The AV Club’s Toronto division did a recent installment of their Random Roles feature with Curtis Armstrong, the actor probably best known as Booger from Revenge of the Nerds (at least to us here at FilmDrunk, the Alpha Beta of movie blogs). But in addition to Nerds, Armstrong also had the good fortune to star in one of our favorite films,
Quigley (2003)—“Dexter Pearlsley”
CA: Oh my God.
AVC: Yeah, sorry for dragging this one up. But this was a movie where you appeared alongside Gary Busey, who plays a software tycoon who dies and is reincarnated as a dog. Busey’s such a weirdo force-of-nature that we have to ask about working with him
CA: It was just what you’d imagine. That’s about the best way to put it. We were shooting this movie—which is a horrible movie—and he was supposed to come back from the dead. And he of course, Gary Busey, supposedly had done this—he’d been in an accident and died and came back. He showed up on a set made to look like Heaven, and he looked around and said, “I can’t play this scene.” They were three days behind at this point. But Busey said, “It’s nothing like this. I’ve been to Heaven and it doesn’t look like this. That sofa’s all wrong. That mirror is ridiculous. They don’t even have mirrors!” It was ridiculous. He was completely nuts about the design of Heaven.
“They don’t have sofas like this in Heaven, Butthorn! And where’s all the tacos? What are my llamas gonna eat if there aren’t any tacos? This Heaven makes no sense!”
Sorry, I realize fake Busey could never out-Busey actual Busey. Now back to the story — would you believe me if I told you that it gets even better?
But then on top of it, one of the guys playing an angel, had also died and come back. And this guy got into an argument with Busey about the way Heaven looked! The two of them wound up coming to blows and they had to send everybody home. So there you go. That’s what we were working with. [AVClubToronto]
Mother of God. Now, I know there’s no shortage of incredible Busey stories — his briefcase full of highlighters and spare change on his way to see a man about a buck knife, his steadfast refusal to watch commercials even at crowded sports bars with multiple TVs, the time he kicked a kid in the stomach, the time he stopped a car accident, and on and on and on (and ON) — but, dare I say, the story of Gary Busey getting in a fistfight over the set design of Heaven just might top them all. “HEAVEN, that means Holy Encounters Achieving Violence Eternally Negotiating, Butthorn, everyone knows that. What are you, brain dead?”
Interestingly, “the dog collar I got in Heaven” was curiously absent from Gary Busey’s recent declaration of his assets.
Photo credit: Helga Esteb / Shutterstock