Lust for Life: Anthony Quinn's Paul Gauguin

Amusing episodes occurred on the set, when Anthony Quinn claimed to have heard Paul Gauguin, the character her played, speaking to him. One day, Quinn turned his head but saw nothing, so he placed the wine bottle back on the table. Then, a deep voice warned him again, “Dont do that.”
This time Quinn answered, “Why not”
“Because I would never do that,” the voice said.
“Oh, you wouldn't”
“No, I would not.”
The crew thought that Quinn was out of my mind, because he was carrying on a lively conversation with himself.
“Tell me,” Quinn said, Who are you that I should care what you would do with this little flower”
Ah, the voice said back, you know who I am.
Quinn then realized that he was visited by Gauguins spirit.
Two days later, Quinn had an early call for a scene with Kirk Douglas. Minnelli asked them to sit twelve feet from each other and paint, so that he can show the contrasting styles of their characters.
Satisfied with the rehearsal, Minnelli proceeded to shoot, when Quinn heard Gauguins voice again telling him: “Youre holding the brush wrong.”
Quinn thought that it was Minnelli or Douglas talking to him. “You guys say something” Quinn asked, looking up from his canvas. Minnelli and Douglas shrugged.
“Ill be a son-of-a-bitch!” Quinn shouted, kicking the stool he was sitting on, unable to dismiss the voice but unable to accept it either.
“Tony, what is it” Minnelli asked, realizing that his actor was in turmoil.
“I can't tell you, Vincente, I'm ashamed.” Quinn didn't want his director to perceive him as a temperamental actor given to emotional outbursts. Nor did he want to appear foolish, when Douglas walked over to see what the fuss was all about.
“Ashamed of what” Minnelli asked.
“Jesus Christ, it's too fucking embarrassing,” Quinn, now shaking and sweating, said.
“Tony, look,” Minnelli tried again, “we've got a scene to shoot. If somethings troubling you, whatever it is, we'll figure it out.” Minnelli was his usual calm, and Quinn decided to tell him though he didn't want the others to hear. He put his arm around Minnelli and walked him off to the side.
“Shit, Vincente, Gauguin is here talking to me.”
“He is”
Quinn nodded.
“And what is he telling you” Minnelli asked.
“Hes telling me I'm not holding the brush right.
“Ah, Minnelli nodded, looking at Quinn and laughing joyously. “Oh, a ghost Well, wonderful! Wonderful! Minnelli laughed again, this time louder.
Tonys had a visit from Mr. Gauguin!” Minnelli told the crew. He turned to Quinn and slapped him on the back. “So, where is your friend Introduce me!
To Minnelli, it was a miracle that Gauguin's spirit visited his set, not something to question or deny but to cherish and nurture. From then on, Quinn felt that Gauguin was always present on the set. Quinn later believed that Gauguin was responsible for his winning a second Oscar for Lust for Life (the first one was for Viva Zapata).
A few years later, Minnelli ran into Quinn at Le Dome restaurant. “How is Gauguin,” he asked the director.
“I still hear his voice from time to time, he really liked the picture,” Quinn said.
“Keep it going,” Minnelli said with a smile.

At Oscar time, Lust for Life was nominated for four Oscars: Actor, screenplay to Norman Corwin, color art direction-det decoration to Cedric Gibbons, Hans Peters, and Preston Ames; Edwin B. Willis and F. Keogh Gleason, and supporting actor to Anthony Quinn.

Quinn won a second Supporting Oscar for play a real-life role in “Lust for Life”; the first one was for “Viva Zapata” (1952)