I came all the way to Dayton, Ohio to do a little talk and sign some books and this Susie Q keeps pestering me about Brian Dennehy. Hey, what's wrong with me huh? I'm a pretty good looking guy. Oh, and I have 2, count 'em, 2 Oscars. Does Dennehy have 2 Oscars? Yeah, yeah, so the guy has 2 Tonys. *I* have 2 OSCARS! And that movie in which he and I both starred? Whose name came first on the marquee huh?? That's what I thought. But still she yammers on about Dennehy. Can you introduce me to him and isn't he cute. Blah, blah, blah. Cute? DENNEHY? Sheesh...but still she yaks.
Did Dennehy write a book about the Civil War? Well, did HE?
Okay Susie Q. I will sign your book and smile for your camera. Just do NOT ask me anymore questions about Dennehy okay?
From the Dayton Daily News, June 22nd, 2008 From scene stealer to scene writer actor Gene Hackman, with partner Daniel Lenihan, has traded playing characters for creating them. By Dave Larsen Staff Writer Sunday, June 22, 2008 People are often surprised to learn that Gene Hackman is an author, despite his having published three historical novels over the past 10 years with co-author Daniel Lenihan. "I think people tend to put you into a category," Hackman said by phone. "The guy's an actor and if he's writing a book, obviously somebody else is writing it for him." Of course, Hackman isn't just any actor. He's made nearly 80 films, and won Academy Awards as narcotics agent Popeye Doyle in "The French Connection" and as a small-town sheriff in "Unforgiven." Lenihan is a leading underwater archaeologist and frequent contributor to "Natural History" magazine. The pair will introduce their new Civil War novel, "Escape From Andersonville," on Monday, June 23, at Books & Co. at the Greene in Beavercreek. Hackman and Lenihan also co-wrote "Justice for None" and "Wake of the Perdido Star." They typically work out a detailed story line and then write separately, crafting their own chapters and characters. "We work from a third-person point of view in two main characters that will then be introduced maybe a few chapters later and then take over for a couple of chapters," Lenihan explained. Hackman's roles in such films as "The Poseidon Adventure," "Mississippi Burning" and "Hoosiers" help him to create his written characters. "There's a real parallel between the way I approach acting and the way I approach a character that I'm writing," he said. "I ask myself almost the same questions: What does the character want? Where are they going? Where have they been? Just basic acting fundamentals, and it gets me started as a writer. "If I answer some of those questions, I inevitably will come up with a scene and with a character that hopefully is full and satisfying." Hackman and Lenihan have been friends for nearly 15 years. Their collaboration isn't always an easy process. "Gene is a very intense guy in his acting and is a very intense guy in his writing," Lenihan said. "He throws everything into those characters, so you'll have moments where you're upset or trying to pull yourself together, but in the long run I've found it to be really rewarding." Hackman always aspired to be a writer. His grandfather and uncle were newspaper reporters, and his father also worked in newspapers. "So I had a little bit of background in terms of finding out what writers' lives were like," Hackman said. "I thought what would be so different from what I had known for the last 57 years as an actor." Hackman, 78, hasn't made a film in more than four years. He's given up acting to become a full-time author. "I'm at an age now where I don't want to go on location for three or four months and sleep in a motel bed somewhere that I'm not really comfortable with. I'd just rather take my time and enjoy what I'm doing right now." The authors have not yet been approached about a film or miniseries adaptation of "Escape From Andersonville." If so, they might write the first draft of a screenplay. "Other than that, I wouldn't want to be involved," Hackman said, laughing. "I don't want to go back."