The Broadway play 'The Shark Is Broken' imagines how 'Jaws' stars Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss and Roy Scheider spent their downtime while filming 1975's 'Jaws'
Richard Dreyfuss isn't on board with how he's portrayed in the new Broadway show about the making of Jaws.
Earlier this month, the actor, 75, attended a performance of The Shark Is Broken, a fictional recounting of how Dreyfuss and costars Roy Scheider and Robert Shaw spent their time on set of the 1975 film. The play is co-written by and stars Ian Shaw, the son of late actor Robert.
"Ian — who has more than any right to write whatever he wants — never called me and said, ‘Give me some background,' " he said. "Or, ‘Give me your take on this and this.’ And they just decided to make my character a big jerk.”
Ian previously told PEOPLE in a Sept. 14 interview about The Shark Is Broken that his play is "certainly a spiritually accurate picture of the three" Jaws actors.
"Robert was very outspoken and extroverted and his traumas are described in the play to some degree," he said of the depictions of his father and Dreyfuss. "So his response to that was to sort of take on the world and to be this sort of warrior. Then you've got Richard, who's more introspective and internal and anxious."
The play premiered in Scotland at the 2019 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Ian, 53, brought the play to Broadway with costars Alex Brightman, who plays Dreyfuss, and Colin Donnell, who plays the late Roy Scheider, in July for a run at New York City's John Golden Theatre that is scheduled to close Nov. 19.
While The Shark Is Broken depicts a fractured, antagonistic relationship between Dreyfuss and Robert on the movie's famous boat The Orca, Dreyfuss told Vanity Fair his relationship with Robert was not portrayed accurately.
“When we were surrounded by lots of other people, Robert would take digs at me and I would take a dig at him," he said. "But that was only to make the hours go better, faster. We didn’t take any of that seriously.”
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Dreyfuss told the outlet he once threw a glass of Robert's bourbon overboard one day, an act he says Robert responded to by soaking him with a hose.
“That was the only day I lost my sense of humor,” he said. "That was not a feud. A feud went on forever. We never had any bad feeling between us, ever.”
Dreyfuss added that his problem with the show "is that they made my character the fool." “They didn’t do that to Roy, and they didn’t do that to Robert," he said. "And that hurt because it wasn’t true."
He also claimed he only began to hear stories of a supposed feud between him and Robert on Jaws' set in recent years. He attributed some of those stories to director Steven Spielberg and one of the movie's screenwriters, Carl Gottlieb, whom Dreyfuss said "knew better, knew that there was no feud."
"There was an ongoing kind of humor between us," he told the outlet. "If you only saw us on the set, then you might think that there was something — a feud that was going on — but it was never real. Never. And I hold that against Carl and Steven.”
“I have enormous respect for Steven’s talent as a director,” Dreyfuss added. “I guess I don’t have as much for his talent as a friend.”
A rep for Spielberg did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.
Dreyfuss told Vanity Fair he chose to publicly speak out about The Shark Is Broken because he is the lone surviving actor from Jaws' three leads. Robert died in 1978 at 51, and Scheider died in 2008 at 75.
"It was a great experience not only during the shoot, but for 30 years afterwards. It didn’t turn sour at all until this feud bulls--- started to be gossiped about," Dreyfuss said. “It just kind of makes a perfect thing slightly spoiled.”
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