When I was in tech rehearsals for “Merlin” [in 1983], I was asked to meet the great filmmaker Milos Forman, who was directing the film of “Amadeus.” I went to his apartment to discuss the role of Schikaneder. Milos was exceedingly charming, and at the end of the meeting he asked if I wouldn’t mind reading a scene with him. I was happy to oblige.
I did the first line, and when I finished, he said, “No, more like this.” Then he read the line. I did the next line, and then he said the same thing . . . this went on for the entire scene. Line by line. When we finally finished, I looked at him and said, “Well, I don’t know about me, but I think you’d be great in the part.” He giggled, gave me a screen test — and Simon Callow was wonderful in the movie.