When I started working for Rock in 1975, the staff that was already working at the castle would always say to me "You do know that this is Rock Hudson's home". I would say "Rock who"? They were in disbelief. I was only 15 and not privy to movie stars even though I was growing up in Los Angeles and Pennsylvania where I was born. I did not know who Rock Hudson, "The star" was. Finally, after two years of employment, they said "maybe you should watch some of his films and see who you are working for".
Well, I knew "who" I was working for, I saw him most every day. I just did not know who "The Star" was. Rock was informed about me not knowing of his fame and talent. He loved it. Rock proceeded to go to his film vault and grab one of his films for me to view (my homework). lol He selected Giant. It just so happened that I did have a VCR ( which was $2,999.99 in those days and was two pieces, you could detach one for a camera). It was my fathers, but he bought it and then soon after did not want it. (???) who knows why?. I took the tape home. I tried to watch Giant but could not finish it. My attention span at the time was too short for such drama. Give me action and adventure and I could sit still. I guess 17 year old's have not changed.
Well the next day upon arriving to Rocks home, The Castle, he was down stairs waiting for me. It was a holiday at my regular school, so I showed up in the morning. I normally came to work after school. Usually, he would come down after he heard me in the kitchen. But that day, he was waiting anxiously. As I was getting breakfast and milk (taking my time, being quiet, knowing I would not lie about what I knew he was waiting to hear. My silence was making him more antsy). So even before I could sit down, he started asking me what I thought of Giant, his film.
I responded "well, well, it was a long movie". He said "yes, it is over three hours". I said "well, well, Rock, it just wasn't my kind of movie". He looked down at his cup of coffee for a moment, turned and starred out the window, then focused on me as I was sitting down with my cereal and milk and said "good, good". He asked "what is your kind of movie"? I said action and adventure, sports, comedies, etc. He just kept pondering what I had said over and over in his mind and not saying much. I, now felt as though my job was in jeopardy a bit. But instead he went to his film vault and handed me 3 more films, "Hornet's Nest, Pillow Talk & Seconds". He said "o.k. will you watch these"? I said "sure"! I watched the three films in one weekend and liked all three. When I saw him next, it was the same scene in the kitchen, him down stairs waiting anxiously. I expressed to him my feelings on the three films and he loved it. He loved my honesty.
From then on, he would always ask me my opinion on his work or his projects, and respected what I had to say. I was not one of his "Yes men". He loved that.
I became one of his confidants.
Rock loved to speak honestly, but Many around him would dissect his every word and would always have something to say, advice on what not to or what to say. He hated that.
I have yet to watch Giant again, but will soon. I have a different appreciation for films today of course. I do have his home movies of the behind the scenes on the set of Giant and love those.