Acting itself is a very childlike thing. You`re asked to suspend reality and to play - and what better place than when you`re sitting there looking like the most weird villain imaginable? You have all these toys around you. It brings out the child in you much easier than when you`re standing around in a suit playing a cop.
(in a 1984 magazine interview) The characters I`ve played until now have been very sick people. These people are emotionally or physically damaged. Since I played killers so well, they wanted me to play a killer the next time. I used to call my roles "dog-eating" parts; you know, the director says, "We need somebody to bite a dog in this scene. Let`s call Ironside".
The weirder the role, the more toys around to help suspend reality, the easier it is - and the better I think my work gets. All of these things make it easier to take risks. Children - and actors - take risks all the time.
(on being typecast as a villain) I use the analogy that if you hit an old lady on screen with a shovel and kill her and somebody makes money from that moment, then they really don`t want you to step out from that parameter. They don`t want you to do anything but hit more old ladies with shovels and if that`s the trunk that I have to build my tree from, that`s fine.
If I didn`t like the attention, I suppose I wouldn`t be doing this job. What do you do? Destroy someone`s fantasy about you or play it to the limit? I still haven`t quite worked it all out and I don`t know how to resolve it. It`s said actors act because they fear death and it`s the one and only certainty for some kind of immortality. My attitude is: screw the future, let`s get on with here and now. You don`t know how long it`ll last.
I like to play bad guys, since good guys are always beaten up several times during the movie. Bad guys are beaten only once, in the end.
I get to bring these misshapen, emotionally unbalanced people to life.
The word "career" scares me! It`s the sort of thing you say about dead actors, old guys. I think this festival wanted to do a retrospective on me a few years ago and I told them to f**k off. Jesus, that`s for guys that are on crutches and in wheelchairs and that you need to spoon-feed . . . Aargh! I plan to be around for at least another 20 years!