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You are in: Home > 2008. 56th Edition  > Festival Diary > «John Malkovich is not a topic that interests me»
Festival Diary » ZABALTEGI - PEARLS
«John Malkovich is not a topic that interests me»
Monday, September 22nd, 2008

Actor, producer, director John Malkovich is once again back in San Sebastián. This time he’s presenting the Coen brothers’ Burn after Reading in which he plays the role of an alcoholic CIA agent. Malkovich, who won a Donos­tia Award here in 1998, couldn’t say whether it was a political film or not, as he didn’t know what that meant but on a deeper level he felt the film addressed the menace of dreams and how people will go a long way to achieve them, with tragic consequences. He also stres­sed the easygoing atmos­phere that had prevailed on the set and that he had had always loved the Coens’ films and it had been great working with them.

As for politics in general he deflected any questions about the forthcoming Ame­rican elections, claiming that anyone who needed his advice shouldn’t be running.

He was somewhat more forthcoming about his craft. He confessed that to a certain extent he felt an outsider everywhere so this was no more the case in Hollywood than elsewhere, and he hoped that there were directors who could still get more out of him; otherwise he wouldn’t continue acting. A question on Being John Malkovich drew the response that he thought it was an incredibly hilarious piece of writing but that he’d been worried that it would make his life different but in the end it didn’t change his life at all. In actual fact, “John Malkovich is not a topic that interests me.”

In his line of work you could control very little and he found it odd that people talk about having things under control: “One of the beauties of life is not knowing what’s coming; even if it’s a tragedy".

He’d like to direct more films – he does do a lot of theatre directing, but shoot­ing films is so much more time-consuming and compli­cated than directing plays. When asked if he had anything to say to someone wanting to follow in his footsteps he said he was no longer sure, but twenty years ago he would have quoted from William Faulkner’s Nobel Prize speech about how what was really im­portant was creating “out of the materials of human existence, something that did not exist before".

He had warm words for Raúl Ruiz, the Franco-Chilean director he had made three films with: “He’s a very bright, funny, cultured guy,” with whom he hoped to shoot a film about Count Sacher-Masoch, the author of “Venus in Furs” this winter, although he still didn’t know where they would be shooting.


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