You talkin’ to me?

Film quotes pose as ques­tions. Film stars try to cope.

Total Film - - Contents - ETA | 22 NovEm­bEr / ThE ChrisT­mAs ChroN­i­ClEs is oN NET­flix This wiN­TEr.

Kurt Rus­sell is.

Are you talkin’ to me?

There’s a fine line be­tween say­ing too much and not enough, and I don’t think I’m very good at it. I also make wine, and I don’t like to tell peo­ple what they’re drink­ing. I want them to ex­pe­ri­ence it and tell me what they’re ex­pe­ri­enc­ing, and that’s what you do when you make a movie. I love go­ing to the movies and know­ing noth­ing.

You talk the talk. Do you walk the walk?

I think it’s im­por­tant. My take on act­ing in mo­tion pic­tures has al­ways been to try to make the char­ac­ter 100 per cent cred­i­ble. That’s it. You have to make it 100 per cent cred­i­ble. And then after that, you do what you can as an ac­tor to make it en­ter­tain­ing as well.

Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moon­light?

I don’t know if I’ve danced with the devil. If you con­sider be­ing in dan­ger­ous sit­u­a­tions… I am a pi­lot, so I’ve had some rough sit­u­a­tions in a plane, and I’ve felt like I wasn’t nec­es­sar­ily danc­ing with the devil, but I might have been wrestling with him.

What’s your favourite scary movie?

The ones that have af­fected me the most… the first one was when I was prob­a­bly eight years old, and I saw The Blob, which re­ally got to me. And then in adult life, The Strangers, which was just ab­so­lutely hor­rific. And then The Blair Witch Project. I thought that was fas­ci­nat­ing on many lev­els. It changed the whole zeit­geist for hor­ror movies. It was a great con­cept to have found some­thing and strung it to­gether. And by the way, Hal­loween and some of the things that John Car­pen­ter did – and I got to be in one of them, The Thing – to me, they’re great hor­ror-type movies.

What’s in Cal­i­for­nia?

It’s a ter­rain that has drawn over the years an eclec­tic and very wide-rang­ing in­ter­est in terms of the type of peo­ple who have gone to Cal­i­for­nia. So there­fore Cal­i­for­nia is also not just a place, but it’s be­come… in terms of a hu­man ex­pe­ri­ence, it’s be­come what it is. I think it’s very var­ied, it’s vast, it’s large, it’s a beau­ti­ful state. It has ev­ery kind of ter­rain. So Cal­i­for­nia is that. I’m hop­ing that Cal­i­for­nia re­mains a place where I will want to live and en­joy.

Why so se­ri­ous?

When I don’t work, I’m out. I’m done. But when I do work, I’m 24/7. There’s noth­ing else I’d rather do. I take it se­ri­ously in the re­spect that I want it to be as good as pos­si­ble. I never didn’t take it se­ri­ously. As a mat­ter of fact, one of the first things my fa­ther said to me when I went to work as a 10-year-old, was, “You’re get­ting paid a man’s salary, so do a man’s job.” That al­ways meant, to me, show­ing up on time, know­ing your lines, be­ing pre­pared to of­fer what you can.

Do you like what you do for a liv­ing, these things you see?

Yeah, I do like what I do for a liv­ing. The most im­pres­sive thing I’ve seen on set? The one that sticks out the most in my mind was some of the mas­sive sets that we built for Star­gate. An­other set that was fan­tas­tic, that was just like “oh my God”, was on Big Trou­ble In Lit­tle China. There are pretty great sets in The Christ­mas Chron­i­cles. It’s one of the great, fun as­pects of my job. You don’t have to imag­ine ev­ery­thing. You see the fan­tasy in front of you.

Re­mem­ber: no man is a fail­ure who has friends.

You know, that goes right along with The Wiz­ard Of Oz, at the end when he’s giv­ing them out their awards, and fi­nally says to the Tin Man, “A heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by oth­ers.” I think that those are great lines that ap­ply to life.

Jack Bur­ton just looks that big ol’ storm right square in the eye and he says, “Give me your best shot, pal. I can take it.”

[laughs] That’s Jack Bur­ton. He sees him­self as big­ger than life, so he wants to present him­self as big­ger than life. Do I re­late to that? No… only in a com­i­cal sense. I mean, that’s what I think I brought to that char­ac­ter. Even the writ­ers said that he wasn’t quite that way on pa­per. What I de­cided to do, and what John [Car­pen­ter] wanted me to do and en­cour­aged me to do was, I think in a com­i­cal sense, this char­ac­ter’s bravado. He’s an in­cor­ri­gi­ble op­ti­mist, and he does come through. MM


Rus­sell as Santa in The Christ­mas Chron­i­cles.

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