woolfNow and then, he had had a couple of drinks. I mean, that wasn’t only a joke, because he — we were shooting and he was religious about that. He did not drink when shooting except a couple of times. And when he came in pissed off, I knew. And this one time I thought, “Oh, man. This is gonna be really tough.” ‘Cause it was the bergin speech, which is a long damn speech. We did it and he couldn’t get through it. And then that magic thing that happens on movies happened and he did it and it was incredible. It just took off. And it was perfect all the way through and I said, “Cut. That’s it. Oh, Richard, that was the best.” And when the dailies came back, the scene had been overexposed by, like, 10 points. And I said to the DP, I said, “Start working on it, because he’s never gonna do it again.”

– Mike Nichols (on Richard Burton’s doing the bergin speech)

Link: The Bergin Speech

Movie: “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”

Director: Mike Nichols

Starring: Richard Burton (as George) and  Elizabeth Taylor (as Martha)