9 Times Method Actors Actually Forgot Who They Really Were

9. Gene Hackman Started Restraining Perps Preparing For The French Connection

The French Connection
20th Century Fox

New York crime drama The French Connection was the breakthrough film for lead actor Gene Hackman, and not just because of his decision to wear that boss pork pie hat. Together, director William Friedkin and Hackman aimed for a diehard realism, with the Frieds shooting fast-and-loose and Hackman driving the vehicle himself during the apparently quite dangerous car chase.

Friedkin hired retired police officers Eddie Egan and Sonny Grosso as consultants for the movie, keeping them around on-set for advice, and also because their general cop-ness ensured no one would give the guerilla production any jib. Hackman used Egan as inspiration for Popeye Doyle, while he and co-star Roy Scheider spending a month on patrol with Egan and Grosso to get a feel for the life.

After some time spent observing Egan and getting into character, a furious Hackman eventually found himself alongside the officers, restraining a suspect - illegally - and forcing him into a police car. By the time he'd snapped out of his Doyle-like rage, Hackman worried that he'd be sued for impersonating a policeman.


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