Long-lost interview with Donald Westlake

On Nov. 2, 1973, Vince Cosgrove interviewed Donald Westlake--and he recently uncovered the audio from the interview. Cosgrove posted highlights for the interview of at the Daily News' Page Views blog, and it's pretty in-depth. Westlake covers a lot of ground, from his influences, to writing as Richard Stark, to his thoughts on the film version of The Hot Rock

A good movie that could have been a much better movie. Bill Goldman did a beautiful, funny screenplay. The director, Peter Yates, had made Bullitt, which wound up with a chase at the airport—well, the original screenplay of The Hot Rock wound up at an airport, and Yates said he didn’t want to do it again. It was a terrifically funny sequence. Bill Goldman had done a chase—not out of the book. He had established that Kelp [George Segal] did a lot of jogging and had been a track man in high school, and that an assistant of Dr. Amusa [who wants a priceless gem restored to his African nation] was a former Olympic runner, so when they get into a chase across the airport it gradually turns into a race where they’re doing racing things rather than quarry-and-hunter things.

Click here to read the rest of what Westlake had to say about The Hot Rock, as well as the rest of the highlights from the interview.

Tags: Donald Westlake