HOW MUCH IS A PINT OF MILK?
On a scale of one to ten, how famous are you?
Well, I’d say I’m in the top million. I mean I’m not gonna give myself accolades beyond that, for Christ’s sake.
What one thing do you do better than anyone else you know?
Nothing! I guess I have a great memory, but other than that, er… As they say, good movies, like good soccer, it’s all about everybody pulling their oar. That’s what I’ve always tried to encourage.
Have you kept any souvenirs from a movie shoot?
I kept one from Alexander Payne’s Nebraska: a little wooden cut-out of the state Nebraska. That movie meant a great deal to me.
Do you have a favourite joke?
That’s printable, you mean? Uh... Well, I have one favourite saying, which kind of sums it all up to me: when you come to a fork in the road, take it.
When were you last naked outdoors?
Last night, when I jumped in my pool, because it’s 104 here today. Can you believe they’re holding the World Cup in Qatar? What the fuck is that?!
What was the first prize you ever won?
In running I won a lot of awards when I was in school, but the first prize that ever meant anything to me: 1972, I won the National Film Critics Award in America for Best Supporting Actor for a movie called Drive, He Said, that Jack Nicholson directed. They took it to Cannes and Jack was always upset that it didn’t have a kind reception there, because Mick Jagger’s baby cried all the way through it. [laughs]
How much is a pint of milk?
Well, I’m not a big milk drinker. I was forced, like we all were when we were little, especially during the Second World War, we had to drink a lot of milk. But I don’t know the price of it and I really don’t give a shit. [laughs] At the same time, I love chocolate malted milkshakes.
Which film have you seen more than any other?
I would say Lawrence Of Arabia is first, Amadeus second. I think Lawrence was probably the best movie I ever saw, because it was brilliant in every department.
Have you ever knowingly broken the law?
Well, I’ve sped in a car. Although I’ve never gone triple digits. I’m just a wuss that way. I run, and I’ll settle for five, six, seven miles an hour. I’m 82 years old, for God’s sake!
When were you most starstruck?
I was starstruck a little bit by Bette Davis. I just felt she was a class act. My second movie was Hush… Hush Sweet Charlotte, and I was in a flashback sequence where I was her young man and we were dancing together, and her father, who hated me for some reason, felt that he needed to chop my head and my hand off.
What’s your favourite word in the English language?
Fairness. I think that to me is the best word in the language that I’ve come across so far.
Do you have any tattoos?
No, sir. But in 1980 I did a movie with Maud Adams called Tattoo. In the movie I play a tattooist, and she said, “I’d like one of those,” and I said, “You come back tomorrow after you’ve thought about it.” “Well, why the delay?” “Just remember one thing, ma’am: it goes one-eighth of an inch beneath the skin and is forever.” [laughs]
Is God a man with a big white beard?
I think there is a God, I’m very doubtful he has a big, white beard. I don’t know it’s a him... My only theory is that if you feel spiritual in one way or another, you’re not going to accomplish your goals in a building. Somewhere outdoors, wherever your spirit is, it’s out there.
THE SENATOR IS OUT ON 13 AUGUST ON DOWNLOAD AND ON 20 AUGUST ON DVD