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Why Richard Dreyfuss & Robert Shaw Butted Heads On The Set Of Jaws
Actors Richard Dreyfuss and Robert Shaw disagreed about plenty of things when filming “Jaws,” especially once they got into character.
There was a natural tension between Shaw’s Quint, the working-class hero, and Dreyfuss’s Hooper, a city boy; it may have been a case of an experienced actor taking the reins.
Co-star Roy Scheider thought Dreyfuss's arrogance sparked the feud, citing, “He [Shaw] really thought Dreyfuss needed a slapping down... young punk with no stage experience..."
The incident that seems to be the main source of the rumor was when Shaw was walking the gangplank with a drink in his hand and asked Dreyfuss for help.
Dreyfuss recalled, “I said, 'Do you really want my help?' He said he did and I took his drink and I threw it in the water. Every drinker on that crew went 'ooooh.'”
Shaw got his revenge by spraying the fire hose and in Dreyfuss’ face. “I lost my sense of humor and that lasted about an hour," he added.
Steven Spielberg also recalled Dreyfuss being dared by his co-star to jump from the mast into the water, adding, "Robert would basically humiliate Richard into taking a chance.”