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Shelby's Social Diary

Robert Duvall tells all — and then gets into a shoot 'em up with Texas Ranger

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11 Robert Duvall and Brilliant Lecture Series Shelby Hodge January 2014
Robert Duvall shares tales of life in the spotlight with CultureMap editor at large Shelby Hodge. Photo by Yolanda P. Smith
News_shelby_Julian Fertitta_Robert Duvall_Danny Davis_Joaqin Jackson_Jan. 2014
Hanging at Houston's Athena Gun Club Julian Fertitta, from left, Robert Duvall, Danny Davis and Texas Ranger Joaquin Jackson. Courtesy of Athena Gun Club
9 Brillant Lecture Series with Robert Duvall and Shelby Hodge January 2014
Robert Duvall at the Brilliant Lecture Series talks about his start as an actor. Photo by Yolanda P. Smith
4 Robert Duvall and Brilliant Lecture Series Shelby Hodge January 2014
Robert Duvall engages the audience even before the interview begins. Photo by Yolanda P. Smith
3 Robert Duvall and Brilliant Lecture Series Shelby Hodge Janaury 2014
Scott Brogran, from left, Kevin Black, Robert Duvall, Shelby Hodge and Tony Bradfield at the Brilliant Lecture Series. Photo by Yolanda P. Smith
11 Robert Duvall and Brilliant Lecture Series Shelby Hodge January 2014
News_shelby_Julian Fertitta_Robert Duvall_Danny Davis_Joaqin Jackson_Jan. 2014
9 Brillant Lecture Series with Robert Duvall and Shelby Hodge January 2014
4 Robert Duvall and Brilliant Lecture Series Shelby Hodge January 2014
3 Robert Duvall and Brilliant Lecture Series Shelby Hodge Janaury 2014
News_Shelby Hodge_head shot_Dec. 2009

So why wasn't Robert Duvall in the third Godfather film? And what was his favorite role? And what did he do during his time in Houston? The answers to all those questions and more were revealed, some on stage at Wortham Theater Center during the Brilliant Lecture Series evening, some during a CultureMap phone interview and one from a tip received from a friend.

The audience and I, serving as interviewer, asked the pertinent questions for more than an hour and Duvall was never at a loss. 

He did not accept a role in Godfather III, even though Francis Ford Coppola had asked him to because Coppola had promised Al Pacino two to three times more pay for the film than he was willing to give Duvall. No deal.

His favorite role he allowed, even before being asked, was Gus McCrea in Lonesome Dove

He got his first role — as Boo Radley in To Kill a Mockingbird — thanks to Texas playwright and author Horton Foote.

And he did, in fact, have barbecue flown in from Lufkin for a party at his 300-acre ranch in Virginia.

Following the Q&A, Duvall and his spectacular wife, Luciana Padraza, headed to The Palm for dinner with Brilliant Lecture Series founder Scott Brogan, Tenenbaum & Co. owners and series sponsors Tony Bradfield and Kevin Black and friends, including Janine and Julian Fertitta.

On Friday, Duvall, Padraza and eight friends joined Julian Fertitta at the Athena Gun Club, where they engaged in numerous rounds of shooting, first on the simulator and then with live ammunition. In the group were Duvall's favorite Houstonian, Danny Davis, and famous Texas Ranger Joaquin Jackson. Matthew McConaughy's brother, Rooster McConaughy, came over from home base in Midland to join his buddy ("Call me Bobby") Duvall. 

Coincidentally, Padraza, who is an avid shooter, is filming in Texas for a small role as a Texas Ranger. The afternoon was her first time to handle a Colt 45, which the gun club owners gave to her as a gift. 

Actress Diane Keaton is next up in the series with an on-stage interview on Feb. 6.

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