The train-crash sequence is unbelievably impressive, and what I especially love about it is what a great character moment it is. Richard Kimble sees this train coming right for them, and he’s got this injured guard who needs help. The other convict bails, the other guard ditches them, but Kimble stays to help this injured man. It’s a great example of having character drive the action.
He can’t get rid of the Hippocratic oath, which is to do no harm. He has another sequence like that in the movie, where he changes the orders on the kid who Julianne Moore sends down. There’s a really interesting story where I met this doctor in Santa Barbara who had a Coen Brothers poster on the wall [of his office]. I said, “Why do you have this on the wall?” And he said, “Well, I took care of their kids.” I told him that I made a movie about a doctor once, and when I told him what movie, he stepped back and he said, “When I saw The Fugitive, I was at Harvard and I didn’t know what I wanted to do. When that scene was over, I said, ‘I’m going to be a doctor.’”
That was really moving for me. He’s an eye doctor, and he’s got a specialty in children’s eye problems. That was the character. That was one of the best things that came out of the series. Kimble was willing to jeopardize himself and help people. There’s that scene in the hospital when he’s about to steal the ambulance and he gives over the guy on the stretcher and says, “He’s got a punctured spleen and a gastric ulcer, blah, blah, blah.” [Laughs] How the hell did he know that just by looking at him?
Speaking of Julianne Moore, I know that she was initially supposed to be a love interest for Kimble, but you left that on the cutting room floor.
For sure. He was going to go home with her, and they were going to even take a shower and clean up together. My dear producer Peter Macgregor-Scott came to me, said, “Andy,” with his British accent, “you can’t do this. He’s mourning his wife, he can’t get involved with another woman right now.” I agreed, so we said to [producer Arnold] Kopelson, “Arnold, you better call up Julianne.” [Laughs] I don’t think she’s still mad at me. Probably… she probably is, but we couldn’t let that happen. She’s great in the movie.