“[Paul Thomas Anderson] talked about working as the standby director for Altman on A PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION and how he was honored to be what he considered (in a loving way) the legs and mouthpiece for Altman who was ill at the time. Altman would tell him, “Go tell Meryl not to do that hand thing,” and he would go and say, “Hey Meryl, Bob doesn’t want you to do that hand thing.” [Brilliant. He seemed like a beaming errand boy telling this story.] The insurance company wouldn’t bond the film because of Altman’s failing health concerns so PTA was brought on to sit right next to Altman every day. And learn.”

An audience member recounting Paul Thomas Anderson’s tale of being hired as a “back-up director” on Altman’s A Prairie Home Companion, as told to director Jonathan Demme in a Q&A for The Master..