For forty years the HFPA has audio- taped celebrated actors and actresses. The world’s largest collection of its kind is now in the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences Library. The audios are fascinating. To stars, our HFPA journalists are family; they banter with them and speak openly and frankly about themselves and their artistry
I played football in high school, but I became a football player after I did North Dallas 40, and it was mainly a journalistic creation. Around this time I was arrested for selling counterfeit government documents. I was given a $75,000 fine and forty-five years in jail, which meant I could not be drafted because I was a felon and that was great.
But what happens is that changes came about. Later, they turned around and said, “Sure you can vote now, we were just kidding.”
Well, I didn’t kid with it. I won’t vote. I’m a felon. So that’s why I remain disillusioned with any kind of bureau-cratic structure. I have a healthy disrespect for institutions. Personally, I believe in myself.
When I was drinking, during my years of addiction , I was happy, but it finally caught up with me. But I was great drunk. As far as acting goes, I’ve been happy with it from the very first day I decided to get into acting. When I saw my first Arthur Miller play, I said, this talks about human life. You can read it, you can watch it, you can participate in it.
I was very happy the first time I got on stage. But I was also horrified. To go on stage is a horrific experience. Opening night is pure terror. There is nobody who can say isn’t but I knew immediately that this was home. I really belonged. This is what I needed to do, so that journey has
always been that way.
There hasn’t been a time in my film experience when I said, “Oh, now I’m doing what I want to do.” I was always doing what I wanted to do. I wasn’t always happy with myself when I was an alcoholic, but that is a different situation than the work. Through all the addiction and everything, I didn’t stop working. I made films like Who’ll Stop The Rain, Heartbeat, and 48 Hours, and was quite pleased with all of those.
—Edited by Jack Tewksbury
|27th July 2012,|