Like most podcasters, Variety‘s Kris Tapley likes to keep things loose, chatty and breezy when he interviews a Hollywood guest. It’s fair to say that this mindset didn’t quite mesh with 82 year-old Donald Sutherland, star of Sony Pictures Classics’ The Leisure Seeker (1.19.18) and a trophy recipient at this weekend’s Governor’s Awards.
Sutherland is a truth-teller, a take-it-or-leave-it reality guy. He gushes about co-workers like anyone else, but if he didn’t get along with someone during the making of a film and still has a bad taste in his mouth about it, he doesn’t mince words. He went there this morning during a chat with Tapley, and it sounded to me as if Sutherland’s candor threw his host off-balance.
In this morning’s “Playback” podcast, Sutherland dissed (a) the late Great Train Robbery director Michael Crichton, basically calling him a cold, heartless prick; (b) spoke about what a shit director Richard Marquand was for arranging for Sutherland to smash his hand through real glass during the shooting of Eye of the Needle (’81); and (c) expressed disdain for the late Robert Altman when producer Ingo Preminger told him that Altman was against casting Sutherland in M.A.S.H. and, when told Sutherland was a keeper, said he didn’t want Sutherland to get top billing.
Sutherland also talked about what a serious and personal heartbreaker it was when the Dodgers’ Rick Monday hit a home run against the Montreal Expos in ’81.
“This is not the detour I was expecting,” Tapley said. “Why would you expect a detour?,” Sutherland replied. “What’s the point of expecting anything? You just concentrate.”
Sutherland is currently shooting James Gray‘s Ad Astra, which costars Brad Pitt, Tommy Lee Jones and Ruth Negga.
Films containing my favorite Sutherland performances, in this order: (1) Ordinary People, (2) Don’t Look Now, (3) JFK, (4) Little Murders, (5) Steelyard Blues, (6) M.A.S.H., (6) Klute, (7) Eye of the Needle and (8) Space Cowboys.