Through Paranoia was roasted by critics and bombed at the box office, it has at least one thing going for it: the film features both Richard Dreyfuss and Harrison Ford for the first time since 1973’s American Graffiti. In the forty years since both men have had very successful careers, but both have also significantly reduced their workloads in film over the last decades. While Ford might chalk his career slowdown to his love of flying his various planes, Dreyfuss actually retired from film in order to pursue acting in theater. However, as he tells the Los Angeles Times, retirement simply didn’t work out that way. He also talks about what films today are missing in comparison to films of his youth.
Several years ago Dreyfuss announced that he was “retiring” from film, though really it was more of a scaling back. He explains, “I am a very nice and good and decent and selfish person — I am an actor. I did it for 45 years, and anyone who does anything for 45 years has a right to stop.”
Dreyfuss himself confesses it was a poor choice of words since he continues to appear in films — much more often than he appears on stage. However, he points out that it’s the only thing he really knows, saying, “Frankly, I don’t know how else to make a living. The only way I could make any money was to come back.”
Nonetheless, despite the fact that he never really retired Dreyfuss is highly critical of many of today’s films. He explains, “It’s been difficult because most of the roles are just so stupid. I wouldn’t recommend to a young actor anymore to become an actor because I think the film industry has changed so terribly. The tools in the director’s tool kit used to be story, dialogue, character, and after that came cinematography and editing. Now it’s special effects, editing, and we are way down at the bottom part.”
To be honest, putting American Graffiti and Paranoia side-by-side absolutely proves his point!