“You learn very early, or you learn never, if you’re an actor. You sit in front of that mirror at the Theatre Royal, Bristol, in 1958 and learn that that is the meat. You can’t be self-conscious about [your face]. If you are, you’re dead.
“The rest is self-consciousness and nightmare. I’ve watched actors I know — who are not really actors, but they get away with it in the movies — and they spend their life not being able to bear their profile, poor sods. It’s the vain who get fucked up. I’ve never thought about it.” — Venus star Peter O’Toole speaking to interviewer Jasper Reeds in last Sunday’s London Times.
Rees mentions toward the end of the piece that O’Toole “is not an easy man to talk to, at least about himself and his work. He is not prone to self-analysis.” My feelings exactly as I tried to make the most of my O’Toole interview for GQ maga- zine some 26 years ago, which occured in the downstairs den of his home near Hampstead Heath and lasted for about 40 minutes.