Colleagues recall working with Michael Douglas

Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Milos Forman, Kathleen Turner and others share thoughts on the actor-producer.

Milos Forman
Director, "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest"

"Working with Michael on 'Cuckoo' was a wonderful experience. It was sometimes volatile -- because he's stubborn and I am stubborn and sometimes we clashed -- but it was always something which wasn't personal. It was always for the work. Michael is very intelligent. He's somebody who can balance business and emotion. Every day the atmosphere on the set was, 'Don't take your job too seriously. Just do it.' It's wonderful when you don't have to worry you will bruise someone's ego because he doesn't have a sense of humor. Any time he wants me to direct anything, I'm ready to go."

Brian Koppelman and David Levien
Directors, "Solitary Man"

Koppelman: "Michael reaffirms that there's still honor in Hollywood. We sat with him over dinner and he shook our hand and said, 'I'll be in your movie.' And, despite the difficulties of raising money and putting a film together, the one thing that was unwavering was that that one handshake stuck. He said, 'I'll shoot it in September' and in September, there was Michael standing on set. That's an old-fashioned sort of a construct, the notion that a man's handshake is actually his bond. And, with Michael it is."

Levien: "He's super professional and a great ally. It helps that he's also a great producer. He doesn't just stand in front as the character saying his lines. He really has so much involvement. Michael brought an attitude of total professionalism and light humor that made it work. He puts everybody at ease."

Kathleen Turner
Co-star, "Romancing the Stone," "Jewel of the Nile," "War of the Roses"

"Michael's a man of extraordinary energy and great ambition. When Michael sets his mind on something, baby, you just go with it. He's also supportive. For 'Jewel of the Nile,' we were in Morocco and some of the conditions were awfully tough on the edge of the Sahara in June. One day, he sent one of our planes serving the film to the coast and loaded it up with seafood, delicacies and champagne and brought it back to us. He gave the whole company this amazing lobster feast. It was great timing. We really needed a touch of luxury."

Paul Verhoeven
Director, "Basic Instinct"

"If you look at 'Basic Instinct,' you see Sharon Stone's excellent performance, but few people realize that has a lot to do with the support and even confrontational attitude Michael used to get Sharon to the point where she was in the movie. He challenged Sharon to reach the highest possibilities of her talent. A lot of actors don't think that far but Michael, being a producer, realizes that the performance of the other actor is as important as his own and he can only excel when the other person is good."

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