Mel Gibson, Brian Grazer and 32 Top Producers on Oscar Ceremony Mistakes, Pleas to Presenters (Video)
"The Godfather's" Albert S. Ruddy tells THR he begged Clint Eastwood to lie when he opened the envelope while Jason Reitman reveals the struggles of having his father serve as producer: "I wanted to be like, 'Shut up dad!' "
It's never an ordinary day when 34 Oscar legends are involved.
As part of its oversized Oscars issue, The Hollywood Reporter gathered 34 producers of Oscar-winning and -nominated films from over the years. Heavyweights including Quincy Jones (The Color Purple) Fred Roos (The Godfather Part II), Michael Phillips (The Sting) and Mel Gibson (Braveheart) were among those who gathered at Robert Evans’ (Chinatown) estate in Beverly Hills for a once-in-a-lifetime class photo.
Brian Grazer revealed that Gibson -- on the set of their 1996 thriller Ransom -- was the one to inform the producer of his nomination for Apollo 13. At the ceremony, Grazer admits he put the cart before the horse.
"I actually stood to accept the award, and instead they said Braveheart," Grazer recalls with a laugh.
Albert S. Ruddy (The Godfather, Million Dollar Baby) says Clint Eastwood was the presenter the year Godfather won. He jokingly reminded Eastwood when he read the winner, the actor would be the only one who knew what was inside the envelope.
"If it's not me, tear it up and swallow it and say, 'Al Ruddy, The Godfather,' " Ruddy recalls telling Eastwood. "I was so stunned when I got it."
Jason Reitman says having his father, Ivan Reitman, as a producer created an interesting dynamic. The elder Reitman told his son an early draft of Up in the Air was a "plotless screenplay."
"It's a very tricky line when your father is your producer, and he has to find that moment of when is he being your father and when is he being your producer," says Jason Reitman. "As my dad, I wanted to be like, 'Shut up dad! You don't know what you're talking about.' But as my producer, I had to listen [to him]."
The photo shoot was coordinated by THR deputy photo editor Carrie Smith, senior editor Stacey Wilson and awards analyst Scott Feinberg. They were photographed by Joe Pugliese. See exclusive photos form the shoot here.
The producers photo shoot was one of three ambitious gatherings staged for THR's Oscars issue, including a reunion of 12 Years a Slave protagonist Solomon Northup's descendants, and a look at the child actors of Slumdog Millionaire five years after their best picture win.