You can, but the rules have changed for me. I ran there with three movies in a row that were “Out of Sight,” “Three Kings,” and “Oh Brother, Where Are You.” If any of these scripts came to me with a role that I could play, I would do it, but these scripts are rare. I’m not bored shopping, I’m more worried about the idea that I know for sure how careers go because I’ve seen it: My Aunt Rosemary was a great singer, and she was not. Things are changing, I know that. I have no interest in quitting, but you need to reconsider what it is you want to be good at.
Have you considered working with some newer directors instead of established ones?
I’ve seen some movies where I go, “Oh, it’s really interesting, smart filmmaking,” but you also have to get to know directors a little bit. I need to know that they love what they do and they are not [jerks].
Because you’ve had that experience before?
Well, I’ve had that experience a few times and I had to say, “Life is too short.” We’re going to do something that most people I know would love to live off, so you should celebrate. I remember as a young man I heard movie stars talk about how hard their lives were and I cut tobacco to live! I was like, “I want you to tell me how store it is. “I want to work with people who love what they do.
Paul Newman used to go, “Yeah, that’s fun!” The last few years of his life we became friends and it really felt like he just loved what he was living. He was friends with Gregory Peck, and they never disappointed in real life who they were as movie stars.
I do not want people shouting and screaming and being angry at the world. Once I was sitting at a director’s round table with a director who was like, ‘I break down actors. I take 40 takes until they have nothing. “I looked at him like an actor, and I was like, ‘Man, I’m never going to work with you.’
Joel Schumacher died earlier this year. He instructed you in “Batman & Robin.” What’s the best story you can tell about him from that set?