Old School Americana & Nostalgia


‘Pleasantville’: Why William H. Macy Once Cried for 12 Hours Straight on Set

‘Pleasantville’: Why William H. Macy Once Cried for 12 Hours Straight on Set

Two decades after the theatrical release of Pleasantville, actor William H. Macy recalled crying for 24 hours on the comedy-drama film’s set.

During a 2018 Role Recall interview, Macy spoke about what triggered the crying incident. He cried for 12 hours in order to help make his character get some life in him and make the teary-eyed scene more believable. “And I burst into tears, and I wept for 12 hours. I just could not stop crying all day. I guess I had some issues.”

Along with speaking about the Pleasantville set crying, William H. Macy spoke about the one scene he had struggled with due to the condition of the set. “It was two nights of shooting in Malibu in January,” he recalled the cold, rainy evening. “It was cold. And I had never seen so many rain trees.”

Macy was shooting the scene where his character, George Parker, was arriving home one night to discover his wife wasn’t home and there was no dinner waiting for him. “So I’d walked out of the house and within two seconds, my underwear was soaked,” the actor explained. “I was completely soaked, that’s how hard the rain was coming down.”

The actor also stated that after doing take after take in the condition, he started to struggle. “I froze to death, and we did take after take after take, and I screamed my voice away, ‘Where’s my dinner?!’ It turned into [KingLear at a point. I’m on my knees screaming.”

Following the scene, Pleasant director, Gary Ross, walked up to Macy and put his coat on. “[He] goes, ‘Oh, I had to trim up that scene,’” Macy shared. “Then I saw the film. I walk out of the house, I look up and go, ‘Where’s my dinner?’ Cut! That was it. The rest of it never made it into the movie.” 

William H. Macy Praised Gary Ross and the Production Team For ‘Pleasantville’ Set Experience 

Meanwhile, William H. Macy had nothing but praise for director Gary Ross and the Pleasantville team for the set experience.

“The production design was genius,” Macy gushed about the Pleasantville set. “Gary Ross had really sussed that story out to the nines, and he has a great production team. had this guy who built my suit, and he dressed Cary Grant. He was in his late 70s, so it was this fabulous ’50s suit, like no other. I’ve still got that suit, I just don’t have the courage to wear it, because things have changed.”

Pleasantville follows two 1990s teenage siblings who end up being transported to a 1950s sitcom. While trapped in the sitcom, the duo begins to influence everyone around them and transform the colorless world. Macy starred in the film along with Tobey Maguire, Jeff Daniels, Joan Allen, and Reese Witherspoon.