Thursday, May 22, 2003

BEING JOHN MALKOVICH

Malkovich is at the same time (in the same person) smart, scary, funny, weird, and political. How does he do it?

Given that he has lived in France for years, you can probably guess where he stands on the "Iraq" question. And you'd probably be wrong.

Following is an excerpt from a New York Daily News interview of Mr. M.


John Malkovich knows the French better than most Americans, having lived in Aix-en-Provence for years with his wife, Nicoletta Peyran, and their two children. But as much as he loves his adopted land, he thinks the French have forfeited their right to suggest what the new Iraq should look like.
"Why should America listen to what France now has to say?" Malkovich asked when we spoke to him the other day.

The actor is the first to admit that President Bush could have handled the diplomatic end better. At the same time, he believes President Jacques Chirac's opposition to the U.S.-led coalition is "highly cynical and arrogant."

"The French say that everybody else has a self-interest [in Iraq]," Malkovich said. "But none is more obvious than theirs. And they're absolutely blind to it."

"Sometimes ignoring other countries is the right response," said Malkovich. "I don't really care what Arab countries think. I don't trust them.

"I don't really care what a lot of European countries say. I've lived in Europe for years. I have a lot of dear friends there. But if you talk about politics, I want to say, if they're so smart, why Franco? Why totalitarianism? Why fascism? Where is your humility? I just think they should be curious about their own regimes."

The 6-foot-2 actor told us, "My father was a soldier. My uncle was a soldier. And the reason - and one can't say this enough - that our parents fought and died for things is so that people can get up and shoot off their mouths about things they don't know f---all about. About things they don't know the end result about, where they're just guessing."



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