George Harrison bested band at hidden talent – ‘Paul tried too hard’

A Hard Day’s Night Official Trailer (2014) The Beatles, Musical HD

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By the time 1964 rolled around, The Beatles were a worldwide phenomenon. They had reached fame beyond compare and started working on new creative projects to expand their worth. One of these projects was hitting the big screen in semi-fictional movies. Their first was A Hard Day’s Night, which arrived in cinemas in 1964, directed by Richard Lester. After having spent so much time one-on-one with the band, Lester explained how the stars’ acting prowess differed drastically.

Lester revealed George Harrison was easily the most adept star in The Beatles.

He spoke candidly about his time with the band in a 2014 conversation with the BFI, reported by NME. During the chat, he was quick to declare that Harrison was “the best” actor out of the Fab Four. Not only did he have the acting chops required of the band, but he had comedic timing, creativity, and a natural affinity for being in front of a camera.

“George, I think, was the most effective actor all the way through,” Lester said. “He attempted less, but he always hit it right in the centre, and I always knew what I was going to get with George.”

Because of George’s unknown thespian talents, he was given a number of solo scenes throughout the movie. A Hard Day’s Night followed a semi-fictionalised version of The Beatles going about their day-to-day lives while battling with fame and money-hungry promoters.

Included in these adventures were some moments involving George crossing swords with press. On top of that, he had a hilarious interaction with a fashion brand that he branded “grotty”.

Ringo Starr and John Lennon also received some solo scenes, allowing them to show off their personalities and stand out from the crowd of the Fab Four in their own ways.

Unfortunately for Paul McCartney, he was the only member of the band who didn’t receive his own solo scenes throughout the movie.

Director Lester admitted McCartney’s scenes were simply not the right fit for the movie – and it all came down to his performance.

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Lester said: “I think the problem with Paul, he was so enthusiastic towards cinema, film, art, the zeitgeist – what was going on – that sometimes it got in the way.”

He went on to add: “I think Paul tried harder than he should have.”

The 91-year-old director added that, while he did film a solo scene with McCartney, it “lacked pace”. As a result, he left it on the cutting room floor.

Lester also remembered that he knew the film would be a massive success long before filming had even begun.

Lester explained: “Before we started shooting The Beatles went and did The Ed Sullivan Show in the States and the world changed. So when it came to making the film, we were already in profit from pre-orders of the album soundtrack.”

He added: “No one had ever heard of such a thing.”

Lester also noted that the band were never asked to do things they didn’t already know how to do: “We wrote a script to ask them to do things they knew how to do. To do press conferences, to messing about in hotel rooms with blondes – they were things they knew how to do.”

A Hard Day’s Night is available to stream on Prime Video now.

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