William Friedkin Paid Off the MTA to Make 'The French Connection'

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William Friedkin

William Friedkin is the director of more than twenty films, among them "The Exorcist" and "The French Connection." For the latter, Friedkin won the 1971 Academy Award for Best Director, based on the film's stunning action sequences and incandescent appearances by Roy Scheider and Gene Hackman.  

"I would like to tell you it was all my genius," Friedkin tells host Alec Baldwin at the Turner Classic Film Festival, "but I had nothing to do with casting the two leads in that picture."

Friedkin goes on to explain why he doesn't audition actors, how knowing a Sicilian helps with location scouting, and why learning to play tennis killed his career.