MALCOLM MCDOWELL: BEYOND A CLOCKWORK ORANGE

You’ve also completed a number of major animation films recently, being heard as the voice of the fiendish character RAIUS, in “Delgo” alongside the voices of Val Kilmer, Sally Kellerman, Anne Bancroft, Burt Reynolds. You’re also heard as the voice of the evil Mayor Scamboli, in “Pinnochio 3000″ with Whoppie Goldberg and Howie Mandell also voicing. Do you enjoy voicing for animated movies? Is it fun, or more like hard work? ^ It can be fun. I think it is a lot of fun, and also, I like to do it. I’m going to do a couple more, for television. And I do them simply because I have a young son, and one day he’ll see them and he’ll probably appreciate it. I mean, you don’t get paid very much, but I think it’s good to do them. They ‘are’ fun, of course they’re fun. And it’s only an hour’s work or something, or with the big ones maybe a day, and you go in and you have a bit of fun, and you do it! Yes, actually, I enjoy them, very much. I mean, the best movies of this past year, they’re all animation, The Incredibles, ‘Shark’s Tale’, and of course Shrek 2, which my young son watches in the back of the car! He’s seen it fifty times. I’ve only heard it, with my wife, we sit in the front. He’s back in the child seat with this video screen! We’ve never seen it but we’ve heard it! We know it backwards! But it’s a wonderful film, of course. And I think “The Incredibles” is one of the best films of the year, I really do.

Do you ever reflect upon the impact you have made, as an actor, upon other professional actors? ^ You can’t reflect on that. You just do your thing, you really can’t … you can’t go, “Ooh yes, I’m making a statement!” or something. Of course not, no. If other people are influences somewhat, I know Gary Oldman told me he became an actor because he saw me in “The Raging Moon” (1971), a film I did. Brian Forbes directed it, and it was starring Nanette Newman, Brian’s wife. And it was a fabulous film, I did it in 1969, it was my third film. And it’s really wonderful actually that you can inspire someone, especially as talented as he is (Gary Oldman), to go on and do it, and to give him something to shoot at. Albert Finney was my hero as a young man, and when I saw him in “Saturday Night and Sunday Morning” (1960), I just said, “Right! I know I can get out of the North, and go to London, and become an actor! I mean, Albert did it, and he’s from Salford, so I can do it!” I was from Liverpool, I was living in Liverpool and I just thought, “Right, that’s it! I’m gonna be an actor. And I can do it.” And I think that’s important. But do I reflect on it? No, of course I don’t think about, “Oh look! I’m being so clever.” You just do what you have to do. It’s very nice, you know, people of course … young actors know my work and all that. It’s very nice. I’ve been around a long time! So obviously they’re going to bump into something I’ve done at ‘some’ point.

You enjoy golf, I hear! And I’m sure you know The Ryder Cup is being held at The K Club in County Kildare in Ireland in 2006. When might we see you on some of Ireland’s golf courses? ^ Well, I’m thinking of taking a trip in the summer and come out and play them, because I hear they’re amazing and I’m dying to come to Ireland and play. I’m going to get a little group together, and we’ll all come over and play them. I’m just sitting here watching the golf! They’ve got some wonderful courses over there. I’ve only just taken it up, really. So late in life, but I’m completely hooked, I love it! Unfortunately, you don’t want to be too much of a perfectionist, playing golf. It gets frustrating at times, but I’m having great fun playing!

What book lies on your bed-side table right now? ^ What book? I’m reading this historical novel about John Adams.

What are your fondest memories of the late Richard Harris? ^ Richard was an extraordinary man, and a wonderful actor, and great raconteur. I remember once, I was invited to go to Wimbledon. I was there, by chance, and so was Richard. We were invited into the B.B.C. Radio commentary box, to talk. I don’t know, maybe there was a rain delay or something. But I had a wonderful hour, talking, with Richard, on the radio. And it was fabulous, and I remember that, very distinctly. Of course, he (Richard Harris) had a very explosive relationship with Lyndsay Anderson. And, in fact, when Lyndsay wanted to rebuke me, he’d say: “Be careful Malcolm, you’re becoming like Richard Harris.” Which I think, was a compliment. Richard was a man who lived life to the full, every minute of it, and you have to admire that. I loved him actually, he had a great ‘heart’, he really did. He was a softy, really. I remember, and I don’t think he had seen Lyndsay for years and years, when Lyndsay died, there was a memorial for him at the Royal Court Theatre in London. Low and behold, out of the blue, he flew back from South Africa where he’d been shooting a film. He flew in, and it was Richard. He came for Lyndsay’s memorial, and I was so ‘thrilled’ that he did that. And that was the kind of man he was, you know. I didn’t even know he was going to appear, and he just said: “Well, it’s all been said … everything I would say has been said by everybody else.” God bless him … and that was it. He was adorable, and he was an extraordinary actor, of course.

You turned 61 just last June, GQ magazine has voted you one of the Best Dressed British Males of all time, you’re a remarkably fit man. What are the things you do to keep in shape, and how important is your appearance to you nowadays? ^ Well … I haven’t had any surgery! So there’s none of that! I’ve always been very keen on sport. I was a tennis player. When I came to California I took up tennis, because, you know, what else do you do? Beautiful weather, you take up tennis, or surfing. My son’s a surfer, but I love tennis. I live in a very beautiful town here in California that has a great golf course, and so the next thing was, I ended up on the golf course. And I’m really happy that I did because it’s a fabulous game and very fascinating, and good for somebody like me. You know I’m not the most patient man in the world, and if you’re not patient on the golf course, you pay ‘dearly’. So it’s really good for me, temperamentally, to play golf. It forces me to calm down, take it easy, and take every shot at a time, and forget the bad ones, which of course there are many. And even Bobby Jones said that “Golf is a game of recovery.” In my case, that’s doubly true!




Posted on May 3, 2005 in Interviews by
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