In 1991 Warner Brothers produced DOUBLECROSSED starring Dennis Hopper as the beleaguered drug runner, Barry Seal. Though Seal was my neighbor, the closest I ever got to him was through his film likeness, Dennis Hopper. I played the role of Judge Altzo (not his real name). My character was the judge who sentenced Seal to a half-way house in Baton Rouge with stringent curfews that would ultimately be Barry’s undoing.
The courtroom scene is one for which I am most proud. I read him the “riot act” before finally giving him a half-way house sentence. Most of this dialog was between myself and my dear now-departed friend, Don Hood, who was playing Seal’s attorney. An interesting footnote here: only a few months before this production came into Louisiana Don and I had quipped to each other that we had only been in one other film project together and wondered when and if we would ever get to play opposite each other. Then lo and behold here we were going at each other’s throats …. a scene which we both regarded as one of our finest screen efforts.
Other than from the script, these were the only words we exchanged during that shoot. While I found Dennis to be very friendly, he nonetheless seemed very shy and distant. .. at least with me. I am speculating that because of some prior run-ins he had had with law enforcement and the judiciary (in his distant past), he was probably having flash-backs in this courtroom and felt compelled to keep his distance since he apparently thought I was a real judge. Of course this is just speculation on my part.
I would hear later that G.W. Bailey had been overheard during the shoot saying to Adrienne Barbeau “He is good” referring to my portrayal. Hearing this naturally bolstered my theatrical ego. And speaking of “good”, not only was Dennis Hopper’s Seal portrayal truly superb, G.W.Bailey’s character, Camp, was a perfect foil to the Seal character and Don’s portrayal of Seal’s attorney was powerful and convincing.