Q&A: Rocky Director John Avildsen on Working With Lloyd Kaufman

John G. Avildsen at the Oscars

In last week's print issue of the Village Voice, we spent time with Lloyd Kaufman, the Troma Entertainment president and splatter-comedy director who's currently remaking his early '80s original, Class of Nuke 'Em High this summer. Kaufman's known for his prolific career in the independent underground, but one of his earliest mentors was future Academy Award Winner John G. Avildsen, who met Lloyd in the editing room of shoestring studio Cannon Films and brought him on for Joe (1970), which introduced actors Susan Sarandon and Peter Boyle, and then Rocky, which shows Kaufman briefly onscreen as a drunken bum and in the credits as pre-production manager. "A title I had never heard and never have since," offers Avildsen, who invented credits for nonunion Lloyd, including "executive in charge of locations" on Saturday Night Fever, which the Academy Award winner was slated to direct. Avildsen spoke with us on the phone recently about his old friend.

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