Douglas added: “Larry and his wife, Vivien Leigh, lived nearby. Vivien was not well emotionally. Everyone pretended there was nothing wrong, in spite of her strange behaviour.
“In a restaurant one day with a group, she turned to Olivier and said, ‘Larry, why don’t you f*** me anymore?’ Then she started coming on to me, very seductive, with Olivier sitting right there.”
Their marriage was on its last legs (they divorced in 1960 after the film was released) and its spectre hung over the actor during the long and arduous Spartacus film shoot.
Laughton also eventually agreed to sign on, for a reported fee of $41,000 ($400,000 today) for just thirteen days work, but he made Douglas’ life a constant hell.