‘Warrior’: Nick Nolte and Gavin O’Connor box over ‘experience’
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‘Warrior’ is a movie about a pair of tough-as-nails brothers (Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton) who climb into a mixed martial arts cage and thrash out their differences. In a recent conversation at The Times’ Envelope Screening Series, ‘Warrior’ director Gavin O’Connor and his live-wire star Nick Nolte, who plays the shaky patriarch of the pugilist clan, entered into a fracas of their own over the seemingly tame subject of ‘experience.’
‘Experience doesn’t lead to knowledge necessarily,’ said Nolte, 70, who has more than 80 film and TV roles under his belt. ‘It can lead to real bad habits.’
Nolte said he did once try to pull rank on O’Connor--who is more than 20 years his junior--over an issue that affected ‘Warrior’s’ opening weekend box office. ‘Gavin has laughed at me, once, when I said, ‘Well I’ve got experience. I know how these things go,’ ' Nolte said. ‘He literally laughed.... It was why we opened at 5 [million] instead of 10. Gavin said, ‘Don’t tell me that. I know far more than you because I’m listening every day. Do you talk to the head of the studio every day?’ ‘
O’Connor--who is Nolte’s Malibu neighbor and who wrote the ‘Warrior’ role with Nolte in mind-- immediately fired back: ‘You live in a cave at home like Osama bin Laden. You have no access to anything and you pretend like you know more than everybody else. It’s called narcissism.’
Nolte appeared to take the teasing in stride. ‘That’s acting, you know.... I didn’t take it personally, Gavin,’ he said.
To see the blow by blow, check out the video above.
-- Rebecca Keegan