sit-down dinner at [producer, Anatole] de Grunwald's very nice, big flat in Belgravia. . . Orson Welles was late, as usual, but almost everybody else was there. . . People were frightened of Welles, but being the stupid, brash brat that I was, I'd heard that he'd run out of production money on one film, so I said, 'Orson, how the f*** did you run out of money?' And he said, 'Come over here, sit down.' After that, we were the best of friends. People kind of stepped out of his way, [but] if you stood up to him, he just loved it.
"We were all in awe of Orson. He terrified everyone -- stomping around the set [...] with a cigar screwed into his mouth. He could walk then. He moved like a tank. People would jump out of his way. I was just a brat from Australia who couldn't believe I actually had a scene with Welles, whom I revered..."
"[David] Frost [...] was grateful for the opportunity to meet Welles and Burton, both of whom later became his friends and guests on The David Frost Show. 'Orson made it easy for me,' Frost recalls, 'because he was genuinely interested in satire.' "
"Welles liked people who could talk, and I remember Orson came up to me and said, 'You know, this kid [Frost] is a genius. Orson noticed that immediately.' "
"Welles, in Tyrolean hat, dropping cigar ash on his Astrakhan coat, probably styled his performance on producer Alexander Korda [copier's note: Welles demurred at this when the notion was put to him directly by Bogdanovich, allowing that it did have "a little Gaby Pascal in it."]. Curiously, Welles had, years earlier, written a lengthy screen treatment for Korda entitled V.I.P., a comic espionage story that was never made. But Welles took his Eastern European accent from assistant director Peter Medak."
"I was summoned up to his dressing room. It was huge, with three steps going up to the bathroom, so it really was like a kind of throne. And Orson was sitting there [...] smoking this huge cigar. And I sat myself down on the couch outside the bathroom, and all the cigar smoke came pouring out of this open door. He barked, 'Read me the lines,' and so I did. He kept copying my accent, then he would go down and do a take with Elsa Martinelli. And then Asquith would say, 'Cut.' And Orson's secretary, a very nervous English lady, would turn up with this prehistoric tape recorder, and in the midst of all this madness, Orson was writing the script of The Bible, which eventually John Huston made. I can still see him, walking around in this long coat, a scarf and hat on, pacing around with this thing, and rumbling, 'Well then, Jesus comes over the hill...' He was doing everything at once, in the middle of The V.I.P.s, in the middle of winter, in the middle of Borehamwood Studios."
Summation: This human tank, Orson Welles, stomped, rumbled, summoned, and barked, generally cowing all around him but for David Frost (and the bold Rod Taylor).