Dreyfuss, who played marine biologist Matt Hooper in the 1975 thriller, said in a Thursday story by Vanity Fair that he attended the comedy-drama “to see if it really was gonna hurt” — before confirming just that.
The Oscar winner complained that “The Shark Is Broken” portrayed a feud between himself and fellow actor Robert Shaw, who played shark hunter Quint in the film. Dreyfuss said their real-life friendship never hit rough waters, adding that they’d just make lighthearted jabs at one another “to make the hours go better, faster.”
“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,” said Dreyfuss, suggesting that Spielberg and co-screenwriter Carl Gottlieb had spread rumors of a conflict.
Dreyfuss was also not happy that the play showed him as a “fool.”
“They didn’t do that to Roy, and they didn’t do that to Robert. And that hurt because it wasn’t true,” Dreyfuss said, referring to Roy Scheider, another “Jaws” star.
“It was pretty awful,” Dreyfuss said about seeing the play, adding that he had not been contacted for his perspective during the writing of “The Shark Is Broken.”
“They just decided to make my character a big jerk,” he said.
Dreyfuss’ comments arrive after the actor dropped by performance of the play earlier this month, People magazine reported.
“The Shark Is Broken,” which opened on Broadway in August, is set to wrap up its run next month at New York’s John Golden Theatre.
HuffPost reached out to representatives for Spielberg, Gottlieb and “The Shark Is Broken,” but did not receive any immediate responses.