« WTF with Marc Maron Podcast

Episode 779 - Martin Landau

2017-01-22 | 🔗
Martin Landau is an Oscar-winning actor with a lifetime of work on film, TV, and stage. But he's also one of the foremost educators on his craft. Martin takes Marc through his early days in New York City at The Actors Studio studying under Lee Strasberg alongside fellow students like Marilyn Monroe and James Dean, which led to Martin becoming a revered acting teacher in his own right.

Sign up here for WTF+ to get the full show archives and weekly bonus material! https://plus.acast.com/s/wtf-with-marc-maron-podcast.

Our GDPR privacy policy was updated on August 8, 2022. Visit acast.com/privacy for more information.

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Hey folks. How are I just wanted to take a moment here to say that you can go to w tia pod dotcom swash tour to check out my upcoming tour dates. tomorrow night, albeit be at the ruby diamond concert hall in Tallahassee Florida. I believe that's on the campus and the big Firstly, there I gotta, durham north carolina charlotte north carolina. I gather richfield connecticut poor psmith new Hampshire, ma sri all toronto new haven, troy new york, burlington, vermont, oakland, california, seattle, washington, vancouver bc, austin Texas, bolder colorado, Denver, colorado, portland, Oregon, poor, lend Oregon again Milwaukee wisconsin, madison wisconsin men app was minnesota and fairly washington dc all coming up between now and it may so go to beauty. I pod dot com swash tour, to see if you How come you want?
make it out of your around the ebony interest Let's do the show All I goods do this. How are you what the fuckers, what the fuck bodies, what the fuck makes, what the fuck stirs what's happening mark mare, and this is my todd. Gas. W e f welcome to it, if a weekend powerful. We. and around the world today on the show, Martin landau the actor, and the teacher who's been around for a very long time. Many of you know him from the edward movie crimes misdemeanors early on a mission impossible space, ninety ninety nine ages, the history of his career, but also his presence in the art of acting and insurance this in general
did what is experienced going your back years or more is profound and beautiful, very we'd guy and just positive amazing information about about the importance of theatre in art and death, acting in damn. Sir, your reverence for people who worked with going back to the m people's theater and eat he's in one of my favorite movies of all time I am Mr Mayer's woody islands masterpiece, but definitely one of the best movies ever made in terms of dealing with the the human animal deal with morality, dealing with choice, decisions, fears jealousy love. I mean it's really it is yet it's all in there and martin land eleazer.
The genius in that movie- and I was for us to have him He's a a young eighty, eight I talking of these old timers. Yet you know because even ya know old timer. am I mean my early fifty's but I remember when there is low seem formation around less outwits around less distractions around, and it was a So is somewhat of a little easier to find you. In your place in your space in your mind and that world, even if we were not getting all the information it ate. It might have been. better in some ways it a year now and not saying I encourage denial, but maybe a little bit detachment and in a little bit of distance can hurt, but that was the case over the weekend. Was pretty amazing to see all these marches. These women's marches that we're all inclusive men, women, children of all
racism at ethnicities and groups in all different types. people really, you're coming together. I think in and sort of realising that We have ourselves to rely on that. There is a community of people that debt that dead deserving, of course, want to be good, decent people we live in a in a in a diverse and tolerant america. You know just a it's. It's very moving to me to see so many people of so many different types of coming together. mean really it's not it's not liberal, to want equal rights, If not liberal were to to believe in science is not we're liberal to want human rights is not living. To one tolerance and diversity in It's not liberal, to be compassionate. you know it's it's american It is great to see so many people come together and just be who they are
It takes a lot of energy, you know, there's it there's, there's really a sort of inaction: Humility and vulnerability to not being Well to pretend you are something you were not or to try to be yo to pay. I should be accepted for something you aren't in that honor billowy ability and humility is, is beautiful, and obviously there's a lot of anger. There's a lot of rights. Anger around, but man I was just happy to see everybody. You know coming together in interest being american, being good americans and being good people to each other being peaceful. And trying to to show some. solidarity in there. You are very real, nervousness and fear. about what's ahead, which we don't know so that exciting. That was uplifting, so Well, I'm not going to spend too time here cause I have to pee, but I
I do want to to get you excited about this interview, because it is a rare thing to talk to somebody who is eighty eight years old and has been and seen and done so much the arts in show business in an antique, acting in and enough just having it good spirit. It's. It was beautiful conversation, an issue if you now this is me and martin landau. I ten years ago. I knew who you were has said of comic as a true here, because I like what you did and I was a big mord, sol fan and an shelly berman. Ah, I it's gonna be one of the original compas players, EU india chicago, which became second said, the sheriff and other words I
crowded, jelly berman, causeway, george, and seller seventeen and the catch goes, Shelley and I used to do stick ah vivian reg. jewish dial. Your often cause we're toward my concord and gross fingers and sells it and the cat cast for your speech and cultures, cultures, yeah factor couple places where they know English spoken, so astonished? Seventeen did gotten no laughs ray. I saw you was all yiddish well in such a couple of hours, Yet if no one spoke anguish right and we did a play in it, yeah, so a minimalist, very quiet so was the beginning of your acting well now at the beginning of my acting like ice. Let's go all the way back, so you you're from new york, I'm from
rectilinear idea, I was hidden in in Flatbush and and I could draw- and I went to providence to to study fine arts. That's it that's stoa good. so I think right. It's one of the best articles in amerika had happened to be my local art school. Ok, little did. I know it was a great school. I mean trap haven, pavement annoyed if it was a great fashion school and the new york had a lot of stuff. Brooklyn had Pratt right, and I deprived because it was went to madison madison high school James madison at an bernie, incidentally, sanders Bernie sanders went to Mata genome as a kid. No history, I'm twenty years older than he is right. He he he's young. I call him a so so your parents are first generation, I father was first generation. He was twelve morning came to america. My mother was like a fourth
fifth generation. They were there ready how she was there and where Did your father escape my father know my father's came from a family of of people who came before that near his mother came first year he had three brothers, two brothers and three sisters, you and she brought them over one by one. The father stayed in Austria, hungary, here the border kept changing, bribe forth he married a yankee ya, I mean who is proud and he lost his jewish. He was He was your wish. She well you're right shown by young keen on the last day, while I am Merrick american visa had he worked like Hell. We get rid of his action. oh yeah, so I mean had a new york accent which he didn't know it What would I do right? Yeah yeah, but you know he would.
great. He got rid of the austrian accent he was able to atlanta. That's right of any any trace of. I am your laughing gluttony but it was interesting. I think at that time, that there was a need that juice felt that they had to pass. somehow absolutely in new york, of course, the ghettos we merely and jewish knew george, laurie sigh and bleak history. We italian on an end. There were you, no borders unilaterally and wall some him. Ah, yes, He and he and my mother lived in the same house- saint tenement, yes and different floor in the city. four brooklyn pin in downtown. what kind of business was here.
While originally when I was first born, he ass, he was, and he had a factory cleaning and stitching and stuff, and any at all, partner who robbed him and he went bankrupt and war. war two broke out, and everyone knew that he would have been made uniforms and stuff at that point in baja when we were very wealthy, but what he'd learned to do was fix sewing machines just out of the nature of his having a factory, so that was his business, so he then became a machinist ahah and and was able to make parts that they couldn't get parts because of the war. Effort was using most of the metal.
so accustomed parts, so he could make part took a custom. He added with a workshop in the beijing and never you known so he's? Probably a sought out man a. I would think that the only guy that could get the parts was we had to make them. He couldn't hate, yes and and fix them fix a sewing machine and how many siblings did you have? I had to History is we're, one of whom is ten years old and I am still alive. Oh, you got the good genes there. While she just stop driving god. Thou issues are met, an idea, eight. Yes, she stopped driving. She stopped She used to go to atlantic city from where she lives in queens. She she was a designated driver. I should wish now why, while awaiting- and why are you driving, I saw how many of your sorority justice is still alive. She said none
I said well wait a minute now so home over these people, you're driving. She should young people out there in the seventies and eighties S, but us, but Two of her sons, one is a psychiatrist. one is a heart doctor in how to chicago now Ah, the psychiatrist used to call me. So how do we get my mother to stop driving? I should call your psychiatrist. Why should I, kid at I shall allow my kid brother know a good start with no one has diaper. She finally said enough. cause. I think she realized she was. A hazard now got scared. you're scared. Somebody else. I don't know what happened, but you should know considering giving up the dry, I should really you know is. If I owe you did that you should know Asher. So I didn't so you're a kid grown up, this time- and you have this talent for drawing which I would think these knocked at the first idea-
your father and mother thought you should pursue, while no yeah accepting. I got a job I want. We stolen high school in the new york daily newspaper in the art department, a really bye, bye, some stuff that I have drawn to for them to peruse and hand they Hired me I lied about. I was seventeen I am. I said I was eighteen so right away, I'm a liar to start when so I gotta managed madison high school at three o clock. I walked the be empty, get on a train go to new york and work from four o clock till midnight and the daily news, and do my homework on the train and then go to high school again it the climate? Will you drawing a what we're doing everything here? I became a staff artist, really
I didn't want you re. Really, I'm really good here, I'm seventy yeah! No! I was interior whose a year before graduated from high school after that I want to Pratt, still worked at the news. I never told him tat. I was a kid yeah. Are you not going to know, but here's where I was working with guys who have called Flavia as Guglielmo and Bob carter? You know a lot of anti semites, but that's okay. You know, I mean Ed evans, you're gonna. However, The nourish was, you know about hello. I know we had a huge calculation, india and I grooming made. The reason I left was, I could do caricature, I mean really good at near. I can You know I always illustrating billy roses column pitching horseshoes here and doing caricatures did rights. Alan I just stare and billy rose
garland and and. were was grooming me to become the theatrical caricaturist like a hirschfeld pre harsher No hirschfeld was already on the times, but I only knew shut three times the circulation of time. we'll gallo. Who became a sports car to react on the news. Sat next to me, my power, I went to his wedding, so you had a good gig gone I had a great gave, excepting I shed. Last night was retiring harrison. I was an old english fellow whose work. We are here and I was gonna move internet spot, which meant got what that german tailored was. I would be I would go to see her dress rehearsal opening night and then do I cast to cure the heart, the sunday papers to opening to drawings and that's the job, which is a great job, I'm here,
You know I had a very art deco, look as opposed to a cartoony one Now it was cartoon need improvement button. hirschfeld had a sweeping lie, yeah yeah, no idea. I had a very rigid kind of gecko. I still haven't deco. However, I do a lot of panic. now, really still with thousands of drawings. Relaxes me I realise at the time, if I got that job I've never quit and I quit because you're afraid to be their whole life now, because I wanted to be an actor, always know John ward was one of the artist suddenly news, but he was studying acting. He was a handsome guy. In fact, I even my girlfriend Le Bo was her name. He gave him a girlfriend. Well, I'd send out, I introduce them. I did no one.
Be have wifi loggers her ass, she was into it, as he was very good, looking guy, yeah yeah, I know and had great you know, had great manners and John ward, I'm a he would even with terrific guy yeah but he was studying acting. We're sandy meissner, talking acting a lot, rank or sorrow who eventually, at one point randy in new york actors, studio, which I'm in love with you, he loosed erecting a party yourself. play called a family reunion and john was cast in it and he's talking. always talked about a theater and stuff. I went to see. family reunion. On opening night she saw tickets for the John ward spur foremans.
to this day was a worse performance. I have ever seen in my life now I had seen a red taylor and glass menagerie and I'd seen major, calm and death of a salesman did been amazing. They were both amazing, so much so that I should hardly. How do you do that I realize sitting there that I could get up right then and there and do in a hundred times better. Without new training? I should only cod. I want to do that here I was inspired by Lee Jacob, in fact at wiped my might desires how completely and la taylor, look like english. She just wondered and off the street she'd been a drunk thirty years, no one here. She was on higher level played the mother and glass menagerie, which is put Kennedy. Williams on the map here when I first
it was when the waiters summer stock- and I did before act or fear got the bug. You wanted to be an actor quit your job at the daily news and in addition for summer stock. Yes, ok and I've got a gig here the picture and play house and main which was is first summer theatre and it had arisen in company of forty people? That's big ha on living in one big clapboard? How a lot of hormones running rampant to hear? I bet an auto somebody was the director. Ratio was an actor who'd study, seriously and peter gum any all these people had done this for a while. Yet I was new And we did a straight powdery like twenty twenty two,
you're that year the year there near the greenhorn give it I'm absolute yeah. But you know I didn't tell anybody. I was sure, coming in a white shoe polish and a hair. When I had a play order. Guys did you know when we were there? What was it? How does that work with their several shows? You'd go out with one shower. You'd know your campaign. Do I do what you did every show where you're coming from a procedure three or four, no, my twelve and thirteen- oh my god different showery weaker had allowed. Shall I get it? In other words, we did it play a musical. Would we opened whether a stir color. I think, and I will give you a border and then we didn't afterward, I think we need to grasp menagerie and I bragged marriage proposed check off, and I mean it just with no training, no training. Just sheer my parents, how'd you do.
Everyone said I was wonderful, but I didn't feel let alone. So when I came back to new york, I sought out a teacher, and I asked a lot of people about and have when I heard the name kirk conway alive. He had been a director. she be issuing broken and people like being met in martin writ a mulligan and he had been blacklisted. He had signed a petition are willing, the key did he was married to wait and obscure. Young actress call came stanley. Ah, who became huge, probably one of the best actresses I've ever seen she was a broadway accuracy and generating page were members a yak studio who I became quite familiar
but this guy conway was with the studio, is well yeah. He wish, with the group, fear the group before he was with tat, which strasbourg clergyman that was our debts. Odette started as an actor and and became a right area. Is a group theatre intergroup theater and why those great power You did well while waiting for waiting for lefty, hidden and golden boy that rocket and ammonia- and you know yes, all of that. He became a writer In other words, what the groove realized- more drama in the streets of new york. Then there were on the stages So the idea, though, like this, this was a a socially active that this was built on a revision of the sense of community that the theatre had and in how would impact of EU culture both era, claremont only strasburg worry young guys at the theatre girl they were doing, plays watching people like
offered lump fountain and much more classical chestnuts, rarely area as opposed. They realised that the theatre needed something contemporary check off. In russia had done his place dying our at the time, right as how them moscow, art theatre, embraced him and though people I go in shaw and a lot of room leaders who wanted a write stuff about. what was going on repression and roosevelt, the array and reappear, had stuff. That's what the groups here to do. in theatre at that time had a little bit of vitality. To what I mean there, you know do well, it had people were injured
aged with it or those new york theatre which you yeah plays, were opening all the time and trouble all the time being panned and being its in and you had me, you know a lot of you, no good, jewish, they undertook yiddish theatre when Marie Schwartz in managua skull, makin and then people I mean theater was alive nea, but. These guys all went to moscow because they had her. about the russian, the moscow artfully happier and stanislav right and doing those place about the dying aristocracy. The comedy said check up was writing and, as you know, the three sisters and come on you and also the burka, breck drug, that breaking and feared. Who is alive in germany at the time we talking
the thirty so so strasbourg and and they all want it to did too study or did tis EU went to sit at his feet and listened to him ass. He talked stanislaus gives known as latchkey. Constantine stanislav became surrogate father took the buddha. Yes, and still stella adler, sandford miserly are an hour. A clergyman and leave strasbourg cassandra, young matt they all went there and cleaned. Now they all came back and they all interpreted over the years differently. Strasbourg. since memory in a minute they there, foresees were all different, but this was the birth of the method. This was definitely status I ve never called at the men write. His abed transition would write. He called at this. The system
actually was system act as were not method actors out. So finally, it clarified well it It's it's crazy. It it the same iii of the fact that that still add were in strasbourg in and the other people that were sent from meissner that they all broke off and indeed their different schools of the system or the method. Yes, what were those in fights about me? What the decision made while at the same then I saw Ass a kid guy up in brooklyn wreck what is known as a city of churches, yet because every other corner had a church of yet different denominations, and I used to you I'm talking about episcopalian presbyterian, greek, orthodox erosion, orthodox and joy, muslim as we call them in those days, arguments all the time and I use the same weight to shake and nobody chose they were made in zaire handed
program wondered by arguing right, there's a war saying the same thing. Oh, if you I believe in our religion, you're not going to Heaven. You gonna believe in Jesus. Oh wait, a minute can I get some condition or keyser condition if I confess changed. This guy's gonna be clean until next weekend, so I mean why between weekly Annie so you get when you get involved when I am artistic director of actors studio west. Now now for a long time, but when you get when at the beginning, when you decide that you need enacting teacher in you, you got this guy's caught this guy conway's name. You know what year we talking. This is long after the establishment of yellowish. This is after the great right out the actors too. I got into they act. I have to go backwards. Bf I gotta
the after studio in EU right fifty four, fifty five and who is in charge strasbourg. Ok, who is this guy conway? He was a teacher teaching of privately and end. An outfit the fourth street and sixth avenue, so they could just be part of the studio and then teach privately yes got it, which most of the while I teach today are acting teachers actually interesting. I pictured at that time that you you'd go you'd sit where which strasbourg their beef twenty of yeah? Ok, so so that was part of it. But then you could do private study with with a teacher of your choice. Yes, ok, I get more before I became a member of the studio. I study with Kirk was much more us, sandy miserly strasbourg at what is that for differentiate, help sandy migratory talks, much more about
intentions, actions what a carriage needs. Do the strasbourg is my. more interested in these sensory life up the car either interesting is right. So it all examples, a cinematically of lee strasberg, acting that you know having known about him when I was a little kid. Yes, and you know you, you watch out one movie with there with him and in art corny with it. They play the bank robber that's right of george george borrowing burns so, like you know like as a guy in high school junior high wherever I first started learning about strasbourg. You watching that. Yet this is the guy and you're watching and your godfather to write. plays the mire lansky character, the exact an actor. That's his first job. How No, who studied with me here talking, and doing any again, I'm watching everything that first tying like he's, got his leg. Draped over the chair, he's make
strange noises, he made a lot of decisions as a and I've never seen Sanford Meisner act but, like you know, I was always one of these guys. You when I was younger and I started respecting people who come from that the match was very romantic, in a way of courts and me to be a right. So you watching, you are one of the tricks in any see. Some of these guys is very interesting to me and I'm gonna ramble for second by us. Don't don't worry about it randal, while these guys it these men actors of the generation, patino deniro land that I guess I would be really second generation right. Earth. actors to shake my wallet! and those gotten worse got would be the first generation james dean. Montgomery cliff was jimmy, was my best right yeah and you met him in new york. I met him in new york. I met him when he before I
They must know who he was right, but when I watch you as an actor like EU crimes and misdemeanours, which is one of my favorite films is one of my all timeframe. Thank you. Seen it so many times, thank you so much and I could see it in your performance. The depth of of experts it's an emotion and decision choices. You are making in an hour, and I wasn't directed a whole lot by woody know. He doesn't do that much right now. He does he. He hires you to do the job if he doesn't like what you're doing fires you right and it was a beautiful performance. The same with edward same would talker same with the big movies that we know you from what was interesting to me when I watch like there's something that happens. It like patino deniro date that that was very interesting to make as the aisle you watch, em and when they were younger. There really engaging right that allow absolutely and then in the mid period once they ve got their fame, they can start relying on some courts and kicks Again, you know patterns of behaviour, and now
Both got an older if their given the right role can really lock intuitive, absolutely and its fascinating. you're. Absolutely right had no sir closing stages. I agree with you about. They became almost care, It shows themselves like because its old, because it It was successful right. So it's ok! So, what's your backs, are you you in you studying what Kirk you study, which strasbourg fiftys when I start yeah I gotta go from cart. One told me not to do the thing. I did for the actor studio because at least rasper, erected on broadway clifford it had written clash by night rats, peaks idea for the group but the group disbanded strasbourg.
directed on broadway commercially with Lay Jacob taylor bank had an pepe show Joseph she'll crowd, flopped, so everyone said: don't do that don't remind him reminder even of kazanovitch passage you I had we judge by the final audition zan, Cheryl, cooperatively, strasbourg. You have to get one boats, one beans pass as pass one one and to know Tat means I, like you, but come back, and six months had three means a going around my doorway. I ever he can't go, get em off you're gonna get along. Everyone said even of strasbourg, even of because like she loves you we're sheriff loves. You may would never like any
You do because that show at him after that, he went to hollywood need struck out there, like Khazar who hit it as a director has Yeah strasbourg as rwanda direct. Yes, she wanted a direct movies, so he really didn't make it as an actor or film director. He was a teacher habitually and then became an actor forty years of not being an actor but teaching some of the greatest. Actors are. Why? Yes isn't something so did you pass? I passed all three. obviously in strasbourg, say the only two of us past that time around to actors one guy, Kostiei, mcqueen and me see mcqueen. I've heard that name young me to highlight he was pretty did all right for himself in the movie betty did he did? Was he a good stage actor? he started as he
when I'm a robe time out for ginger and play Tell us anyone one of those polynesia already here replace, benghazi era in half full of rain on Broadway and that kind of established Kim is important. But it's interesting guys like you and people that we know from television from movies. You know very rarely. It is at this point historically do we know they do as you paid in fear right, and that's where a this stuff gets done like I don't even know if I've ever even considered Steve mcqueen a stage, to my mind, he started at the un in new york. In fact, the first time I ever knew met Steve loosely lifestyles here I was on the back of jimmie dale cycle, which was was papa papa sputtering and we drove into a garage on tenth avenue, and one of the mechanics was a young guy who looked like steam weekly,
whose name washing should clear and he affects Jimmy's motorcycle, that was the steamer queen tat. He hated you because Jimmy was getting all apart on television, so you're there are marlon brando Maria. I mean Monti clift, they were all their yeah. Having high was surrounded when I did a shame I mean occur. Sadly, was their jeremy page was watching it or of the page? Where had had the generous had protrusion neil? Oh my god, I mean this. Is the crew that you're in with an you twenty one, twenty four young here kid and when you're watching them your work, with Andy. Did you do that for you? What do I get a bunch of projects with lonnie chapman? Who is it's fun
because frank sorrow had a group of new york eyes here and I was adopted by a bunch of oak each year lonnie, chapman in and at angle and those guys had angle he's great. He was in all the cornice with the movie yeah, but he's a can actress studio. Isn't that fascinating and great character actor most of the people who who were at the studio yeah pretty good? He had he eerie it to this day, it's hard to get. The studio. Recently we had final auditions, had so many or did where twenty five on one sunday and twenty five one another. We took a lot of people for us. We are. We took three people out of fifty scenes. Probably I would say, with thirty of those scenes were, go see the actual audition jeff.
Two additional would would work together to audition, for the actor still do you have to do is seen its not classical five minutes along with a partner. anything you want to do so- it's good day, well they say you gotta have a friend who wants to audition the same day. You do, or I mean you don't just people together right or they already taking class. No, they sign up for project six months in advance. Yes, hopefully the west coast studio right now is in very good shape. Good, the work that's being done is brilliant work. The best acting, I see in this country every day, of the weak monday. Through friday, we have at least one session which is breaking down a script There were hers. The stench memory, effective memory sessions speech. Ah how to begin to all kinds of stuff on friday, I run and moderate enacting session with two scenes usually to people in need
but sometimes more, I could take it. Usually eighty two hundred people show up, because if, if if, by the same token as an actor wasn't doing what I was telling them to do. I don't think anyone would show up. doing some acting and yet what? What are you up? For, What is it like if you were to tell me right now what what's the most important thing that year? Okay, that's good trust her when I've got come to talent is one thing, but to trust your talent.
It's a hard thing to do to trust your choices, to use the rehearsals in ways that you're not watching yourself right self, conscious where more than that it's it's the director in you leave the director outside when you break down as a script and make choices on the scene or a character, does an objective part of you makes. That looks at stuff. You make the choice such conscious and then either trust that through your subjectivity or don't now, if you do let us take, you were well. If it does what you hope it will.
It will end the sheep, ah, as opposed to your deciding to end the shame right. I get it it's. I had to explain. No, I I think I I think I understand it because to make choice He brings it brings a lot of things together. You know from from what I'm projecting onto go ahead, what it is that you know if you were in it if you're available, if you're trusting your your own emotions in in the moment of the scene, right that you you're going to make choices now, those choices at themselves Be that that be the director in you so due to follow to when you put the choices place and you trust your emotions to write. through what is scripted. There has to be a certain amount of trust, the material that you're going to get somewhere. But that's on? U s right So if you're engaged with your emotions and you've made your choices and you trust those things together
it will deliver you to the end of the scene. Absolutely I understand that only now recently: ok, good, I'm glad bigamy amount there because it, but of applying it is hard, trusting yourself to the degree at you don't be objective that you trust us jack activity at allow it to go where it needs to when I told browsers afore here to find out what the interesting thing about television or, as you know, film, is that to eight years Should we television is You know, you're rehearsals are going to it's gone. ass man and your cover. Just come up in your hopefully, hopefully they're going to cover you last so You know you got a bit, but you still have to do a lot of times right. I mean you know again How can I tell you a joke yeah and it's funny? Ok, but then I, if I,
I view this same joke fifteen or twenty times is still funny. How do you find the funny and right? Ok, Why have to do for a living? Ok, then, There are all kinds of things are going on. They come here away right. You have to able to think on your feet make choices on your feet and fulfil those choices? That's that's amazing to trust yourself to the poor. where you're not going to get a lot of help from a director who's got all kinds of things to worry about, they might not even be looking at. You probably doesn't be happy, you know, Well, if you know the lines and hit the mark its one less for them to worry about. I am he it's like, thank god, because you know they have all kinds of decisions and prominent farmers to make, but the wonderful thing about trust ten yourself again, you know
I use analogies all the time. I say what if you can swim well. What are you worried about drowning right? Why, spending so much time. Thinking about it right, if you afraid of earth, still live in California. Otherwise to spend all your time worried what We repair stuff that you can't control right. If you can learn how to do what you do well. Learn it because it's one thing to have control over that's right, because I my experience recently in in in doing a enacting job- yes, was it It was a scene that was an emotional scene, but I why you know I was a fairly a guy that yo stuffed his emotions down, but this scene, you know was- was explosion, an explosion, it was emotion, was crying it we could, but it wasn't scripted so, like I the seem to find something out.
That is emotionally, can complete people right, and I didn't know that I was gonna cry of course, and then we know we did it again and I got there again but I said I think too, is it I understand, but if you have you have craft, you can do the real and the reason you have to do. Fifteen is again you do. A master shot, two or three of those may be, and then If your shot certain over the shoulder remove two or three times over his shoulder, a harsh shoulder two or three times onto you used to left out. I know but like fortunately for me, we did coverage by you know that that you were lucky was lucky but like. Let me ask you about the craft showed, so you know
I run I fly by the seat of my pants a bit, but I do make sure I do rudimentary you know acting. You know from experience you know from having done show. When you say craft, that would enable me to cry every time. What is that, while you were moved twice- and you said website- I think that's it. I don't think I have many more tears You have more tears and once you know sousa getting secured, we yeah you you using use. Now to my I you, then the doubts, the down occurred, hungary- and I don't think I can do this again, my mom amazed. instead of being amazed by here. Expecting it did they get there again their fifty times. If I have to add that come from rehearsal from now, I'm at work, from learning your craft with that kind of thinking,
You never dry up, you'll, always you're, always a student of life, you're, learning stuff, you you, you reacting differently to different thing. And you're beginning to realize that certain things affect you in certain ways. The more you live in your body. I mean a lot of actors. You stop training themselves. Why life is a lesson continued, but the fundamental you saying is at once. You don't doubt yourself right that big. like what I did was I said no to myself. I said I write where the hell is this post, why? I can do that. I can do that and I can in just figuring I'm making note of the the journey I took emotional exactly and hold onto it hold on, find it again right, we hold on or flying again right take to take the same. Right. I always say,
If you say on route, sixty six you're not going to see the grand canyon you're not going to sing indian reservations if you want to get off boat watch and learn stuff. About yourself, that's not sense memory. That's that's emotional discipline, that's also sense member. It is. It is because a few practice something and again and again and at work. Again and again and again at sense memory so that the vat is the essence of seeing stew, and that's why you do it s right. You, like I taught what actors you know and some advice system and they d have a craft by You know a lot is not so specific yeah and it's hard. I mean I find that there are actors that I've october of five and ten years saying same things had suddenly therein lie
and his half, they heard it for the first time that happens in life. That's exactly how can I earn actors that I respect what to me he said you know. I find me understand what you're saying after what twenty years- yes, but they are talking about. standing at viscerally have yet because they ass opposed to not understanding it bottle. I get it I get right. You like, I, can understand you intellectually, and can put a plan b, will see together ass, but for me, but sometimes I still have to do it right, but sometimes people been doing it and they just never were able to identify once they identified they're like I can do it again, exactly got it it's part of when I can put in my kit bag. like in in both you, I might add, on a clear memory of talker by the clear memory of the you did in the wood movie and of mrs meters of course, and crimes. Mr- that was aid- a a a beer an emotionally up deep performance
It was the deepest very deep to make decisions at you out. I also wanted I didn't. I wanted him to be every man, and dissent outweighs the genius of aid said to woody one. He flew me nea happened. This is crazy. because he's in new york and I hate for full which had been trying to cast the part had hadn t- and I had justin tucker, and he, juliet taylor and he saw the same week. A nation one about landau, even though a very different character. He flew me in to new york. Put me up at a hotel, and I met with him and. Julia taylor was there he was there. I was here and I walked in. And nothing was said. I sat down and
looked at each other for a while and then he says after seemed like a long time, I just wanted to spend a few seconds with you. I naturally shares I got up and walked as you I guess my times they should know no sit down and then so I sit down I'm sitting on a carnival last thing at an early date. There he's on a couch and she found a chair in the dark room, and you start to talk. I don't know I thought he's talking about because I haven't read the script anyway, he's he's talking and then he says in the middle of this out, I don't I thought I'd been libitum, I swear to god. I mean I was like what the hell I have not. What he's talking about here
He then such edward, you robinson. It's the only thing I recognise now I had done middle of the night on Broadway with edward I wish to patty chap she's first play on broadway general. Play my wife edward. You Robinson play the lead. I with that. Also that brought me to california at what hitchcock show me and for north by our west. I didn't know what the four bedroom cottage as to what you are and yeah he plays kind of a heavy. I players. I played him as a gay character who actually real. He wasn't written that way. if he wanted to get rid of a murray. We sank with such a vengeance. I thought it was a great choice. Having like told me not to do it here. My first big move I'm playing a game gaia, I'm not gay and saint everyone's gonna. Think you're gay did everyone pick up on it some people may I dont know that I did hitchcock did ok, what they loved it
so we are either with woody pieces. We, after this talk He says where you gonna be in an hour, and I said in my hotel. I thought I'm here, for he said I ll send us. Left over an hour. I shall good show an hour later, the phone rings in its truly a tailor. The shame it's gonna be another half hour, his caskeys writer. You a note here. I said: ok, I'm here half an hour later. She comes and delivers the entire script. To me, she said very unusual. I said what you he's. having read the whole script, I said what what's usual, he said just yours sides here at night you doesn't want you to know the rest.
so she leaves I read the script. It's the best stripped of all the woody allen will reach the I've read. I grew you. The second I propose the following its juliet. I got swears doin mission, impossible again act that the rome is bogged here. I've had a look behind the picture is so that's why she says he wants to talk to you tomorrow. I should great I run off at about, but we'll haven't talked for two hours, I'll blow excited row. Cybercrime and she says nine Oh nine thirty! I said well make at nine o clock shit he's what word about our fast you wake up. I shall tell I'm worried about how fast he wakes up
I'd thirty in the morning I go in there, and I understand I should Tell me what you meant point you sell it. Would you robinson, and now I shall the script. He said. In days gone by would cast him in the park, and I say: oh, that's, terrible, that's wrong what the fuck are. You doing and now I've got germany cricket on my shoulders. Hey you just talking to one of the great film makers in the world telling how many years and what the hell he wrote. I can't stop myself. I shall you know. I say I think you're seeing a much more much heavier than
like yeah. I should get homer whomever places part has to be. I mean he's a spoiled brat he's an embezzler he's a womanizer. He's a murderer. He goes into. A single redeeming thing in this picture will be very easy to dislike. This tie. I should she protagonist whom replace him The audience has to join up with them at seeing themselves in him and be horrified at the same time, or you don't have a movie is what I said at the er right and I realize I, but I couldn't play it any other way so
He sits and looks at me with these two coca cola bottles ago. It's very quiet, and I said oh Jesus yeah. I just talked myself out of a great part yeah. What time is your flight back? He says I said: well it's supposed to be at noon. He she can. We make it four o'clock I'd like to fit you full wardrobe, carved and then about two weeks into shooting. He said you know what I wrote it. I didn't think of it. The way you're doing it, but it's better. I trust you and I trust your instincts and warmest me, and he left me alone. He reached his have had a movie again and again and again did shield one sheen than I did my birthday. I did
gene in her apartment and then it's its it's she's gonna ring ring the doorbell about here. We re shot it. He said I Actually we go back to the apartment too many times she said coming onto your turf, so we did the same sheen in the car at the gas station right in ray the act before the murdered before I call my brother and have go through that catharsis at the house. So we did that again. And I agree with him: I said: yeah time. Shall we go back there, a menacing, and I have to go moment mia she's, going away my door bayer, I'm a cheetahs my birthday and she's gonna blow the whistle area, so so that was very shot verbatim.
The she gives me the record and schubert And all of that I mean I still remember this picture because I worked very hard on it. It's a masterpiece genius in it. Well, thank you, but you know he. He invited me to see dairies and I didn't go because I didn't one trillion. I got what did just keep my subjectively a not be objective about that I finished he ran two and a half hours a day means for me and I saw the stuff because I knew I couldn't do anything about it. I could not get self conscious about it, but that it was important to me wars and like an tucker, I went to the dailies all the time when I would get Tucker, because the majority victoria stood arrow. The sandwich of her, so his country. You ocean is so important,
crimes or misdemeanors was very flatly lit by spend nick vis visa, who was Ingmar bergman's, yes and photographer, I knew what that looked like clear, so I didn't have to look with the tory how and that's couple a right as was Copa rear, yeah an and their daily work. Lucas ranch rear he owes dramatic. Lady was impressive. Both elevating the time, but but but I I made my choices here with relation when he use lots of car contrast? We are eased up on my choices. I may my character, a little more bland, because the drug the drama which in the lighting and I didn't who would be,
like a white on white shirt, and that was your decision. Always my dear. I don't talk to the director much about anything except when you tell me I eat raw. He got the wrong conception of his lead character. Well, that's a fact asked me for an hire, yeah yeah and once I'm hire my I try to make the director feel like ideas, your ridge, interesting, that's best way! Sure I mean you know her. No not. You makes complete sense in debt that you're, I think what I'm I'm I'm stunned by in hearing it is how aware you are of it when I also lenses hamid, four inches long. There was a picture than I did where at the beginning and the movie. I get good news. Hundreds A wider hungarians- I I can't do it
Hence I am happy that site it cause you're way, banged air. That answer as to how you gonna cover this. She said I want to use it to under millimeter lens. On this scene, he says yes with two hundred millimeter lens, I'm out a frame. If I do this, I'm how to frame. If I do this, I'm soft. If I do this, you got a split focus between might tip of my nose on my eye. I can't do that dance here. I've got to do something else for joy and that first seen, that's. Why Eight, seventeen, twenty five millimetre, how worlds and it's got a match. The right kind of matter, and the money shot. Is that sharia I should. I could use a fifty. He said. No, I want I want the background to be blurry haha. I don't want.
To see any of the area. Ok, I gotta think on my feet fast, so I mean I get it. I do with that stuff, ahead of time. You know it's fascinating to me, though, in thinking about crimes and misdemeanors, because I've watched so many goddamn times. Yes is that there there was you you're, absolutely correct, obviously, but there it's interesting, that the that that woody had proceed This guy, we it without giving him the emotional dep necessary to carry the film in a way that he was a little bit more of a cheater.
In what is I, as I feel that this guy his big crime, is that he led her on a hot had didn't cut. It off right layer, right and his lack of dealing with it creates a big problem that he wrestled with like raskolnikov. Yes, so it's it's very russian via its merit. Very oh, yes, very! It's very owen that are still asking the up. Those stuck this stuff you did with jerry wow jerry or back Oh my god now the interesting thing for three days. Different actor played their part and it was freezing cold in new york and we shot the stuff in the car. He happens to be a brilliant actor. But he's playing had like a race track, tout and woody.
freezing cold, like a michelin, we're coming here, I can't even describe vigorous hilarious b, I never heard of direct. He saying don't do that. That's his direction. Just popped. The way you would you dig did the act, the deed speaks for itself. He tells a guy, the guy, so good actor. Does it more. I should Well, don't talk out of the side of your mouth. He talks at the other side of his mouth more, what he fires a guy a couple of days later, because jerry orbach is available. Who was not available when we started a movie or had jerry- and I I mean I know cherry or backward- he was
singing in coffee houses, whose eighteen years old here I mean it greenwich village, hi, jerry was great. Casting hate could have been my kid brother, hitchcock, let's go back to this seemed important eu and it was a big deal, I am. We can talk about all the tv appearances in this net These two mean, but these to me are you for free was an actor, seem to be loaded up right right? Well, everything has you're, not trying to trivialize. I know that we give it I've waited. There are points everything I've diamond. I could talk in this way an interesting ways. Yours, yours as I I never. lot of actors uses. The expression just followed it in here. I'd. I'd never have done that. I've always
you know I've never met two people that were like well. This is that great story that you know when they were shooting a few good men yeah. He was talking to Nicholson the the story. I think gravitated from the good man because when they weren't doing his coverage, apparently he was still giving it a hundred percent. You, over the other, their right, and I guess someone asked him a wider Why do you put everything into it. He just cause. I loved the acts, it that's right, jack. My students for three years, real how what years was that? Fifty nine? Oh, really sixty fifty eight half a fifty eight, fifty nine sixty until I left for cleopatra sixty one and not I had with due exercises, doesn't new york times. article I jack had the opening paragraph is. He says there is a good actors because of exercised. I did martin landmass class.
Which was a singing exercise, getting the voice, the body and the emotions together, no splits where everything works together. That's a strasbourg exercise, its design to get their voice to allow to be colored by what's going on, as opposed to learning I'm in a certain way what the exercise you sing, happy birthday or three bligh mice holding each note the same length of time with a lot of a broader and leave yourself alone, and when I try to relax and you ll find tensions starting in various places, If you can relax boys suddenly use
I to laugh at odd times that colors the voice, or you start to cry, start to get angry you're. Looking at your fellow class members had the second part of it is very physical, where the the voice follows the the physical exertion as opposed to the voice leading the body leads and the voice follows the the body's effort. Ah, and it's an interesting exercise, because what you can do it, you look forward to because it it it opens you up once you get past the fear of doing it, it can take years, but there's a vulnerability that you you that we're we're sort of by moving around you know, You know whether it's been confident what you doing. I have faith in what you're doing and they talk about these exercise.
But what really? What is at the core of the risk of it is that vulnerability being vulnerable and vulnerability is something men don't like to reveal in intimacy is something that men male like to reveal a dancer's have other problems, yet they were lined up pretty nicely and it's hard for them to the ugly physically does all kinds of stuff. But when we talk about like when you talk about somebody like gum, I do see it in your own performances in the wonted I'm familiar with that you carry. one ability you, you know, you don't hide it at all. No ever hear an answer. Gift. Or is there something you were always something on ozone era by me, while I was short
when you go home from brooklyn, why would I do what I do with a c, this softness yeah? No, it was something I I felt I had to work And then somebody somebody when you talk about James dean or montgomery, cliff like you know our and marla morrow into a rose tree. Those were the those are just a raw, Well, you saw her both guys here, different kind of vulnerability but laura, At earned what they like that, I don't know I cannot. Were you hang out with James dean? Was he what actually like that? Well, strasbourg was rough and jimmy and Jimmy stop working at the studio. That's why was, he was general, was stay mcqueen and rough on me. Why do you think he makes those decisions.
Because he saw Lee strasberg I mean I must have asked me questions. I can already tell you what I think, okay, I suppose sure strasburg what you feel our pick. There were people that he absolutely he was tough, yet really tough had no actors who couldn't survive. It me up. I think one of his reasons was she realized tat if you didn't have that that stick toward agnes you're, better off, not juliet that it took a lot of effort. and work, so he's probably hard on the more gifted that could have swept through it heap. Yes, he was tough on you It was generally with women harder on men. If your merit of agro you added better than anybody,
I wish I could tell you stories about. I play John the baptist on omnibus arthur kid salami and he had me come up. He never did. The shit out, maybe because earth the came in John sticks with sitting right next to a who directed that episode of but he said, lived out, landau issues like to it you each after I did the live, show of solomon, omnibus he said. Ah, I want to discuss your performance secular. Had he ain't reactor could have got what you did. You didn't have the cistern in as deep the cistern, which is the well. You should have been from more physically connected to that
Well, the director, I never said john steps. You said he like next, he I should the reckon I discussed it because earth a cat came at what the performance- and I felt if I did, that, I would come off as being very indulgent. I sort of used her as the choices. I may near he said, inexcusable heads chastisement. And I remember maryland: was there that day and. Charity page was here that day Danny was am worried, stapleton which say that day and while I was there that day and. and then the following waited. He called me up again because you got a lot of letters saying that he was rough on me unduly and that I,
tried to explain from other actors from frank hassan other people. He read the letters and any blood me out again so, but everything hate the shed was right, which was what they you dependent. You are reacting as opposed to acting that I didn't played. The physical fatigue, the fact that I wasn't eating good food and the fact that I was being dying in and not even before my head was chopped off, that I was physically wearing down in that environment and I needed to have a little more of this, even though it's oscar wilde and written in a poetic.
Hey. Where is he anyway right right? So that was a big lesson. So now you don't do that any more! You will keep aware of that so yeah, but I also realize too that effort as an actor had comes in whose not doing his job I've gotta. casino work. I may have to make adjustments that don't show me off well to make a scene work right gosh. I look bad just as bad as he does he or she does so. What I decided that day with John sticks was that I couldn't do it as fully as I would have liked to. I said it'll look Why come a sore thumb at this? I said patricia neo display,
I'm the only one who's shot yeah. I am cannot look bad here. Earth is gonna. Look wonderful yeah! I bettered admit it. This is not gonna be good for the peace. If I do this, but he never stood up for me. Two times. It was brought up at the studio and he was there had. He never spoke and he wound up teaching drama. A ard yeah sticks his deliver resentment towards him. I'd never trusted arrived at the reasonable. Did you work with him again now near I wouldn't so it
fuck about you know, let's talk about ed wood. Ok, you want an oscar, spectacular, YAP tim burdens, pretty I loved him and we talk he- we talk about your awareness of of direct of lighting of cinematography, of of what the directors going for these are innate things that you do on said that you keep to yourself in a way. Are you working in black and white you're playing a known quantity while Maybe you grew up with watching? I imagine we are, but we have to realise too The black and white asked me where we first started. We didn't work done to shoot the picture in color and. Ah, I wasn't sure whether I could do lugosi see without make here farce. Yeah mere I'd, be everyone else.
The impression is to allow the agony. I even told him that at the first meeting we had, he called me you first what I didn't think it was him. I got a direct call in my house from: bert. Yet he said hello. This is ten Burton and I should be. I will Thomas Jefferson. somebody. I re. I mean I mean that europe, I thought what one of my friends, timber and second com be direct. Yeah? Well, I watched him burden beer. He said: there's a script on its way, check out the bar a bela and back to me. This is why the number the studio- and this is my home- and I the numbers down, or I should short him and In half an hour, a messenger commerce where the script visa- call ed wood, and I read and I loved, and I call met the studio and he's got so. I call this poem number
and he s also followed its TIM person. I said I don't know whether I can do this and I shall do you spell a negotiator. I said go into videos jar there's a whole section of horrible, region as a whole here's, a girl. I probably could have gotten away whether I shall I gotta be bologna cosi. He said: do you think you can? Actually he said I you work with great act, directors and terrible directors. You workin good movies and add movie? She worked and I don't know anyone else who could play this part. I shall well that's very flattering. It is, I am not sure I can but uses drawing a comparison between you, two. Yes, he was saying it,
is anyone who could play it emotionally. Yes, I could do it right, so I he she has come in tomorrow, we'll talk about it, so I I I shall muster some tests and we did some coloured test How about that I'm not negotiating! I I'm not.
Me and I'm not. I don't know how that person is it's somebody else along the way, we're doing tests near two. I have two polaroids that were taken in the makeup chair. I run them through my fax machine. They come out black and white near Lugosi, never made a at would never made a colorful shit. That's the problem, the phone rings, while I'm doing as I swear to god can burden yeah. I got a problem. Martin, I said what he said mark canton, because you'll want to make the film black and white. I have to make this film in black and white marketing of colombia of pictures says it's gotta be in color, and you haven't heard any of this. You know he shut. I'm going to disney They are willing to do anything. I want to do but to be another month. Had you have
an honor about date on your contract. Are you still available in a month, and you still want to do it my eyes? Yet I have to collect them from the coffee. Do I put him back in my head? I said yes here you damn I didn't even tell up there through the same fucking thing right. was like serendipity react, years later. I told him. I never told him what did say while so now, when you're the way this is oscar winning performance, it deserved oscar winning, perform ranking now, when you, when you do when you what was depressed This of building this character out from the inside I looked at a lot of.
I was doing a movie called democracy down directed with richard gear and intersection heterosexual shut in canada. Tim kept sending me fellow the movies nea, including one that I I became a huge fan, Bela Lugosi, mates ago the gorilla, it's it's got, Martin louis look alike soon. Sings in wonder, spastic humor, and therein and ireland running around with booze amnesia ass, a londoner, hardly ireland and as a mad scientist in the castle, Bela Lugosi, whose injecting serum into monkeys that overnight become
actors in the terrible gorilla suit and it's called Bela lugosi me to broker a gorilla amidst it makes. Edwards movies, look like gone with the wind, I mean I'm not kidding. It's you. To see this movie, because Mccall shoe is working as ass off playing this part of this piece of trash. My heart went out to him and I or that in vancouver went to harvard, and then I looked at a bunch of pictures movies of him being interviewed what he was at the top of his day, wearing a tennis, sweater, yeah and looking,
answer yeah and then I saw him coming out of the hospital after going through rehab and his shaking hands what hospital staff So yes are going to start a film with edward woke again euro and stuff, and I became a huge fan and I said to him: I said if, after five minutes they're saying landau douse doing a good job, we don't have a movie, they ve gotta, believe Bela Lugosi and I'm gonna break my ass. Getting there an idea, was there something that seems to me that one talk about it that there was something as an actor. Yes said, you identified well a lot of things, The act as this is an aging guy got more problem that is in and out of yes,
and he had washed up completely and you found empathy and sympathy in connection with him. Yes,. Everything you are saying is what I would say to, everything he should go so made too was that? Would you say at that point Life wife may be in your whole life, the most rewarding involve it came at the right time I was going through a lot of euro. We do go to different things. I have a picture that I just finished recently with Paul survey, you know, and the guy who d, did it at road. It is a harvard doctor he seventy years old, it is first movie just finished finished there. I saw it
It's one of the best things I've ever done or what to call it won't be out going. Festivals, vs it's called the last poker game or it's a doctor's view of retirement home, as opposed to a hollywood view. entire, you see it's interesting. I talked to musicians, he sometimes I talked of different kinds: appearance. Of course you do, and you know a lot of guys. We're who have had success in their life and are now seemingly relevant as a union. Of course, oh believe they're doing the best work at their life right now? But it's interesting in talking to you first, our hour and a half hour ever long. We spent in talking about acting there there. absolutely, no reason that couldn't be absolutely true. As opposed to some manifestation of insecure ego
that you there's some part of people that they have to believe that is still relevant to doing the best work ever did. But in hearing how you talk about what you do and who you are and the growth that you see me do, I believe you and I want to see them up well. I want you to see this movie its deep, an interesting and its paul is poor. Thinks it's the best thing he's ever done alive agree. The region I dinner was because it smacked of rio. the area and Paul, which is the group theatre. All the same thing here I mean and. I've known him a long time. We never worked hard grammar, so we had a great time he's done some really kind of europe.
Powerfully he performances and he loves. He is an opera singer to him and he sings on this. So I mean it's, it's howard used our gifts and encourage them, and we encourage him and a certain sense. I mean we would rehearse before we got on the set so that we know what a scene was about before the crew minute right, which is important dear otherwise, you its lit and then you're blocking it and adjusting to the movement has opposed What really going for and as a result, you know we didn't want the set until we were really there they're beautiful and I we could play with a fearful, so it has that group
There was great talk. You know it so exciting that you know used to you so engaged in well. How are you fifty three? I wish I was fifty four you're, a kid good, I hope our own. I am eighty eight yeah. Yes, that's true, I feel like adolf Zucker when they honored him hundredth birthday guy. He failed I knew I was gonna live this world. I voted taken better care of myself You're doing great pay two guys your age, you got it all going soft and thank yet most other guys. I came up with well there either Are they forget what they had for lunch? You you, it's astounding, you get a better memory to me well You know I'm unfortunate
command. I appreciate agar time, while I appreciate your allowing me to take the time thanks, mourn That is amazing that I don't know it. Just a life well lived. and a lot of wisdom, there was a real honour to have him to have. Mr landau join me here in the garage you go to dvd far dot com for all you devotee of pride, needs to reschedule get on the mailing list. If you want my little update and I can play logan. sure? Thanks for asking the.
Yeah hmm, why beaumont.
Transcript generated on 2022-09-03.