John Malkovich is a pretty interesting character.
He’s not shy of taking on oddball roles (or adverts), chalking up around 90 acting credits in his career thus far, and his recent project with photographer Sandro Miller saw the actor dress up as Andy Warhol, a naked John Lennon, Marilyn Monroe, Che Guevara, and other famous figures.
Earlier in the week, Malkovich sat down for an extended and revealing interview with the Guardian, and if he’s someone who interests you then you’re in for a treat.
Let’s just stick with what Malkovich had to say about Bernie Madoff, who is currently serving a 150-year prison sentence for defrauding investors out of more than $64 billion.
That included Malkovich’s entire life savings which went up in dust in December 2008:
Malkovich had been directing a play in Mexico City and had just returned to New York. “I saw a picture of Bernie Madoff in handcuffs and said to my wife: ‘I’m going to go to the corner to get a packet of cigarettes. I think we have a little problem with Madoff.’”
How did he feel? “You know, that was a couple of days of shock, I suppose.” He tells the story with such languid insouciance that I initially assume it must be for effect – but I don’t think it is. This is the real Malkovich.
How many millions did he lose? “Oh, I don’t know. A lot. But I don’t think it mattered that much. We just made changes to the way we lived and the money we spent.”
What changed? “I had to do more work that paid for a number of years, and work all the time. And I stopped paying for everything. I just stopped paying for friends and family for a time. And we used to spend a lot of money producing movies that lost quite a lot of money. That stopped.”
How do you have that level of chill when losing your life savings? I would hunt Madoff down and attempt to maim him, or at least ridicule him based on some of the details that emerged from books written about him.
Back to Malkovich, who said he only angry for the “first couple of days”:
“‘You’re lucky to be alive, you’re lucky to have a job.’ Almost no one has money in the banks. I read somewhere that a huge percentage of Americans wouldn’t have $400 to put between their hands in an emergency.”
Again, this is a zen man.
He must be listening to some good relaxation podcasts.
The interview goes on to discuss Malkovich’s career highs and lows, and also covers his involvement with the upcoming Netflix series, Space Force.
Read it in full here.
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