Williams portrays Popeye in Robert Altman’s musical comedy live-action realization of the American comic strip character Popeye the Sailor Man. Popeye is a spinach-eating sailor in love with Olive Oil (Shelley Duvall) and at odds with Bluto (Paul L. Smith), his perennial nemesis.
Near the end of the movie . . . the studio had pooled all of the money, so all the special effects people left. It was Ed Wood the last weeks of the movie. Shelley Duvall was in a pond, basically, with an octopus with no internal mechanism, having to drape it over her body like a feather boa. I’m in the water, and I’m kind of like sitting there .. . . . . we’re there on Malta, which is a very small island in between Italy and North Africa, and it was some of the worst weather they had had in 60 years. So it was a pretty crazy experience. But! I got to work with Robert Altman and I’ll never forget that.