John Malkovich: “I don’t think I’ve figured out a magic formula; I think I’ve just been lucky”

I will believe just about any story you tell me about certain actors.  For example, Bill Murray randomly joined a kickball game in New York City?  Yes, I totally buy that.  Another actor that falls into that category is John Malkovich.  Malkovich designs clothes?  Yup, I can see that.  He is doing an opera tour?  Sure, why wouldn’t he?  He spoke about his career — as both an actor and a renaissance man — with The Globe and Mail.

Though Being John Malkovich was an acclaimed film that launched the screenwriting career of Charlie Kaufman, Malkovich himself has never been a household name despite being a recognizable actor.  Malkovich claims that part of that has to do with the fact that he has never really chased success or even figured out how to be successful.  He explains, “I don’t think I’ve figured out a magic formula; I think I’ve just been lucky.  I don’t want to do big Hollywood movies as a steady diet, but I have great fun doing them, and it seems to me that every once in a while you have to do a movie that people want to see. You’d be shocked to hear I even have friends in Hollywood.”

After all, for every big budget film like Red and Red 2 Malkovich does he tends to do twice as many little-seen independent films of varying acclaim.  On that he says, “I’ve done a lot of art films – and maybe they weren’t good, it’s not for me to say – but people often have precious little interest in things like that, or they don’t get well distributed or well marketed, who knows. I don’t really think about it that much.”

Nevertheless, Malkovich confesses that he still gets a lot out of his work no matter what type of movie he is in.  He says, “But I never feel bored, or feel there isn’t something I should work on or try to do better, or find a solution to in performance or writing or editing,  If I didn’t like something, I simply wouldn’t do it any more.”

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