John Malkovich Speaks His Mind in a New Interview

The actor may be known best for his tweaked-out roles, but don't let him hear you say that. He spoke with NEWSWEEK's Krzysztof Kwiatkowski.

Does an actor have to like the characters he or she plays?
I do not think that it matters. You have to play your characters, not like them. They don't even exist.

I asked because you're famous for playing freaks and psychopaths.
Well, only the media would say I play a lot of freaks. Please take a closer look at my filmography. Is Biff Loman from Death of a Salesman a psychopath? Is Lennie from of Mice and Men a madman?

Are you satisfied with your accomplishments?
No, I don't feel satisfaction. I feel: "next." When you used the word "satisfied," I didn't even really know what it meant.

Do you value Being John Malkovich ?
Yeah, absolutely. I loved Charlie Kaufman; he is just an outstanding writer. And I loved [director] Spike Jonze, a fantastic talent who runs Hollywood in circles. But it was no different to me than anything else I do. Once, you play an alcoholic; once, you play a psychopath; once, John Malkovich.

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