You gotta love Robert Duvall. The great actor showed up to the recent THR's Awards Watch Roundtable and more or less played the part of the lovable uncle, amusing the rest of the table with his timeless tales and brutally honest observations and opinions.
Duvall began by taking aim at the late, great director Stanley Kubrick as the conversation led to the practice by some directors of endless takes. "To me, the great Stanley Kubrick was an actor's enemy. He was an actor's enemy. I can point to movies he's done, the worst performances I've ever seen in movies: 'The Shining,' 'A Clockwork Orange,'" Duvall claimed, clearly to the enjoyment of Ryan Gosling who is visibly giggling in the background. "Terrible performances, maybe great movies but they're terrible performances. How does he know the different between the first take and the seventieth take? I mean, what is that about?"
Jack Nicholson, Malcolm McDowell, eat your heart out.
Next on Duvall's list? David Fincher. As the helmer's similarly meticulous style was being discussed by Jesse Eisenberg and Mark Ruffalo, Duvall turned to the host and asked, "who's he? He's the director?" Moments later though, after seemingly remembering who Fincher was, the actor asked "he's always been like that David Fincher? How about when he did 'Se7en'? He got good results from that... I turned down a part in 'Se7en' maybe [his methodology is] the reason I did. Subconsciously I knew." We're presuming he was up for the role of Detective Somerset played by Morgan Freeman? Surely not John Doe, the villain played by Kevin Spacey, right?
Another memorable Duvall moment occurred when the THR host spent minutes on a well-constructed question -- involving his own experiences as an English literature student -- about an artist's most memorable work. Turning to Duvall immediately after concluding for a response, the actor simply responded, "what was the question again?" Hilarious.
Duvall eventually got back on the page though and revealed the two projects of which he was proudest were "American Buffalo" on Broadway and the television series "Lonesome Dove," even though the "better directed" and "most successful" film would no doubt be "The Godfather."
The full interview lasts for a whole hour but is definitely worth a watch with Duvall throwing it down with Gosling, Ruffalo and Eisenberg as well as James Franco and Colin Firth. Check it out below.