“I decided to learn something that I could do no matter where I lived – I became a hairdresser. I chose hairdressing because it is a useful skill and one that I could always go back to. Knowing this gave me great security and the freedom to explore other avenues.”
Andrew G. Vajna
“When you work with Andy, the buck stops with him. I don’t deal with anybody else. It becomes very much Andy’s movie, one singer, one song.”
Danny Cannon, director of Judge Dread
“Vajna defined what would become known as the ‘big action picture’. He really has a wide range of talent and ability.”
Tim Warner, general chairman of film company NATO / ShoWest
“The profession is never boring. I have found the interesting things in everything I have ever done. So none of my occupations ever seemed like work.”
Andrew G. Vajna
“When Andy gives you his word, you know it’s good. And no matter how tough the going gets, you can count on him. He’s got nerves of steel.”
Joe Roth, chairman, Walt Disney Motion Picture Group
“He’s got great respect for the director and courage to do projects that aren’t so easy… He won’t let you down; you can trust him.”
Paul Verhoeven, director of Total Recall
“Andy Vajna was a great friend and collaborator. He believed in me on one of my toughest shoots, Terminator 2. I will miss him, his humor, class and style, but especially the motorcycle rides.”
“I fell in love in love with Andy the moment I met him, because for once I’d met a Hungarian in Hollywood who was not only more successful than I was, but also crazier.”
“We’re glad to be a part of your lifetime.”
Bruce Willis and Demi Moore to Andy when he received NATO/ShoWest Lifetime Achievement Award in 1995
“You can’t make an actor act. You have got to create an atmosphere he wants to perform. It can be hell.”
Andrew G. Vajna
“A very very sad day ... Producer ANDY VAJNA, the man that Made Rambo happened, died today… LOVED this man’s courage - a pioneer. Believed In making FIRST BLOOD when no one else did.…This truly breaks my heart. Rip”
“Working with Andy was the best experience of my career and he makes the world’s greatest bouillabaisse.”
Steven de Souza, screenwriter Judge Dredd
“He’s one of the few people around with the balls to play with his own money. His word carries a lot of weight. He’s personally out on the line. It’s always given me a lot of respect for him. Andy is always involved. He’s your partner or your boss, but he offers guidance as opposed to instructions… He approaches business in a sort of family style. He keeps the same friends for 30 years, and that’s kind of remarkable.”
John McTiernan, director of Medicine Man and Die Hard With a Vengeance
“Andy Vajna was a dear friend and a revolutionary force in Hollywood. He proved that you don’t need studios to make huge movies like Terminator 2 or Total Recall. He had a huge heart, and he was one of the most generous guys around. I’ll miss him.”
“Andy doesn’t compare to anybody else in this business. Andy is unique, he’s independent; he’s a rare blend of entrepreneur and film maker. He puts his money on the line time and time again, and he’s won as big as anyone in this town. You’ve got to admire somebody like that.”
Jeffrey Katzenberg, Dream Works SKG Partner
Andy Vajna died
Andy Vajna, a major player of the Hungarian and international film industry, film producer, Government Commissioner in charge of the Hungarian film industry died in Budapest at the age of 74.
Andy Vajna was born in Budapest in 1944. In 1956 at the age of 12, he fled from Hungary and with the support of Red Cross he made his way alone to Canada. Later on he reunited with his parents in Los Angeles who fled Hungary separately. He studied cinematography at the University of California (UCLA) and then joined the University’s Educational Motion Picture Department. He set up his own photo studio, then in Hong Kong he established his own wig manufacturing company and operated cinemas.
Andy Vajna was one of the most respected producers in the world. He produced 59 movies, including The Children of Glory, Music Box, Rambo series, Angel Heart, Terminator, Evita and Jacob’s Ladder which were known and recognized worldwide. He was the producer of the Hungarian comedy Out of Order aired in 1997, which still hold the viewing recording in the Hungarian cinemas.
Andy Vajna has never forgotten his Hungarian roots and always tried to help the Hungarian film industry. He served the Hungarian film industry as a strong-armed government commissioner since 2011, under his leadership the Hungarian film industry was placed in the forefront of the international film industry.
After consolidating the film supporting system, he conceived the Hungarian National Film Fund. In his period several successful movies were produced including Son of Saul, The Notebook, Kincsem - Bet on Revenge, On Body and Soul, 1945 and Happy New Year. His role in developing the Hungarian film industry is undeniable, the volume of the foreign films produced in Hungary increased by 5 times.
Under the Vajna era, Hungarian movies financed by the Hungarian National Film Fund won several hundred international awards, including Oscar Awards, Golden Globe and Golden Bear.
Andy Vajna told this last week to his colleagues: It is my passion to back, in other words, it was his passion to give something back to the country where he was born.