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Cockroaches On Parade

March 16, 1986|John M. Wilson

Memo to directors.

Re: How to work with cockroaches.

From: Director Ray Lawrence, who employed 400 of them for a scene in the surrealistic Aussie dark comedy "Bliss."

(Why? He wanted them crawling out of the chest of his star, Barry Otto, following a scene of open heart surgery, as a "symbol for cancer, something that can't be destroyed, that will be there when we're gone.")

Tips: When your lead actor balks, let them swarm over your own face and body to reassure him. Be sure to order plenty--in this case, at 50 cents apiece from a government research center. Have cast and crew roll up their trouser legs at all times.

And: "If anyone trods on one instead of catching it, dock 50 cents from their pay."

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