The Beginning
(Casey Interview)

On Location
(Casey Interview)

Cast 
(Casey Interview)

Hitch
(Casey Interview)

The Show 
(Casey Interview)

Fannish Delight 
(Casey Interview)

Larry Casey 
(Casey Interview)

Back to Sun Compass Cast and Crew

Back to Sun Compass
home 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An 'Interview' with Larry Casey of The Rat Patrol

Fannish Delight

 

What flavour/brand of bubblegum did Hitch chew?  Was it brought in from the States at the beginning? Or was there a Spanish/European brand that was good?  Was chewing bubblegum something you actually liked? Or was it a bit of a nuisance to be having to chew it?  Did chewing it in the desert get sand in it, or cause more thirst?

LC:   I don't chew gum and preferred not to off-camera.  The prop master had a rather large supply of Bazooka.

Do you have any anecdotes related to having a wad of gum in your mouth?  Was it hard to speak your lines as a result? What did you do with it when you weren't chewing it?  Stick it under the seat or on steering wheel? (yuck! who asked that question?)

LC:   I had no problem speaking and chewing, where it went? I haven't a clue.

We wonder if you know why Tully was forever chewing on a matchstick.  And of course we wonder if you know whether he liked doing that as much as you might have liked chewing the gum.

LC:   That was something that Tarr brought to the character.  I never saw him off-camera with a match in his mouth.

Were all the cast smokers?  Or were Chris George and Hans Gudegast the only smokers of the group? 

LC:   Chris and Hans were smokers.  I smoked a little and used to bum cigarettes from Chris until he said no one day, and I quit then and there.

What did you think of the fact that Hitch seemed to get shot more than the others? (Hitch was shot more than any of the others. Six times - once with an arrow!) We don't suppose it was considered that wearing a red hat made Hitch a pretty visible target.

LC:   It was easier for the stories to develop with Chris and Gary carrying the action to save Hitch or who ever.

Seeing as Hitch seemed to attract arrows, perhaps you might describe how the illusion of an arrow hitting you was created.

LC:   I do remember that scene.  We were shooting out at an old winery outside of Los Angeles.  I had never performed in a scene where I had to be shot with anything that could actually be seen approaching.  The special effects crew rigged a harness that I wore under my shirt that had a wooden block attached to it.  They then attached a wire from the wood block to a bow and arrow held off camera.  The arrow was hollow and rode on the wire.  The difficult thing for the actor is not to anticipate the arrow as it's flying along the wire.  It's a strange feeling.

Do you have any real life experience with a bow and arrow?

LC:   No, my older brother tried to be William Tell and shoot an apple on my head with an arrow when I was a child.  My mother put an end to it before anything happened.

Do you have any thoughts on why Justin Tarr's hair color changed rather frequently?  Do you know if that was his choice or was that at the direction of someone else?  Was there some reason why he might have been encouraged to alter his natural color?  What was his natural color?  Are you a natural blond or was that for the series only?

LC:   Tarr was always trying something new.  He was a successful hair dresser in Colorado before being an actor.  So he knew how to do all of the dyeing etc.

Do you have any idea what Hitch's middle initial "T" (as in, Mark T. Hitchcock) stands for? 

LC:   I haven't a clue.

Did the signet ring you wore represent anything, or was it simply a method of hiding your wedding band?

LC:   I wore my wedding band and a signet ring that my wife gave me when I went into the army prior to our getting married.  The signet ring only fit on that ring finger. I actually should not have worn either, but I was afraid of losing them if I took them off.

Someone noticed that at some point your watch changed from a leather band to a metal one and wonders if that wasn't hot to wear.

LC:   It wasn't hot to wear.  The watch was a status symbol for the film industry.  I shouldn't have worn that either.  It was too modern.

How was it that you ended up with the red cap (was it a French Foreign Legion cap?) and not one of the other headgear?  Did the cast get to choose their own distinctive headgear? Did you particularly want the red cap?  Were there other options that no one selected?

LC:   It was the idea of Tom Gries that we were actually a group from different countries.  It was changed and the idea became that we earned the hats while working with the different combat units.  The only problem was that Chris was a sergeant and was to wear the helmet that Tarr wound up with.  Chris wanted the Aussie hat and that's how it all came about.  I still have the red hat a French keppi (sp?)

Did you find it difficult to keep your hat on while tearing about in the open jeeps?

LC:   Nope.

Did you do any of your own stunts? Were you ever injured while filming?

LC:   We did a good many of our stunts.  We let the stunt men do the really dangerous gigs. They are trained to do that stuff.  There also was a problem in the States.  Stunt men get paid per stunt, and if we did all of our own stunts they wouldn't earn a living.

Did you ever actually get to drive the jeep over the dunes - or was that always a stunt driver?

LC:   That was Tarr and Chris, Gary and I in the intro with Tarr doing the real jump.  They duplicated his jump twice.  I always thought that shot sold the show.

[Interviewer note: The interviewer wasn't exactly sure about what happened so she asked for clarification and below is LC's response.]

What I meant to say on the show's opening was that the first jeep that went over the dunes was Tar's jeep with Chris in the back.  Gary and I followed right behind, however. On impact, Chris fell out of the back of  Tar's jeep, still holding on to the handles of the machine gun. Gary and I went over, although we missed running Chris over,  it wasn't as spectacular as the first jeep crashing through the sand.  So they doubled, or replayed the first, Tar's jeep as it went over the dune.

Did you know how to drive a jeep prior to the series? Did you receive any training for driving the jeeps in a desert environment?  Did you find it difficult?  After prattling around in those dinosaur jeeps for two years, did you ever go near one again?

LC:   I had no trouble driving the jeeps.  The problems arose when I had to drive the motorcycles.  That was difficult.

Did you find that you have any hearing loss from that noisy weapon firing so close to your ears?  Were there any safety precautions taken to protect your hearing?

LC:   We had a couple of near misses with the weapons firing to close to ears.  It was painful every once in awhile.  It certainly wasn't Noel Coward.

It seems that male fans in particular enjoy all the shooting and blowing up of things in the Rat Patrol. Was it just as much fun for the actors to fire the weapons and ‘appear' to blow up things? Did you have any prior experience handling weapons or explosives?

LC:   We got over the fun of shooting the weapons early.  They all used ¾ load blanks that would clog the gas chambers almost every scene.  It was frustrating having to deal with them after awhile.

To the left is a great publicity photo of you with Chris, Hans, Justin, and a dear little baby (your child?). Do you remember this photo being taken?  Is there anything you'd be willing to share about that occasion?  Where was it?  One wonders what you or someone might have just said to have everyone so jolly.

LC:   That is one of the first pictures of my daughter Melissa.  The shot was actually taken out in Rye Beach, New York at a beach club that someone from ABC belonged to.  This was shot just prior to leaving for Spain.

Certainly Hans Gudegast's uniform looked authentic. Where did the uniforms/costumes come from?  Do you know if the one you wore was authentic?

LC:   We originally got all of our costumes from Western Costume, noted for their authenticity.  They were khakis and I'm not sure that it was the uniforms that were worn in North Africa.

Were you really near-sighted?  Were those glasses Hitch wore real?

LC:   No, I had perfect eyesight.  The glass lenses were plain glass.  It was something that I thought helped define the character.  The studious private school boy.  Since then it's been reading glasses for me.

from a seven year old fan:  Did you have fun driving the jeeps? Was the show fun to make? Do you still have your hat? 

LC:   Yes, I still have the hat.  It's a little moth eaten and beaten up after two years out in the desert.  Other than the two T.V. Guide covers, it's the only remembrance I kept from the show.

The Beginning

On Location

Cast

Hitch

The Show

Fannish Delight

Larry Casey

Sun Compass
Cast & Crew

Sun Compass
Home

All material in the Larry Casey interview ©2002 Suncompass. All Rights Reserved.
suncompass@fandom.tv