‘The Waltons’: John-Boy Walton Actor Richard Thomas Said the Dinner Scenes Were ‘A Nightmare to Shoot’

Those who grew up in the ’70s were very popular The Waltons. The Follow TV show the Walton family from the 1930s up to World War II in the mid-40s, and reflected family values ​​and what it was like to live in rural Virginia at this time.

Richard Thomas played John-Boy Walton, the oldest of the six sisters and the most famous of the show. Looking back, Thomas has fond memories of working on the show and collaborating with his peers – but he once talked about how difficult the dinner scenes in the show were. Here is what he said.

Richard Thomas John-Boy Walton played ‘The Waltons’

Richard Thomas as John-Boy Walton on 'The Waltons'
Richard Thomas as John-Boy Walton on ‘The Waltons’ | CBS Photo Archive / Getty Image

Casting John-Boy Walton was heavily involved, as the character was created after series creator Earl Hamner Jr. When Hamner saw Thomas reading the lines for John-Boy, he knew the actor was well-suited for the role, as he saw much of himself in Thomas.

“It was wonderful, and as it turned out, it was perfect in the job,” Hamner said in an interview with the American Television Archive, according to MeTV. “I have often said that he made John-Boy better than I did. ”

Thomas liked the role of John-Boy, too. MeTV notes that he said his character had an “artist’s soul,” and the differences between him and his father created a certain distance. While John-Boy respected his parents and sisters, he still felt the need to escape his rural upbringing and experience life, Thomas said.

“It’s not just about him, he’s looking at it,” Thomas said of John-Boy’s family, culture and environment.

Thomas noted that dinner scenes were ‘a nightmare to shoot’

'The Waltons'
‘The Waltons’ at the dinner table | CBS through Getty Images

Dinner scenes were paramount The Waltons. The family would often gather around the dinner table, giving spectators the comfortable feeling of home. But Thomas realized that shooting up dinner scenes was not an easy task.

“Dinner scenes are wonderful in theory,” Thomas said in an interview published by American Television Archive. “They were at the heart of the show.”

Thomas then noted that the scenes can “be a nightmare to shoot,” especially since they are “time consuming.” ”And when they had finished filming the scene, the actors were in a“ bad mood. ”

“You just want to find out,” said Thomas.

Just like a typical family dinner table, the actor also noted that everyone on display chose their place at the table. “I made the incredibly naive mistake of putting myself between Will Geer and Kami Kotler,” he said. “I got between an elegant and beautiful children’s actress and a sight-catching machine. And the surprise is that I managed to get over any of that, that I was noticed. ”

The actor said that some directors made this big mistake with the scenes of the dinner

Throwing 'The Waltons'
‘The Waltons’ was cast CBS through Getty Images

Apparently not all directors want to The Waltons thinking about real menu dynamics. In the same American Television Archive interview, Thomas talked about an incident where a director came in and where the team was sitting at different places at the table as usual, and the team had to correct.

“There would be leaders who would come in for the first time, and they could come to a dinner scene and see everything in their heads,” said Thomas. “But everyone would be sitting in different places. And we always had to say, ‘You can’t do that.’ Because we are here. This is our home. This is our dinner table. And this is where we sit. ”

While it was not easy for all the directors to understand how the dinner scenes should work, Thomas felt very protected by the scenes. “These were life and home patterns,” he said. “And we kept at it.”

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