Sunday, March 31, 2013

Malcolm McDowell Quotes

1. Let's not get too precious about it: actors are not heart surgeons or brain surgeons. We are just entertaining people.

2. (on Stanley Kubrick and "A Clockwork Orange") I was fortunate enough to work with Stanley before his infamous paranoia set in (referring to Kubrick's obsession over every possible variation on a scene, and over everything that might - or at least could - go wrong while filming). One complex technical shot, on the waterfront, gave us so much trouble that 50 takes were required…so Stanley did have an excuse. Nonetheless, after "Take 49", I asked him if we couldn't call this Take 1-A. "If I have to hear "Take 50,"" I complained, "I feel I'm going to crack." But Stanley looked me in the face and said, very flatly, "No." So "Take 50" it was. Well, I *tried* to reason with him, anyway.

3. The best thing I did was abuse myself when younger - I dabbled in everything, cocaine, booze, women - because now I don't have to do it anymore.

4. The definition of insanity in Texas is so insane that it's impossible to be insane in Texas.

5. There are no great scripts - just great films.

6. (on Stanley Kubrick) Probably one of the five greatest directors that ever lived.

7. (when asked what his favorite Stanley Kubrick film was) "A Clockwork Orange"! I never saw any of the others.

8. There's nobody who's ever going to come close to John Ford.

9. (reflecting on "A Clockwork Orange") It's a remarkable film that has survived as such a classic and I'd be a raving idiot not to be thrilled with that.

10. (on horror movies) I'm not that keen on them, to be honest. I find them tedious, most of them, really kind of schlocky and terrible character development and thin storylines. The ones that I've seen, they're usually pretty bad because they're very low budget.

11. He didn't want me at first, told me about the big-name actor he could get, how he was taller than I was - I'm five eight and a half - but I said: "That's nothing, I can stand on a box."

12. (on Wes Craven and "The People Under the Stairs") I went to see the film and I was just riveted by this thing. I thought: "My God, this guy is brilliant. I'd love to work with him."

13. I did a picture I loved called "Time After Time", and the people who saw it loved it. We had a big opening in Toronto at the Festival of Festivals - huge - and they gave us a fabulous reception. Great city, Toronto - Mary (Mary Steenburgen) and I loved it there. Great restaurants, great people. The studio hired these so-called "experts" to tell them how to market the film. And these silly asses took a poll to determine a "recognition" factor. And more people recognized "Jack the Ripper", which was David Warner's role in the movie, than H.G. Wells, who I played in the movie. Hardly anyone recognized the name H.G. Wells, in fact. So they decided to go with a campaign that stressed "Jack the Ripper", which was all well and good except that people didn't want to see another movie about "Jack the Ripper", and they stayed away in droves. I've got a big piece of that film, but I haven't seen a penny, and I probably never will. However, I did meet my wife making that movie, so I don't really mind!

14. (on playing the character Alex DeLarge in "A Clockwork Orange") I don't think I have ever had that much fun doing the work. He was a wicked son of a bitch.

15. (on "Time After Time") I got to be the hero in that one. It's a very whimsical part, a wonderful part, H.G. running after "Jack the Ripper" (David Warner) and meeting this modern woman (Mary Steenburgen). Of course, it's very special to me because I met Mary ((Mary Steenburgen), we got married, and we had two children. Even though we're not together now, she is the mother of my children and that film is where we met. It's also a damn good film! (on "Time After Time")

16. (on Rob Zombie) He's got a definite point of view. He has just done horror films because that's all they want him to make. For him to get out of that, which he will, is going to be tough. He is a far better director than a horror movie director. The way he looks at the material and the way he gives you reign but also gives you boundaries.

17. (on unsimulated sex scenes in mainstream films, often sourced to his film "Caligula") I think that's crap. I think that's pathetic. Go get another job. Listen: We're in the business of illusion. We are illusionists. Seriously, that is absolutely pathetic. You're telling me to do a love scene, you actually have to have penetration? That's absolutely beyond pathetic. If you can't think of any way of making that exciting, you're in the wrong job. That's what I think. I remember when they did "Don't Look Now", and they thought that Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie actually made love on camera. It's laughable. They were just two extremely gifted actors who made everybody believe they did and ran with it. There was no way there was penetration on the set. No way. Because that crosses over into a porno picture, and I don't care which way you dress it up.

18. (referring to Lindsay Anderson) I loved him, more than any other man, ever. More than my father I think. I loved him.

19. (on playing psychiatrist Dr. Samuel Loomis in "Halloween") I want to make Loomis a man with a tremendous ego. I've met some of these doctors through the years, where there is more ego in it than there is (interest in what's) best for the patient, and if they can get a book out of it - which of course he has done - it's a bestseller, and that's so much better.

20. (at ZomBcon) It is true I'd rather get a hole in one than win an Academy Award.

21. (on Donald Pleasence) I did know Donald. I met him in London at the Royal Court Theatre. He was a tremendous actor - he played those wonderful sinister parts. I particularly remember him in two performances: He was in two great plays, one was written by Robert Shaw called "The Man in the Glass Booth" and the other was a Harold Pinter play, "The Guest".

What do you think of Malcolm McDowell's quotes?

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