How much does it cost for Malcolm McDowell to go to the toilet?: A rare interview from 1976

Malcolm McDowell contemplates how much it costs for him to sit on the toilet when making a movie, in this interview with Denis Tuohy from 1976.

The desk-to-desk style of this interview makes Mr. McDowell look like he is visiting his bank manager for a loan. Indeed, money prays on McDowell’s mind, as he reveals his next film Caligula was already budgeted at $7million, which is a lot of weight to have “riding on his neck.” (It ended-up costing $22m.)

McDowell is one of the finest actors in the world, who has made more than a handful of cinema’s greatest and most important films. But overall, he seems to have been often let down by his choice of roles. He talks positively about his intuition when deciding whether a script is worth doing, just by reading its first few pages. Yet, this hardly explains why he made Jezebel’s Kiss or Where Truth Lies, Disturbed or some of the other straight-to-video fodder he has appeared in since 1990.

That said, it’s probably not McDowell’s fault, rather the terrifying lack of intelligence and imagination that runs Hollywood film studios. Personally, I’d watch McDowell in anything, even The Mentalist (where, let’s be clear, his character Bret Stiles would piss on Patrick Jane from a great height, as Jane was caught by the Police, while millionaire Stiles wasn’t). Compare McDowell’s American TV work with his British TV performances: he may thrill in CSI: Miami, but he is brilliant in the BBC’s Our Friends in the North.

For years, McDowell has tried to make Monster Butler, the true story of infamous killer butler, Archibald Hall. As of November this year, this film was once again put on hold (canceled) due to lack of funds. I sincerely hope that in 2013, the year of McDowell’s 70th birthday, some producer out there has the intelligence to finance what is sure to be one of McDowell’st greater films.

With many thanks to NellyM

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Acting is ‘better than working’: Robert Mitchum interviewed for French TV

Robert Mitchum started out making Westerns at $100 a week, and all the horse manure he could take home. It was, he says, like “playing Cowboys and Indians out in the fresh air,” and was better than working. The way Mitchum tells it, he got hired to play himself, and only worked when his family got bored of him hanging around the house. 

Mitchum may have been self-effacing, but he was always very sure of himself. He was grounded, centered, and that’s what made hims attractive - you knew you could rely on him. In this interview for French TV, Mitchum suggests acting is 10% talent and 90% craft; talks his experience of working on Ryan’s Daughter; and explains why his favorite actor was Charles Laughton.

Footnote: The above picture is from one of Mitchum’s best films, The Friends of Eddie Coyle, based on the brilliant novel by George V. Higgins. If you haven’t seen it (or read it), do yourself a favor, get it now.


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Kenneth Williams on Acting: A revealing interview from 1980

“All acting is a covering up of inferiority,” says Kenneth Williams in this interview from February 1980. Williams never believed in himself enough to be a great actor, his insecurities made him seek the easy route of comedy to win over the audience’s affection. Even in interviews he would rather undo any show of intellect with coarse innuendo than reveal his intimate, more serious side. People thought him flippant, but he wasn’t - he was like all of us, scared of rejection, scared of being emotionally hurt. Emotions were messy, uncontrollable, and not to be trusted. “That’s why I enjoyed acting,” continues Williams, for performing plays offered him a shield to hide behind. It’s a startling moment of truth, as he sits on the sofa, arms folded, and it almost upends the interview, which then tails off onto eccentricity, homeopathy and disease.


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Around the world with Sean Connery’s accent
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Sean Connery

There are few actors who have exploited their accent as successfully as Sir Sean Connery.

No matter the role, Sir Sean’s always sounds the same, whether he’s an Egyptian immortal in Highlander, an English King, in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, or a New York beatnik in A Fine Madness, he never alters his lispy Scotch accent.

Here’s a quick trip around the world according to Sir Sean.

Egypt: Who can forget Connery’s wonderful Egyptian Tak Ne (aka Juan Sanchez Villa-Lobos Ramirez), who teaches Christopher Lambert’s Connor MacLeod all he needs to know to be the only one in Highlander (1986)
Previously on Dangerous Minds

Sean Connery gave TV its first male-to-male kiss

Sean Connery: The Musical 

More vocal riches from Sean after the jump…

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