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John Malkovich

John Malkovich

Birthday: 9 December 1953, Christopher, Illinois, USA
Birth Name: John Gavin Malkovich
Height: 183 cm

John Gavin Malkovich was born in Christopher, Illinois, to Joe Anne (Choisser), who owned a local newspaper, and Daniel Leon Malkovich, a state conservation director. His paternal grandparents were Cr ...Show more

John Malkovich
(Acting is) always things about imaginary people, imaginary events, imaginary things. That can make Show more (Acting is) always things about imaginary people, imaginary events, imaginary things. That can make you know that what you're doing is very trivial. The nature of what it is, remaining, in some way, a child. Sometimes you look at it like an adult and think, 'What difference does this make to anything?' But you can say the same thing about banking or journalism or anything in the world ... Hide
Generally you act in movies because you are too lazy to act in theatre, or you can't, or you want a Show more Generally you act in movies because you are too lazy to act in theatre, or you can't, or you want a lot of money, or you want to be really famous. Hide
For me, movies are like a quick sketch, a doodle. Theatre is like a painting. It involves more craft Show more For me, movies are like a quick sketch, a doodle. Theatre is like a painting. It involves more craft. It has more depth, more texture, and it changes every single night because it's a living, breathing organism. It commands my respect that much more. Hide
For a long time I played brooding, "James Dean" types. I was kind of relieved when my hair fell out Show more For a long time I played brooding, "James Dean" types. I was kind of relieved when my hair fell out and I didn't have to do that any more. Hide
The other day I was walking down the street in the rural town where we live (in France) and a truck Show more The other day I was walking down the street in the rural town where we live (in France) and a truck hit me, rather hard, going fairly fast. And he starts to drive off, so I chase after him, reach in the window and grab his steering wheel. And I say, 'Normally, in a civilized society, when we hit someone with a truck, we might inquire as to their well being.' So he said, 'I'm sorry,' and I said, 'Great. Try and be a little more careful and that would be fantastic, and so sorry to have troubled you.' I walk another 30 meters and he pulls up beside me a second time -- and asks me if he can have an autograph. Hide
[on turning down the Jimmy Conway role in Goodfellas (1990)] It sort of came at a bad time in my lif Show more [on turning down the Jimmy Conway role in Goodfellas (1990)] It sort of came at a bad time in my life, when I wasn't feeling well and didn't want to think about working. It's hard to explain why you end up in Eragon (2006) and not Goodfellas (1990). But De Niro is fantastic. Hide
Film is about what appears to be. You can't fake theater, but you can fake anything in movies. You c Show more Film is about what appears to be. You can't fake theater, but you can fake anything in movies. You can fake chemistry between people. You can fake sex, love, explosions, special effects, horror... Hide
A lot of our wonderful actors, from Marlon Brando to George C. Scott, found it a shameful occupation Show more A lot of our wonderful actors, from Marlon Brando to George C. Scott, found it a shameful occupation and really lost interest in it. But it always interests me, and watching others do it always interests me, and I don't find it shameful. I mean, as compared to what? Hide
"I've lived in Europe for the better part of 12 years, and I've noticed that one of the big errors E Show more "I've lived in Europe for the better part of 12 years, and I've noticed that one of the big errors Europeans make is to dismiss America as having no culture. That's an incredible mistake, and whether it's born of arrogance or neurosis caused by the fact that America is perceived as hugely powerful, it's wrong. For a century or two, a decent percentage of the major writers, poets, artists, musicians, painters, filmmakers, actors, screenwriters, and dancers have been born in the U.S. Americans have acquitted themselves pretty well in those areas. There's a great culture there, an enormous culture. I just don't plain like a lot of it, but it's OK if other people like it." (Late 1990's qoute) Hide
I wasn't really raised to be the type of person to have doubts. I wasn't really raised to be the type of person to have doubts.
[on Dangerous Liaisons (1988)] The movie should appeal to everyone. It's sleazy, elegant, vicious an Show more [on Dangerous Liaisons (1988)] The movie should appeal to everyone. It's sleazy, elegant, vicious and mean, and it's about people doing hideous things to each other. If that weren't enough, it has a tragic end. What more could people ask for? Hide
"I want to be successful. I would like it to be a success with something that doesn't make me want t Show more "I want to be successful. I would like it to be a success with something that doesn't make me want to vomit all over the screening room after I've seen it." (1980s quote) Hide
I'm not prone to talk much about what I do. But then I never have been. I mean, I don't think hooker Show more I'm not prone to talk much about what I do. But then I never have been. I mean, I don't think hookers rush home from work and say, "Honey! I had the most incredible hand-job today! Hide
I don't think I ever - even to this day - made a conscious decision about acting. I don't think I ever - even to this day - made a conscious decision about acting.
[on the funeral of the Portuguese director Manoel de Oliveira, who died at 106 years old] He was an Show more [on the funeral of the Portuguese director Manoel de Oliveira, who died at 106 years old] He was an example for everyone, he had his own vision and point of view, he was the only man we thought won't die, I loved him. Hide
From the start I was relaxed onstage. It's home to me. From the start I was relaxed onstage. It's home to me.
"I did a million things. I worked in an office supply store, I drove a school bus, I painted houses, Show more "I did a million things. I worked in an office supply store, I drove a school bus, I painted houses, I worked for a Mexican landscape gardening company, picking out weeds. And generally when I was doing something it somehow took my interest. In fact, it must be a kind of shallowness. When I did office supplies mostly I thought about office supplies, and then when I got on the train I'd think about theatre, and then I would do theatre. But the next morning I would go in and, you know, reorganize the paper clips." - On menial jobs he held before becoming a successful actor. Hide
I probably know a lot more technically than most film actors about lenses and lights and things like Show more I probably know a lot more technically than most film actors about lenses and lights and things like that, but basically to be effective I need the sequence of events behind me. I get that in the theatre every night, which I find freeing in a way. Hide
Because I've been doing theatre so long, there isn't a lot for me to learn about theatre acting. But Show more Because I've been doing theatre so long, there isn't a lot for me to learn about theatre acting. But there is an enormous amount for me to learn about movie acting. It's not that I can't do it, but it never feels quite right. I almost always feel like a race car on a go-cart track. There's no place to unwind. Just as you get going, it's time to go home for the night. Hide
I don't think, personally, I'm much like any character I ever played, including John Malkovich (in B Show more I don't think, personally, I'm much like any character I ever played, including John Malkovich (in Being John Malkovich (1999)). I don't really see the resemblance at all. It's more a frequency you transmit than something that you fundamentally are. Hide
I'm not terribly articulate in many ways and particularly when it comes to what I do. And, at the ri Show more I'm not terribly articulate in many ways and particularly when it comes to what I do. And, at the risk of sounding like Holden Caulfield, I don't know if I would talk about it even if I could. Hide
I think the nicest experience one has being an actor is when you like watching someone you're workin Show more I think the nicest experience one has being an actor is when you like watching someone you're working with...Good actors love to watch good acting, and I think a lot of them - oddly enough, far from being jealous of it or threatened by it - actually live for it. Me, I've been a director my whole life, so there's nothing I love more than sitting there with my piehole shut watching great actors transport me somewhere. [2010] Hide
What we were doing [at Steppenwolf] was better, that's all. We started out to try and do good work f Show more What we were doing [at Steppenwolf] was better, that's all. We started out to try and do good work for its own sake. That has nothing to do with theatre in New York. Yeah, they want to do good work once they're doing it, but basically it's more to do with where that'll get them. That's perfectly natural, but not necessarily acceptable or right. If you did a good play in New York you got a little lead spot on Kojak (1973). That's not for me. Hide
[on Being John Malkovich (1999)] When I first looked at the script, the title seemed like a one-line Show more [on Being John Malkovich (1999)] When I first looked at the script, the title seemed like a one-line joke, but it turned out to be a 100-page joke. Hide
The first acting teacher I had taught me the worst sin was to be boring. When it comes to how I thin Show more The first acting teacher I had taught me the worst sin was to be boring. When it comes to how I think a character views the world, I'm fairly decisive . But for me, there has to be inherent in the act of presenting that view something which didn't exist before. Something an audience won't have seen - commensurate, of course, with the writing. Hide
I like to direct movies, but I don't like to goof around for eight years talking about it. And it's Show more I like to direct movies, but I don't like to goof around for eight years talking about it. And it's pretty irritating to get a movie on and you get all that irritation already as a producer. So to complicate it by having more irritation as a director, I don't really need it. And because I direct a great deal still, but in the theater, I kind of get that anyway. Which is not all to say that I would never do it again, or it would never happen again. But I haven't read any scripts at all where I've felt like, "You know what? It's probably better if I just do this myself." I could always think, "Well you know, I think so and so should do this." And then as a producer, sometimes I'm able to get that person to do it. We occasionally have a project where I wouldn't mind saying, "I could be someone who could be considered," but I would never go any further than that. I just haven't found the thing that made me want to. And films take too long. There's too much BS, too much nonsense. You know if I want to do a play, I just call the theater, whether it's here, or in Paris or Mexico or Spain or London or whatever, and say, "I want to do this, are you interested?" They'll answer the next day. With a movie, it's all, "Oh, I see this film as blah blah blah." They don't know what they're talking about, they don't care. I loved doing The Dancer Upstairs (2002), and I like the film, but it also is like a waste of seven years of my life. Hide
It's 'Be lucky, be good, and have a good story to tell '. Cause a failure is a failure. And, believe Show more It's 'Be lucky, be good, and have a good story to tell '. Cause a failure is a failure. And, believe me, I've had many. It's like playing baseball. Even the best actors don't bat 300 all the time. Sometimes, you know, you just strike out. Hide
[on fashion] It's something I always liked. I don't know where that came from. I always imagine it w Show more [on fashion] It's something I always liked. I don't know where that came from. I always imagine it was from being very fat as a child. I was a very good baseball player and football player as a kid, but my father always told me - occasionally while striking me - that I was much more interested in how I looked playing baseball or football than in actually playing. And I think there's great truth in that. Hide
I was born in the West after World War II in a senselessly wealthy country, and I never really had t Show more I was born in the West after World War II in a senselessly wealthy country, and I never really had to struggle. Sure, there were years when I didn't have a refrigerator or stove, but that's nothing compared to Rwanda. Hide
Unlike my grandfather or my brother, I've actually been able to make some money at a racetrack. That Show more Unlike my grandfather or my brother, I've actually been able to make some money at a racetrack. That'll be a family first and has great meaning for me. Hide
"I don't like all of the crap associated with it. If I wanted to run wind sprints, I'd be a sprinter Show more "I don't like all of the crap associated with it. If I wanted to run wind sprints, I'd be a sprinter. Or if I wanted to lift weights, I'd be a weight lifter." - On why he doesn't like doing research for the characters he plays. Hide
This is what politics is to me: Somebody tells you all the trees on your street have a disease. One Show more This is what politics is to me: Somebody tells you all the trees on your street have a disease. One side says give them food and water and everything will be fine. One side says chop them down and burn them so they don't infect another street. That's politics. And I'm going, Who says they're diseased? And how does this sickness manifest itself? And is this outside of a natural cycle? And who said this again? And when where they on the street? But we just have people who shout, "Chop it down and burn it" or "Give it food and water," and there's your two choices. Sorry, I'm not a believer. Hide
We're all going to die, so the death penalty should be called the early-death penalty. And the furor Show more We're all going to die, so the death penalty should be called the early-death penalty. And the furor about it strikes me as ridiculous. To make criminals feel what they've chosen to provoke others to feel would be the ideal penalty, but it's impossible to do that. Many of them are psychopaths without conscience. People can debate all this as much as they like, but I really don't care. I'm not a big believer in the judicial system, our laws or our Constitution. All the things Americans rave about as being sacrosanct are to me incredibly deeply flawed. Hide
I still don't know if I made the right decision when I went into acting. I have driven school buses, Show more I still don't know if I made the right decision when I went into acting. I have driven school buses, sold egg rolls and painted houses, and I have often wondered what my life would have been like if I hadn't gone into acting. Mind you, it's a great life, going around pretending you're other people and getting paid ridiculous sums of money for it. Hide
I was sitting in Piccadilly, when a guy came up and asked some directions. So I told him where to go Show more I was sitting in Piccadilly, when a guy came up and asked some directions. So I told him where to go and I went back to reading my book. But he kept saying, 'Don't I know your face?' 'Aren't you an actor?' 'What have you done?' And finally I said, 'Look, why don't you go wherever it is you're trying to find'. Which might sound kinda snotty. But, by the 60,000th time, it really starts to be a drag. Those things you lose forever. No one can really warn you they're going. It's not the kind of thing anyone could prepare you for. I was an actor for ten years and nobody ever bothered me once. But what can I say? You know - Garbo had a point. Hide
I've always felt that if you can't make money as an actor, you`re either incredibly stupid or tragic Show more I've always felt that if you can't make money as an actor, you`re either incredibly stupid or tragically unlucky. Hide
"I'm drawn to a character with a lack of humanity. People give reasons for being cruel or sadistic b Show more "I'm drawn to a character with a lack of humanity. People give reasons for being cruel or sadistic but I think it is just a lack of humanity and concern for others. I think I'm good at them because I don't like them. Audiences are attracted to them but I hate them. It's strange." - On why he enjoys playing evil characters. Hide
[Spike Jonze wanted to borrow photographs from his childhood for Being John Malkovich (1999)] "I gav Show more [Spike Jonze wanted to borrow photographs from his childhood for Being John Malkovich (1999)] "I gave them my mother's phone number and told them to tell her that I'm an actor and it was for a film. I don't think my parents know what I do." Hide
I'm not cynical. I'm merely stating a fact. Most filmmakers' entire body of knowledge is of other mo Show more I'm not cynical. I'm merely stating a fact. Most filmmakers' entire body of knowledge is of other movies. When they describe things, they describe them in relation to other movies. That's why we have so many cyclical movies that look like other movies. But I'm not cynical. I even go to some of those movies. Hide
I probably have more female friends than any man I've ever met. What I like about them is that almos Show more I probably have more female friends than any man I've ever met. What I like about them is that almost always they're generally mentally tougher, and they're better listeners, and they're more capable of surviving things. And most of the women that I like have a haunted quality - they're sort of like women who live in a haunted house all by themselves. Hide
In movies you're a product. And if I'm a product, I'm a Tabasco sauce. I'm not a sort of shepherd's Show more In movies you're a product. And if I'm a product, I'm a Tabasco sauce. I'm not a sort of shepherd's pie, and that's the way it is. Hide
I'm not a Method actor. I don't believe acting should be psychodrama. I look within myself and see w Show more I'm not a Method actor. I don't believe acting should be psychodrama. I look within myself and see what I can find to play the role with. If I'm playing a blind man, I don't go around blindfolded for days. A lot of good actors would, but I don't go in for that very much, principally because I'd rather make it up. Hide
You focus on how a character views the world. And, if you have talent, you focus on what they do to Show more You focus on how a character views the world. And, if you have talent, you focus on what they do to get what they want, on what they do when they don't know what they want, on how they look and sound and react. I don't go out and buy a false nose every time I pick up a script. I don't lose or gain 40 pounds. But I think about stuff like that. I've done a monocle part or two. It just seems to me that monocles and canes are only useful if they help the performance. Hide
I love Charlie Sheen. If there was a Charlie Sheen For President committee, I'd be on it. With this Show more I love Charlie Sheen. If there was a Charlie Sheen For President committee, I'd be on it. With this movie, I liked the idea that when John Malkovich is in a personal jam, Charlie Sheen is the one who provides the tough love. It seemed to me to be such an invitation to nihilism that we couldn't resist doing it. -- John Malkovich on Charles' cameo in the film Being John Malkovich (1999). Hide
[on making Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)] I love doing things like this. I'm not offered the Show more [on making Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)] I love doing things like this. I'm not offered them very much, for reasons that remain obscure to me. It's always fun to do a film with a certain amount of action and a great amount of fantasy. Hide
I'm more likely to lose my temper on a film set than almost anywhere. Often the level of idiocy is s Show more I'm more likely to lose my temper on a film set than almost anywhere. Often the level of idiocy is so exalted that it's impossible to comprehend. Hide
I'm very much a typical Midwesterner, and I don't think the condition is curable. I'm very much a typical Midwesterner, and I don't think the condition is curable.
[on the costumes in Secretariat (2010)]: I think 1973 was the nadir of fashion. When you watch the c Show more [on the costumes in Secretariat (2010)]: I think 1973 was the nadir of fashion. When you watch the coverage from that era, you're struck by the astonishing ugliness of the clothes. It binds you. But was I conformable wearing the stuff? Sure, why not? Hide
John Malkovich's FILMOGRAPHY
as Actor (78)
John Malkovich John Malkovich'S roles
Vicomte de Valmont
Vicomte de Valmont

Douglas
Douglas

Cyrus 'The Virus' Grissom
Cyrus 'The Virus' Grissom

Basie
Basie

Professor David Lurie
Professor David Lurie

Quentin Turnbull
Quentin Turnbull

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