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(Casey Interview)

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An 'Interview' with Larry Casey of The Rat Patrol

On Location

In Spain

Do you have any impressions of your time in Spain that you would share? Did you enjoy working in a foreign country? Did you speak Spanish before you went?  If not, did you pick it up? 

L.C.  I took high school Spanish and was a poor language student.  I picked up enough Spanish while I was there so that I could understand most and make myself understood.

Did you have any difficulty adjusting to the differences there may have been?  Was the different culture more pleasure than nuisance?  Did you come away from Spain feeling enriched by the culture?

L.C.  It was a pleasure.  Almeria was like going back in time by a century.  We went into town by horse and carriage from the villa where we stayed during the duration of shooting.  We had no exposure to the outside world.  Telephones were difficult, television almost non-existent.

Gary Raymond said that the first house he rented in Spain wasn't exactly stellar. How were your accommodations in Spain? What were your first impressions of Almeria?

L.C.  My wife and I rented the first floor of a villa directly on the Mediterranean.  It was comfortable and had a large patio where you watched the fisherman draw in their nets in the early morning.  John Lennon rented the top floor of the villa while we were there.  He was in Almeria to make a film.  Ringo stayed with him for awhile.  The Spanish kids found out and they would serenade them until late in the night.  It was charming.  Clint Eastwood was also there for a time making his "Fist Full of Dollars" films.

What did you do in Spain when you had some free time - if you had free time?  Was there much in the way of entertainment in the community of Almeria?  Did you travel about at all? Did you ever visit North Africa?

L.C.  The experience of Almeria was wonderful.  We explored all of the neighbourhoods and drove all over the local area when we had time.  We shot six days a week so that there wasn't too much time to do any real travel.  We did make side trips to Granada to visit the Alhambra and we went to Gibraltar.

What do you remember about conditions in Spain?  Did you like the food?  Did it like you? Even before ozone depletion, the desert must have been a very sunny spot.  How did you keep from being sunburned?  What were the challenges in working in all that sun and sand?

L.C.  We had excellent food at the villa.  We had a Catalan cook who made meals for us and others.  Mostly fish.  When a ship would tie-up in the harbour our landlord would barter for beef and other items that were not readily available in Almeria.

 

If your wife is interested in giving us her view of Spain and little Almeria, we'd enjoy hearing her impressions of the people, the community, the conditions, the country.  The viewpoint of family can give a whole other perspective on the time and place. Was it easy or difficult, particularly with a small child, to adjust to living in a foreign country?

L.C.  It was more difficult for Katha.  I was out shooting all day and she was mostly by herself and Melissa.  Even though, she was as disappointed as I that we weren't going to return for the second season.

In the States

What were your thoughts when it was announced that the whole production was moving to the States?  Were you sorry to be leaving Spain or was it frankly a relief?

L.C.  After we finished shooting in Almeria we spent a week in Madrid and a week in London to do some sight-seeing.  We were under the impression that we were all coming back.  I thought that not returning was a mistake, especially when I heard that we were going to shoot the remaining season at MGM and the Mojave Desert.

How did the filming in the States compare to that of filming in Spain?  The working conditions, the crew, the equipment, the accommodations, etc.  What was better about working in the States? What was better about working in Spain? 

L.C.  The American crews were more experienced, however, the Spanish crew more than made up for that by their enthusiasm.   I enjoyed both crews, but the Spanish crew was a new experience.

Were there problems associated with the change in crew with the move to the States? 

L.C.  I don't believe that they came on board with the momentum and the caring that we established in Spain.  Here we were just another show. 

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Hitch

The Show

Fannish Delight

Larry Casey

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