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Several months after the completion of the movie River appeared to regret some of the changes that were made to the script. "I think there are a lot of films I did which could have become big hits if I hadn't been in them," he admitted. Talking of The Thing Called Love he said, "My influence and work have heavily reduced its prospects of success. I've drastically changed the film, and I don't believe Paramount to be amused about it."
Following River's death, Anthony Clark said, "I feel really bad, because I felt like he was there for everybody, and nobody was there for him. I knew maybe there were problems with.... I didn't really know what.... I was scared to even ask, because a few times I did talk to him about his intense situation with alcohol. I brought it up, but he was such a great actor that he would just totally calm my nerves. I mean, he would make you feel crazy for even asking him, 'Is everything all right?' And I wish to God that I could have stepped in and intervened, but he just seemed so incredibly together."
River had wanted to do the movie so it would give him the chance to perform as a musician as well as an actor. Despite writing several songs for the film though, in the end the executives would only permit one song, "Lone Star State of Mine", to be included. "They just don't want to pay for songwriting," said an angry River afterwards.
On a happier note, River took to co-star Samantha Mathis immediately. Remembers Peter Bogdanovich, "He was crazy about her right away. He was anxious to have a lot of kissing scenes. He was saying, 'In the lovemaking scene, can we really do it? Can you just put us in there, close the door and let us go?' He was only half-kidding."
Studio politics had a negative impact upon production of the movie right up until the very end. Recalls Bogdanovich, "The studio was not very generous about the wrap party, and so River and Samantha threw it. There was a karaoke player there. Everybody started saying, 'Peter has to sing.' River was saying, 'Come on, come on.' So because of River, I got up and sang, which I would not normally have done. I sang 'My Way,' of course. I looked over at River a few times while I was doing it, and he was so filled with delight and pride. It was like I was his son or something."
"You think this is funny? This isn't funny. People, you know, they get killed, and that's it, you know. You die, and, and you don't come back. That's it, you know."