McDowell in 2007
|Born||Malcolm John Taylor
13 June 1943
Horsforth, West Riding of Yorkshire, England, U.K.
|Residence||Ojai, California, U.S.|
|Alma mater||London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art|
|Home town||Liverpool, England|
(m. 1975; div. 1980)
(m. 1980; div. 1990)
|Children||5, including Charlie McDowell|
Richard Lester is a wonderful director, a great comedy director, of course.
The villains that I play, I always think that they are grounded, wonderful people with enormous intellects who are very exciting to spend an evening with. I never see them as bad people.
If you look a little punkish, then they're going to give you the parts. And if you play an iconic villain early on in your career, you tend to get asked to play one over and over and over again.
Different directors offer you different things, and it's not necessarily the most obvious things.
I've tried it all. I'd love to do radio plays. I think that one should be open to everything and shouldn't limit oneself.
You can't hold back. You can't think of the subtleties of playing. You just have to get out and really bare it all, and hopefully you don't fall off the plank. And if you do, hey, pick yourself up, dust yourself down, and start all over again.
My favorite actor who played villains – who could play anything, really – was Jimmy Cagney.
I don't worry about whether I'm making a masterpiece, because I know that if you get just one of those in a lifetime, you should get down on your knees and say 'Thank you!'
You've always got to work with the best if you can, and of course, the best are the best because they're different. They expect certain standards, and they're usually very difficult people to work with.
I just take it as it comes, and if I'm not offered something, there's always a reason, and usually it's a pretty good one. I'm not worried about it. You know, I've had an incredible career, and I'm blessed.
Once you commit to something, you've got to commit the whole way. Try and make the best of it.
Let's not get too precious about it: actors are not heart surgeons or brain surgeons. We are just entertaining people.
I think we're all a little afraid of the dark. If you lived in the country, as I did, there's nothing quite like country dark, which was really black. And as a child, your imagination runs wild.
I love Bob Altman. I always admired him so much because I always thought he was a genuine voice.
The thing is, I've never been a handsome leading-man type, so let's not kid ourselves.
I like to razz the Trekkies a little bit. Who doesn't? It's trainspotting, isn't it? But they are very well-meaning, actually. I've done a couple of Star Trek conventions, and they've only been really welcoming.
I'm from a country where acting is taken very seriously; it's a very serious profession.
If you dunk your head in cold water, you can't stay under for more than five seconds. I mean, that's it.
Every university in America teaches 'Clockwork Orange.' I get fed up with it.
The most nurturing of directors can make you feel too comfortable, and you don't really push for that extra whatever.
The definition of insanity in Texas is so insane that it's impossible to be insane in Texas.
I'd love to do radio plays. I think that one should be open to everything and shouldn't limit oneself.
I just love a challenge, and always have, and will do anything to make it interesting. I'll try anything, really, as long as it's a challenge and you can have some fun doing it.
I am a professional actor, and I don't go about moralizing about what the character does. Otherwise, seriously, why be an actor? You're not making some kind of social statement. That's not what actors do.