back, Jimboin the deliciously politically Pretty Persuasion
youve added a fab, new sleazebag to your glittering gallery of nutcases
(The Onion Field, Ghosts of Mississippi, Videodrome,
et al). But, hey, bud, how do you choose your scripts?
easyits like what Bob DeNiro said to me during Once
Upon a Time in America: The problem with most movies is that they
take shit, gussie it up, put it on a platter and sell it to you like its
caviarbut it aint caviar, its just polished shit.
(laughs) So I turn down everything. But once in a while youll read a
script and go, Where the fuck is this going? This is intriguing,
and so Pretty Persuasion was one I wanted to doI just
loved this fat fifty year old guy sitting in his underwear playing video poker,
doing blow and whacking off to phone sex.
Persuasion has balls like you just dont see much of onscreen
these days. So, as a man who tells it like it is, tell us whats wrong
with movies today.
business has been co-opted by people who have the same disease that Congress
haseverybody is so virulently partisan. The idea was to release the
film while she was on tour, so now
irony is that people who are really kind of mainstream, which I am
I mean, I know that because Im not a screaming, communist, liberal people
think, Oh, hes right wing
but thats not remotely
youre good pals with Barbra Streisand.
funny: On The Way We Were we hadnt been introduced yet and Im
standing there and she turns and says Are you afraid of me? I
said Fuck no! just like that. I said, Honey, you can sing,
but when they say action, its every man for himself and youre
in second place! For a moment I thought, Im fired,
and then she said, Kid, were going to be friends for life.
And we did. Shes delightfulwhenever less liberal friends
bash her I say, You know what? Everybodys entitled to their politics.
Oliver Stone with whom youve done four films, including your breakthrough,
was a great, insane experience. Oliver is one of my best friends and when
people say If you became a director what would you do?, I say,
Id be like Olivertotally prepared and then change
everything on the spur of the moment. Ive actually been offered
several movies to direct, but Ive said, No, because I want
to win the Best Picture Oscar the first time I do it.
having been Oscar nominated twice (Onion Field, Ghosts
youre not shy to admit you want one, huh?
wants one. And I think itll probably happen for me, ironically, for
directingits just possible that Ive been on the wrong
side of the camera for 35 years. Ive been directing a lot of commercials,
lately, to get ready and Im just a natural at itnow Im
going to bring out the very best in people and then, maybe, once in a while,
throw in a part for ol Jimmy himself.
ol Jimmy couldnt not act, could he?
I couldnt not act. I can honestly say that Im in a business where
I would happily have worked for free every day of my life.
listen, youve played many bad guys
a cultural problem within our industry is that if youre a white, heterosexual
middle-aged man, theres only one part for you: The asshole villain.
You know, Id really like to think that those of us who also wrote Hamlet
and put men on the moon might have something else to contribute in this post-feminist
Yet those unbridled performancesmost definitely including
Pretty Persuasion'sprove ad infinitum what Alec
Baldwin once said of you: Jimmy is an acting terrorist.
KNEW WHAT HE MEANT, because good acting is like good sexI mean,
polite sex has never been very interesting to me: The more blood, sweat, and
tears there are, the better the sex. SEE, I think the only time you should
be really polite is at the dinner tableand also when you wave
goodbye first thing in the morning and say, Sorry I couldnt buy
you breakfast, honey. (laughs) Kidding, just kidding
2015 Brantley Bardin. All Rights Reserved.