The Reason John Wayne’s Scenes Were Always Shot Before Noon

John Wayne

John Wayne was a movie icon and legend to so many people. Nicknamed ‘The Duke’ or ‘Duke Wayne’, the American actor became popular by starring in major movies like Rio Bravo, The Shootist, and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. Many were produced in the Golden Age of Hollywood, including Westerns which fans consider some of his best work. 

Unfortunately, John Wayne died of stomach cancer in 1979. While at the height of his fame, no one would speak badly about the star, no matter what he did. Because he was untouchable, but there is a reason why most of his acting scenes were shot before noon. And it’s not because the sun was at its hottest at this time. 

John Wayne’s Drinking Problem

John Wayne

While John Wayne had a reputation for being a great actor and guy, this wasn’t the entire truth. Back in the day, movie stars were considered close to royalty in Hollywood, so they couldn’t be questioned even when they did wrong. Even though he was hailed as a professional on set, that’s not the entire truth. His presence alone would guarantee the success of any movie he worked on. So anything they wanted was given, no matter how outrageous it seemed. And for John Wayne, he always wanted to shoot his scenes before noon. Why? Because by the afternoon, the legendary actor would be meaner than a rattlesnake that’s been stepped on after a couple of drinks. He was a mean drunk, and everyone who worked with him knew it. While he might not have called it a drinking problem, he loved his booze. 

He Had to Relieve Himself First

John Wayne

Yes. As strange as it may sound, filming in the morning wouldn’t start either until John Wayne had his morning bowl movement. Executives and directors would walk on set and inquire why they weren’t working, only to be told that John Wayne hadn’t done his business yet, so they couldn’t start shooting.  In those years, people would drink without regard for water unless they were mixing the two. These days most people drink water between their shots of alcohol because they know it helps with digestion and can reduce the effects of the alcohol in their system. Water helps keep them hydrated, which reduces the chances of constipation, which John Wayne could have been suffering from after these binge drinking sessions. The drinking probably affected his digestion, making it harder for him to have an early or fresh morning like his co-stars. Being a habitual drinker made shooting as regularly as other actors on set much harder for him.Save

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