As another Lame Cherry exclusive in matter anti matter.
Like most people, I always enjoyed James Coburn's work. He was a rare exception in he not only was an actor, but he had a mind that mattered between his ears. Coburn's insights are refreshing and worth remembering.
James Coburn on actors:
Actors are boring when they are not working. It's a natural condition, because they don't have anything to do. They just lay around, and that's why so many of them get drunk. They really get to be boring people. My wife will attest to that.
It is really a sad thing that Hollywood apparently snorts politics now, instead of cocaine. The world was a better place when actors were drunk and on ludes 24 hours a day.
James Coburn on Sam Peckinpah and shit actors, writers, directors and producers
Sam is, I think, a great filmmaker. Of course, he's his own worst enemy. Sam is an unusual human being, and he needs to be treated like an unusual human being. He can create an atmosphere, whether he's drunk, sober, pissed off or in a rage, or whatever. I mean, for about three or four hours a day, he's a fucking genius. But the rest of the time he spends wallowing in a kind of emotional reaction to either good or bad memories.
He knew how to bring something out of an actor that even the actor didn't know was there. That's what an actor works for. What else is there? Saying lines, or being cute, or whatever. No. People think about that. People think that acting is an easy chore. "Why, I can do that". Like they have today. Tits and ass, and this studio who's always doing his trip. Shooting and killing and blowing things up. Nah. That's junk. It's terrible junk. Commercial shit is what it is. And everybody likes it because it's easy. Nobody has to think about anything. They just sit there and sensitize themselves or desensitize themselves to anything real. And it's, "Oh boy! Wasn't he great? See that gun he had?" They're made for thirteen-, fourteen-year-old boys.
James Coburn on Steve McQueen
Steve has to prove he had a worse childhood than anybody else. Only one other person I know can compete with him and that's Charles Bronson.
James Coburn on his family
I came from dust bowl folk -- ordinary people who were stultified by the American Dream.
I do miss his work as the Lee Marvin who you just knew would kill you, but not break every bone in your body as Lee would.