Robert Duvall, Raw
The legendary actor talks about his Oscar-nominated film "Crazy Heart" and what inspires him as an actor.
As one of the greatest living actors, Robert Duvall is a man of few words, but those words are brutally honest and raw—a trait sorely lacking in many of today's Hollywood newbies. And whether you preferred him in "The Godfather," "The Apostle," "Apocalypse Now," or "Tender Mercies" (where he won a Best Actor Oscar), or his most recent, "Crazy Heart"--or any number of his other films--his performances always make a big impact.
"Crazy Heart," which Duvall co-produced, stars Jeff Bridges as Bad Blake, a washed-up country artist. The film is up for three Academy Awards this year: Best Actor, Jeff Bridges; Best Supporting Actress, Maggie Gyllenhaal; and Best Original Song: "The Weary Kind."
Duvall recently spoke to Entertainment Editor Dena Ross about "Crazy Heart," country music, and his dream role.
Photo: Jeff Bridges (left) and Robert Duvall in Fox Searchlight Pictures' "Crazy Heart"
"Crazy Heart" has been described as similar to your film "Tender Mercies." Is that part of the reason you wanted to work on the film or was it something else?
Oh, no. Scott Cooper, the director, made the adaptation from the book and our company [Butchers Run Films] helped get it off the ground. That was it. It's something I couldn't participate in as an actor, because I'd already done that. So, we looked around, and we thought of Jeff [Bridges]. It took a long time to get him. We went to other people. And then, eventually we came back to Jeff. He's a hard actor to get. And he's the right guy. He'll win an Oscar this year.
Do you really think he will win?
Oh, absolutely. He's going to win the Oscar. The two best performances this year, for me, are him in ["Crazy Heart"] and the kid in "The Hurt Locker" [Jeremy Renner]. It's the movie of the decade for me. "Crazy Horse" is a wonderful movie too
Who else do you think is going to win big at the Oscars?
Oh, I don't know. I have to see who's up.
You mentioned before, the lead role in "Crazy Heart" wasn't really a role you could play, since you did a similar role in "Tender Mercies," but you do have a small role in the film as Wayne, Bad Blake's friend. Why did you decide to do that supporting role?
I did because if I didn't do it, they couldn't get the movie off the ground, they claimed. So I filled in and did it, because I was one of the producers.
Did they also think that it was just a great role for you?