Richard Dreyfuss saw the Jaws Broadway show, called it pretty awful

The Shark Is Broken is a play running on Broadway right now. It’s a fictional account of what the three main stars of Jaws (1975) got up to between takes during filming. Those three main stars are Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss, and Robert Shaw, whose son Ian Shaw co-wrote the show and plays the character of his father. Well, Richard Dreyfuss went to see the play, posed and smiled for pictures with the cast afterwards, and is now bemoaning how awful it is. He just doesn’t understand why they chose to make his character a “fool” and a “jerk.” Plus he has a totally solid explanation for why it may have appeared that he and Robert Shaw were feuding on the original film set:

Dreyfuss, who played marine biologist Matt Hooper in the 1975 thriller, said in a Thursday story by Vanity Fair that he attended the comedy-drama “to see if it really was gonna hurt” — before confirming just that.

The Oscar winner complained that “The Shark Is Broken” portrayed a feud between himself and fellow actor Robert Shaw, who played shark hunter Quint in the film. Dreyfuss said their real-life friendship never hit rough waters, adding that they’d just make lighthearted jabs at one another “to make the hours go better, faster.”

“If you only saw us on the set, then you might think that there was something — a feud that was going on — but it was never real,” said Dreyfuss, suggesting that Spielberg and co-screenwriter Carl Gottlieb had spread rumors of a conflict.

Dreyfuss was also not happy that the play showed him as a “fool.”

“They didn’t do that to Roy, and they didn’t do that to Robert. And that hurt because it wasn’t true,” Dreyfuss said, referring to Roy Scheider, another “Jaws” star.

“It was pretty awful,” Dreyfuss said about seeing the play, adding that he had not been contacted for his perspective during the writing of “The Shark Is Broken.”

“They just decided to make my character a big jerk,” he said.

[From HuffPost]

Ah, so it only looked like a feud if you were… watching and listening to them. This is like the Emperor’s New Clothes of explanations. I’m embarrassed to say that I don’t know more about Robert Shaw’s work, but I’ve been a lifelong lover of Roy Scheider ever since I first saw him in All That Jazz (probably when I was too young to see that film). So Dick, you know why they didn’t make Roy look like a jerk? Because he wasn’t one!!! Turns out, it IS possible to be a really really good actor, without also being a schmuck. Richard Dreyfuss is just a sad, sorry case study, because he was a great actor. But his resume over the last 15 years has included suing his father for a loan made in the 80s, being credibly accused of sexual misconduct on a set in 1984, and lamenting that he no longer has the option to perform in blackface. If you don’t see what’s jerky about that, Richard, then you’re gonna need a bigger mirror.

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