Monday, Dec. 25, 2006

Robert Altman

Hitchcock was known to think of actors as cattle that he could herd about. Bob put us to a higher purpose. He valued us as part of his creative process; he let us be his tools of observation. He would say to us, "I don't know what I want. Surprise me."

The truth is, Bob was the one always surprising us with his unique take on life's absurdities. He was an innovator, a master filmmaker. His work process itself was original. To work with him was exhilarating, a gift of a lifetime. To the very end, Bob was busy working on his next movie — a movie, if I know Bob, bound to be filled with new surprises about life's absurdities.

Tomlin appeared in Altman's A Prairie Home Companion, Short Cuts and Nashville