Let’s put it this way: The guy who made “2001: A Space Odyssey” didn’t make a habit of going around on a whim and asking other directors to explain how they made their movies. Stanley Kubrick practically invented the kinds of filmmaking techniques and approaches that countless others would go on to learn from, copy, and ultimately take for granted over the decades. So when someone like Ridley Scott has the chance to brag about how he managed to throw someone as accomplished as Kubrick for a loop, however briefly, we can hardly blame him for taking advantage of the moment.
According to Total Film, Scott reminisced about the very first time he ever spoke to Kubrick, who called him up to geek out about the famous chest-bursting sequence that spelled doom for poor Kane, played by John Hurt:
“The first time I talked to Kubrick was a week after ‘Alien’ came out. Somebody said, ‘Stanley Kubrick is on the line.’ I said, ‘Hello?’ ‘Hello. Stanley Kubrick here. How are you? I just saw ‘Alien.” Straight in. ‘How on earth did you get that thing coming out of his chest? Because I’ve got a print, and I’ve run it on the machine, and I can’t see the cut.’ So I said, ‘Well, I had John Hurt cut a hole in the table, lie in a horrible, awkward position, and I made a fiberglass shell …’ He said, ‘I got it, I got it, I got it. Brilliant.'”
That’s how you know you made it, folks. Forget any amount of awards or general acclaim. Something tells me that having someone of Kubrick’s stature call you up out of the blue and demand an explanation behind an all-time great special-effects scene is probably the height of validation.