John Wayne is known for his iconic roles in western films, including his portrayal of Rooster Cogburn in the 1969 film True Grit. However, what many people don’t know is that Wayne actually hated the film and only took the role as a favor to his friend, director Henry Hathaway.
Wayne initially turned down the role of Cogburn, feeling that the character was too similar to his previous western roles. However, Hathaway convinced him to take the part, and Wayne went on to earn an Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance.
Despite the critical and commercial success of True Grit, Wayne never warmed up to the film. He reportedly disliked the character of Cogburn and felt that the film was too violent and vulgar. In fact, in an interview with Playboy magazine in 1971, Wayne said, “I didn’t think [True Grit] was that good a picture. I thought I did a better job in The Sons of Katie Elder.”
In addition to his dislike for the film itself, Wayne also had personal issues during the production of True Grit. He was suffering from a serious ear infection, which caused him to have trouble hearing and impacted his performance. He also clashed with Hathaway on set, with the director reportedly criticizing Wayne’s acting and telling him to “stop playing John Wayne.”
Despite Wayne’s negative feelings towards True Grit, the film remains a beloved classic and is often cited as one of his best performances. It also spawned a sequel, Rooster Cogburn, in which Wayne reprised his role as the grizzled lawman.
It’s not uncommon for actors to have mixed feelings about their work, and Wayne’s experience with True Grit is a reminder that even the most successful films can be a source of frustration and dissatisfaction for those involved. However, Wayne’s legacy as an icon of the western genre and as one of Hollywood’s most beloved stars remains unshakable.
In the years since his passing, Wayne’s legacy has continued to be celebrated by fans and filmmakers alike. His films continue to be screened and studied, and his impact on the world of cinema is still felt today. Despite his personal feelings about True Grit, Wayne’s performance in the film remains a highlight of his career and a testament to his talent and versatility as an actor.
Overall, the story of John Wayne’s dislike for True Grit serves as a reminder that even the most successful and acclaimed films can be met with mixed reactions by those who make them. However, it also highlights the enduring legacy of Wayne and his impact on the world of cinema.