Next day we were back in Italy, shooting somewhere around Anzio, on some rocky terrain that looked like a moonscape. Scene was, we land in a helicopter on the slope of a hill and I get out to reconnoiter an encampment of bad guys on the other side.
I jumped down and was ducking toward camera under the blades when Malatesta cut the scene.
“Don’t crouch,” he told me. “A hero is not crouching. You walk out standing straight.”
“Everyone ducks under the blades getting out of a helicopter,” I pointed out. “Generals. Presidents. Everyone.”
“Not you. We shoot it again.”
The copter was parked at an angle, the blades spinning closer to the ground on the side I had to exit from. I didn’t think there was clearance. I looked at the director, who was my height, around six feet. “Okay, Guido, you do it first.”
He threw up his hands. “Okay, for the brave American actor, we gonna measure it.”
The pilot shut the engine down and I went to stand under the blades. Well, beside them actually, because they were level with my eyebrows. So all I would have lost was the top of my head.
Excerpt from the author's autobiography, FLASHBACKS arthansl.com