Excerpt from the Hogan's Heroes Herald - Issue # 3*
HHFC: Was Hogan's Heroes special to you during your life as an actor?
RC: No, not really. (Laughs) I mean, I cannot complain, because it got somehow good, not great for me, it was never great. I was capable of doing better than that. But it was a good living, and a good association. And it's still playing all over the world. But I've done much bigger and better things that what I've done on Hogan's Heroes.
HHFC: What of your acting work are you the most proud of?
RC: The theater. I did a lot of good things in the theater. Mostly musicals, like Cabaret and Sugar and Around the World in 80 Days. And those were great, great parts, and they're great fun to do.
HHFC: Do you ever watch reruns of Hogan's Heroes?
RC: No. I've seen enough of them. What do I need... an ego trip? No, I don't watch them. But you know, it's amazing, it's a tremendous success in Germany. It plays twice a day!
HHFC: What is you favorite episode?
RC: I can't think of one. I had fun. I had fun with them. I was very unhappy the first year. It was a small part, and I was very unhappy. And then I made peace with myself. I said, "if you're very unhappy, then you can quit, and that's it. But if you're going to stay, then just stop being unhappy," and it worked. But no, I don't have an episode that I can say, 'Oh God, that was great.'
HHFC: It seems that the actors had a lot of fun during filming. Did you have to follow the script exactly, or was there any improvising?
RC: No, we did not improvise. What we did, is during the first reading, we could put our two cents in. When we rehearsed the scenes, which was on Mondays, when the director or the producer was there, if you wanted to change a line, you could do that. But the days you were filming, no, you couldn't change anything at all. We had fun, because it was a good group to work with. But we did not improvise, no.
HHFC: After surviving the Nazi concentration camps, how did you manage to act in a series that made fun of Nazis, and some might say, the war in general?
RC: I get that question a lot and I always tell them Hogan's Heroes was not about concentration camps or extermination camps. Prisoners-of-war, it's a different kind of life. It was not mandatory for them to go to work, they received Red Cross packages, it was very, very different... I'm not diminishing what they went through, they were prisoners of war. But it was very different. I never put myself, as LeBeau, as me, Robert Clary. Never. It was a very different. It was a part that I did, and we actors have to play all kinds of parts. If I have to play a German, I'll play a German. If I have to play something else and if I feel it's a good part, I will do it. That's why we are actors.
Robert Clary has a new official Web site. Check it out: Official Robert Clary Web Site
*The Hogan's Heroes Herald © Brenda Scott Royce. Reprinted here with permission.
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