Ageism is something that does exist.
As a Jew, there's a need to keep that atrocity alive. There were Catholics and gypsies and homosexuals who died in the Holocaust, too. It's amazing that people allowed this slaughter to take place. There's a need to make these films and reiterate it happened.
With 'Avatar,' you're beginning to see the need for less and less actors and less of an appreciation for live acting.
They were like little palaces: all rococo or art deco. You'd walk in off those hot streets into a nice, air-cooled theater, and you'd spend all day watching Cagney or Jimmy Stewart. It cost all of 17 cents.
I did theatrical caricatures.
'North by Northwest' took two and a half to three months to film. When I look back, I realise I wasn't intimidated by Hitchcock and Cary Grant. They were so accepting of me.
A lot of the time with an independent production, you go onto the set, and you rehearse it in front of the crew, and at that point, the cinematographer takes over. You start accommodating the camera instead of the camera accommodating you.
I did a picture called 'Lovely, Still' with Ellen Burstyn, We screened it to the AARP people in Las Vegas, 2000 of them. We got a standing ovation from people who couldn't stand.
A good director makes a playground and allows you to play.
In any age range, there are some limitations in terms of good, good parts.
Great teachers are the ones who inspire you.
I don't like to do what I call 'the grunters' - a character who sits at a table and grunts and young people make fun of. I turn a lot of those down.
I was offered the Gene Hackman role in 'The Poseidon Adventure' four times, and I turned it down four times. I didn't want to do that movie. I called it the upside down boat.
I trained as an actor with Lee Strasberg, Elia Kazan, and Harold Clurman, and those guys set a very high bar.
I hung around with Jason Robards, Richard Harris, Robert Shaw, Richard Burton. I knew not to match them for drinks.
My mantra is 'stay perpendicular.' Horizontal is not as good.
I love to see lack of clarity in a performance as well as clarity, as well as trust, as well as the kinds of things that human beings go through. I love to see spontaneity and 'inevitability.' How it gets there is going to shock the hell out of me, but it will get there somehow.
Subliminally, I had always wanted to act. Although I had only performed in a couple of plays, I was serious about it and was subsequently trained by people like Lee Strasberg and Elia Kazan.
I studied with Strasberg, Elia Kazan. They raised the bar. They weren't easy to please, and they made you achieve the best you could do. That's what a teacher does: he infuses you with passion for something.
I did 12 shows in 13 weeks at a summer theater in Maine where we were paid $35 a week. After taxes and $25 for room and board, I had enough money for a pack of cigarettes and a bowl of lobster bisque.