*Interview* Screen Legend Malcolm McDowell


AR: Hello Malcolm, thank you for taking the time to talk with me.

MM: I’m very happy to be here.

AR: The latest role you play is crime boss Harris in The Big Ugly, what drew you to this character?

MM: What drew me to the project more than the character was Vinnie. I have always liked him. I liked him even when he was a footballer. He squeezed the balls of Gascoine! We all got a laugh out of that one. Vinnie is a great guy, very heartfelt. He has this tough exterior but he is really a big softie. I like him alot and he is very talented. This movie was a chance for him to get away from the cockney heavy sort of role, a role he plays very well. This is a little different, more of a leading man role.

AR: Do you find bringing characters to life challenging?

MM: It comes naturally. Which i dont know if that’s a good thing or bad thing (laughs). I am just really relaying what the writer has intended and that’s while applying my own stuff on top of that to make it a little more unique. Harris was an interesting character but it was kind of territory i had explored before. I enjoyed doing this movie.

AR: Do you enjoy playing these kind of roles?

MM: You know I do, i have spent the last ten years doing comedy on television. Which i initially started doing to get away from these types of roles. Now i have done so much comedy on television it was nice to portray a villain again. I did this show called Franklin and Bash which lasted four seasons which is a hit in America then another four years on Mozart In The Jungle which was a comedic role. They were delicious parts, so i don’t mind playing a villain.

AR: The locations were stunning, that scenery! It was shot on location, right?

MM: Yes, it was shot in Kentucky but in the boondocks. This was right out in the Boondocks we shot it in June and it was humid and hot and there were hardly any motels we were basically in little motel sixes and i had my fourteen year old son with me who was desperate to see the boondocks. We would go and walk around the local Walmart because it was nice and cool with the air conditioning. It was truly unreal it was a store the size of an aircraft hanger full of American goods. It had everything you could think of.

The location was beautiful but sort of sad at the same time. Over 50% of people in these areas are drug addicts. I was talking to the local sheriff and he was telling me about the problems they had with drink and meth. I was shocked. But on the upside i had the best bbq i ever had. It was fun being there with the cast and being with Vinnie, he is a fun guy to be around. Making a movie with him was so much fun.

AR: If i may ask, rewinding back some years. I loved your take on Loomis in Rob Zombies Halloween. Were you a fan of the franchise?

MM: I had never seen a Halloween movie, i hate to say it but its true. I knew who Rob Zombie was although i couldn’t picture him. I went to meet him at a restaurant and i went in and looked around and saw this satan like figure with long hair and i went oh that must be Rob and it sure was (laughs)

He is a very smart guy. I loved playing Loomis. But when we done the second part i said i don’t really want to play the same part again and Rob said lets make him a total shit head! I thought great! That sounds fun. He said we will make Loomis the only one who is profiting from all this tragedy and he has written this book. I said to Rob, how good of a doctor could he have been he had one patient in 17 years and the guy escapes and kills half the town.

AR: Did you prefer playing Loomis in Halloween 1 or 2?

MM: I preferred playing him in the first, but i didn’t want to copy what i had already done i wanted to make him a little more interesting in the sequel more for me actually and for the audience.

AR: Loomis’s fate was always up in air wasn’t it!?

MM: Ah yeah it was, ah my god… Do you know I almost wasn’t going to do the sequel. The Weinsteins reneged on the pre-contract i had signed to do the second one. They didn’t want to pay me, well they wanted to pay me half!! I said to Rob and he said don’t worry about it. I went and did a talk at SAG a union and somebody asked me if i would be in the second Halloween and i said, No, well probably. We are currently in negotiation hell with the Weinsteins and they reneged on their contract so i probably wont be doing it. Somebody went and posted it on the internet (laughs) and the Weinsteins went ballistic. Calling the agency and swearing at us etc and i said i can talk about what I want, it’s America of course. Within 24 hours it was all settled. They were called and their bully boy tactics didn’t work. I was so happy to work with Rob again.

AR: You also made a cameo in 31

MM: Yes i did. You know i wish he would do something more mainstream. He’s a really good director. We sort of talked about doing a Dickens thing set in London in 1840/1850 in the real dark Victorian london period where it would be coal fire, foggy and dirty. Back to the Fegan era.

AR: That would be really cool!

MM: Well we just talked about it, we will probably never do it. Its just a nice idea to talk about. Hopefully we do, but we never know.

AR: After The Big Ugly, what’s next Malcolm?

MM: Well i was in Bombshell a super movie with Charlize Theron, Margot Robbie & Nicole Kidman and it also starred actor John Lithgow, brilliant actor. I love him. He is in a new series on HBO in America called Perry Mason. Its not a remake of the Raymond Burr series. John is in that, its fantastic. He is a great actor. In September i am doing a movie but we will see where we are in this pandemic.

AR: Thank you again for your time Malcolm!

MM: It was a pleasure, stay safe!


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