Author Lydia Wilen talks with TV STORE ONLINE about working for Stanley Kubrick as a teenager as his secretary in New York City during the pre-production of 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY..
TV STORE ONLINE: How long did you work for Stanley Kubrick?
LYDIA WILEN: I worked for Stanley for the entire time that he was in New York doing pre-production for 2001.
TV STORE ONLINE: And you worked with Roger Caras during that time?
LYDIA WILEN: Oh Roger! What a character. When Stanley first went to England I sent him a letter telling him a story about Roger Caras, and Stanley sent me a one-word letter in return that just read -- Roger! That says it all about Roger Caras. I'll never forget one day at the apartment...Roger came over to see Stanley and he came with his son. He had his son do tricks for us. It was as if he was a dog or something. Roger would hold his son's hand and he would say stuff to him like, "Flip over". Then he would do it! It was very strange. Fred Ordway used to come around during the time I was working for Stanley as well, and I had such a crush on him.
TV STORE ONLINE: I'm just so amazed about the volume of work that you did with Stanley researching for 2001 from his New York apartment...
LYDIA WILEN: Oh Yes. The apartment was at 239 Central Park West. One day, I was sitting there in my seat at my little desk in the apartment and the door bell rang. The doorman never called up to tell me that anyone was on their way up. The apartment door had a chain lock on it, and when the doorbell rang I got up and went to answer it. I only opened it as far as it would go because of the chain, and when I looked out I saw Paul Newman. He had come to see Stanley about 2001 but Stanley hadn't told me about it. Can you imagine? I was just a teenager at the time and there before me was Paul Newman and he had the most beautiful blue eyes.
TV STORE ONLINE: Right! Stanley was really interested in casting Paul Newman in 2001 but Newman wanted too much money...
LYDIA WILEN: Oh, is that why? I never knew that. So, that's why he was there to see Stanley. Then, of course, Arthur C. Clarke would come to visit Stanley at the apartment too. That was a real honor and a thrill for me to have had the opportunity to meet him.
Interview Conducted By: Justin Bozung