Susan George reveals to Total Film how she got the part – and a glimpse of Peckinpah’s pecker…
Following an exhausting round of screen tests, interviews and “testy” meetings with Peckinpah, Hoffman and the producers, 20-year-old Susan George felt she’d given everything, but never dared believe she’d snagged the role of her career.
As the shoot neared, she was summoned to Peckinpah’s office for the good or bad news. His secretary was engaged in a difficult phone call, and she waved George away.
“I noticed that the door to Peckinpah’s office was slightly ajar, so I edged it open to see who was in there and if I was expected. There was Dustin Hoffman, Daniel Melnick and Sam Peckinpah, engaged in a heated argument – raised voices, arms waving. I stood there for a while, but they didn’t seem to notice me. So I started to back out of the room. As I did, I dropped my eyeline and saw they all had their trousers round their ankles and were, well, showing everything from the waist down. Then there was a roar of laughter and then Peckinpah looked at me and said: ‘Welcome aboard, Amy’.
“It had all been an elaborate joke and as they were laughing I realised I’d got the part – they’d hardly have gone through something like that if they were going to give me bad news.”