Ron: "I was an entertainment attorney. I left that to produce some movies.
"At the time of Paradise Alley, the reason I left the [Universal] lot was that I was producing six movies at the same time in Australia for the Australian Broadcasting Commission [which showed first on television in Australia and New Zealand]. I had a three-picture deal at Fox. I had problems with Stallone with the lawsuit. I had a long talk with Lew Wasserman who was the best friend of my partner John Roach’s father-in-law Corbin Robertson, who was one of the richest men in the United States.
"Wasserman advised me to move off the lot. ‘Let’s just stroke everybody here.’ It was not a big deal.
"I moved to England. I still have two homes in England (Surrey and Regents Park). I have a home in Iowa. I have 1800 acres of a wood farm in Nicaragua. I’ve moved on. I’m not sitting around trying to produce movies. I’ve taught screenwriting at UCLA since 1988. I’ve written three books on screenwriting. I script doctor for the studios. For me that’s a hobby. It’s all nonsense."
"I graduated first in my class from University of Wisconsin Law School in 1973. I joined Mitchel, Silberberg, & Knupp on the West Side [of Los Angeles]. They were entertainment-oriented. They had film and television divisions. I practiced in the film division. We represented Warren Beatty, Jack Nicholson, Goldie Hawn, Steve McQueen."
"Henry Winkler handed on to me a script that Stallone wrote — The Italian Stallion."
In 1975, Suppa formed Force Ten Productions with John Roach. It lasted until 1980.
"You never realize when you’re young how difficult it is to make movies."
"The only feature film the company produced in the United States was Paradise Alley."
"The deal was [with Australia’s ABC] was that we would use American stars above the title and American talent behind the camera and all the below-the-line talent would be Australian. We were trying to build the Australian film industry."
"Maui Heat was made for Showtime and Playboy. We made three films in Hawaii. Shot them all at the same time. It was a gig. Nothing more. All I tried to do was make sure everybody had a good time and made the movies on-time and on-budget.
"I could put a crew out in 24 hours…and they would all be major veterans. I got some directors who had good credits in feature films [who then used pseudonyms]. I had lighting people from ET.
"The feature film business doesn’t make enough movies. There’s a lot of down time. For cash flow, these directors sometimes need to make a mortgage payment and three alimony payments. You bring them in on a project and give them $10,000 a week for three weeks… They’re happy. They don’t want their name on it. It’s a new car.
"It was the same thing for my pictures ($1.5 million budgets) in Australia. How did I get major people? I said, ‘What are you doing for a few weeks? How about I take you and your entire family and half your friends and fly you first-class to Australia for a few weeks? I’ll put you up in a nice hotel. Once in a while, you do some acting. When you come back, I’ll give you a car."
"The egos of big stars can be astronomical. Look at my experience with Stallone with Paradise Alley. He was a new star. We’d be in the office talking and he’d hear the sound of the tram that carries the tourists around the lot and he’d want to go outside and pretend he was looking at a building or something so that the tram would come by and say, ‘Look, there on your left is Sylvester Stallone, the star of Rocky.’ Then he’d give a little nod."
"Making these little films was such a joy…"
"I had a project for a while but he would deny it. Why? He’s a big name. I had a project with John Travolta. You can’t just go and say that they are going to do my little project. They’ll say, ‘I’d love to do it but don’t put my name anywhere.’"
"You’re trying to attach people [to a project] who are unattachable unless you put a check on the table and you have a director that they like and the studio is going to put up $50 million… Otherwise they are risking their reputation. If that project doesn’t happen, then it’s Dustin Hoffman got turned down at Warner Brothers… Those stars can’t put themselves in a position to be embarrassed."
"There was an altercation in Sly’s office betwee me and him over the fact that while I was in the hospital for two weeks with a foot problem, Sly had started casting the picture (Paradise Alley). I had come back and I had gotten a lot of complaints from agents about casting couch.
"I went to Sly’s bungalow. He had all these girls in there. I said, ‘Girls, I’m sorry, but go home. We’re not casting right now.’ Sly came out and we had an altercation."
"Sly had his head up in Rocky II."
"I’m currently separated from my wife. I have two kids. I dated a lot. I was in a lot of the gossip columns. I love beautiful women. I lived with Michelle Pfeiffer."
Ron dated actress Marcia Strassman from Welcome Back, Kotter.
Luke: "What other famous women did you date?"
Ron: "I’m sorry, I just don’t go there. I felt funny mentioning Michelle, but that’s kind of out there already and for some reason I thought you knew or were bringing it up. I’m sure I’ve dated people you might know about as much as any other man who spent most of his career making movies and representing talent."
"I came to realize that dating actresses or models will not necessarily lead you to a lasting relationship. The woman I married was neither an actress nor a model. I met her at a gym."
"The women I date now are predominantly not in the entertainment business."
Suppa married in 1995 at age 46 after dating hundreds of women.
"I’ve never had a problem meeting women. I’m fairly confident. I was more confident then than I am now."
Luke: "Where are you from?"
Ron: "South Philadelphia."
Luke: "Do you come from money?"
Ron: "No. If someone comes from South Philadelphia, you don’t ask them if they come from money."