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The Unsung Heroes Of Jaws
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The Unsung Heroes Of Jaws | Lorraine Gary
Lorraine Gary

Lorraine Gary was the first person to be cast in Jaws. Producer Richard Zanuck wanted his wife for the role of Ellen Brody but Spielberg upped the ante, offering the role to Gary, spouse of then Universal president (and Spielberg mentor) Sid Sheinberg. Spielberg chose wisely. From the whiskey fuelled “Do you wanna fool around and get drunk” improv to her perfectly timed “Michael! Sean! Hear what your father says! Come in now!” to her Hooper faux pas (“My husband says you’re in sharks?”), she gives early-doors Jaws a sense of humanity and warmth that resonates when her husband leaves her behind. But she also gets her own mission. Her playful reprimand to her husband “In Amity you say yaaahd” suggests a little sub-plot about Ellen’s desire to fit in. When Brody is staring out at Bad Hat Harry, she quizzes the long-time Amity inhabitants. “When do I get to become an Islander?” “Never,” replies snotty Black Haired Motel Owner. “You’re not born here, You’re not an Islander.” Don’t worry about it Ellen. You’re better than all of them put together.

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