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.”