paul kyriazi, author, feature film director, motivational speaker.

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Directing Troy Donahue
Paul Kyriazi directs George Chakiris

I directed Troy Donahue in the 1990 movie, Omega Cop It also starred Adam West and Stuart Whitman. Troy had only one scene where he was a food seller in the apocalyptic future. He meets the hero at his store and asks him to take his daughter out of town with him to escape all the violent and crazy gangs. It's a five minute scene and I only had one day with Troy. The movie was filmed in Stockton, California.

I met Troy the night before to go over the dialogue with him. I told him right away that my favorite film of his was Parrish. He said that was his favorite film, too. I told him that I was in Japan in 1981 and saw his posters and TV commercials for Super Nikka Whiskey. He immediately said, "That's not what I'm about anymore." I said, "Oh, I just meant it was good to see you there."

The next morning he arrived early. As he was adjusting his costume I said, "Hey Troy, where have you heard this dialogue from?" I then started pacing in front of him, trying to imitate Al Pacino's voice from Godfather 2. "I don't know who this Merle is. I don't know what he does for a living. So Connie, I don't want you to go with this man." Troy laughed and said, "Hey, that's pretty good." He then told me that his real name is Merle. And that he befriended a boy in high school and asked him to join his drama club. The boy was Francis Ford Capolla. I also mentioned that I read in a magazine that when talking to one of his old girlfriends, he was happily surprised to hear that he had a twenty year old daughter by her. He said that was true and when the daughter came to visit him, he got a surprise call from a son he didn't know he had because his daughter got in contact with him.

During the filming of the various angles of the scene, Troy knew his dialogue perfectly and added a few words to make it clearer. At the end of the scene, he knew he would be shot by one of the crazy gang members who arrives on the scene. I told him that we had the special effects man from Bonnie and Clyde and if he would mind having an explosive squib put on him with a blood bag. He said, "Of course not." And to my surprise he even volunteered to fall off the chair he was sitting on and hit the concrete floor. I said, "Troy, I can frame the shot so that you fall on a cushion." He said, "No, it'll be a better shot if I hit the floor." So that's the way we did it.

At the end of the day I said good-bye to one of the most fun and congenial actors that I ever worked with. About five years later I met Troy at a celebrity autograph show. One of the dealers there had a poster of Parrish so I bought it and went to Troy's table and said, "Here's a gift for working on Omega Cop with me. You can keep it or sell it." He said, "This is great. I'll keep it. I don't have this one. I'll hang it on the wall at my home." I said, "Thanks for working on Omega Cop." He reached out to shake my hand with a big smile and said, "Let's do another one."



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