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"Very rewarding to work with, in fact I tried to model myself on him." 

Jaws & Mrs. Shaw

What really happened on the set of JAWS when the cameras were not rolling.

In the summer of 1974, Robert Shaw was in trouble: his role as Quint was supposed to be his break into stardom, but the production was “going down with the ship.” Even worse, Shaw’s drinking had become so bad that it was ruining both the movie… and himself.

Shaw asked his sister, Joanna, for help – when he learned their mother would have to join them on the set, he groaned: “Now I’ll really have to cut down on the drink!”

True to form, Mrs. Shaw embarrassed her son in front of the cast and crew.  When the cameras were not rolling, the skeletons in Shaw’s closet were exposed, dissected, and analyzed by three generations of women who knew him better than anyone.

Despite the family turmoil – or perhaps because of it – Shaw pulled himself together and helped turn JAWS around: in addition to his brilliant performance, he also wrote the USS Indianapolis speech, now considered one of the greatest scenes in movie history.

A message from Christopher Shaw Myers

"Like millions of people around the world over the past forty-five years, I have been fascinated by the movie JAWS and its star, Robert Shaw (my uncle).

I grew up listening to my mother’s stories about the Shaw family, including their childhood antics during WWII, her backstage visits to Robert’s movies and plays, and her own career, which included her fight against Apartheid and a lifelong crusade for equal pay for women.

I have co-written Joanna Shaw’s memoir, A Shaw’s Life, and written a full-length screenplay based on one of its chapters: JAWS & Mrs. Shaw. The screenplay is a true story about what happened on the set of JAWS when the cameras were not rolling - the pivotal week that turned JAWS from a disaster into a movie classic"!

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