By People staff. This article originally appeared in People magazine on January 18, 1999. Copyright Time Inc.
Shooting the World War II drama The Thin Red Line, director Terrence Malick's first film in 20 years, was a battle of wills for Nick Nolte. "I shot a scene with John Cusack maybe 10 times," says Nolte, 57, who plays Lieutenant Colonel Tall. "I said, 'Terry, I think we have it.' He said, 'Wait, didn't you tell me you once did 75 takes for James L. Brooks?' We ended up shooting that scene with me and John for the rest of the day. It went from a scripted-dialogue scene to me making up dialogue to total silence to John making up dialogue to Terry shouting dialogue at us during pauses."
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