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John Malkovich Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trade Mark (1) | Trivia (32) | Personal Quotes (45) | Salary (1)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 9 December 1953Christopher, Illinois, USA
Birth NameJohn Gavin Malkovich
Height 6' (1.83 m)

Mini Bio (1)

In 1976, John Malkovich joined Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre, newly founded by his friend Gary Sinise. After that, it would take seven years before Malkovich would show up in New York and win an Obie in Sam Shepard's play "True West". In 1984, Malkovich would appear with Dustin Hoffman in the Broadway revival of "Death of a Salesman", which would earn him an Emmy when it was made into a made-for-TV movie the next year. His big-screen debut would be as the blind lodger in Places in the Heart (1984), which earned him an Academy Award Nomination for best supporting actor. Other films would follow, including The Killing Fields (1984) and The Glass Menagerie (1987), but he would be well remembered as Vicomte de Valmont in Dangerous Liaisons (1988). Playing against Michelle Pfeiffer and Glenn Close in a costume picture helped raise his standing in the industry. He would be cast as the psychotic political assassin in Clint Eastwood's In the Line of Fire (1993), for which he would be nominated for both the Academy Award and the Golden Globe. In 1994, Malkovich would portray the sinister Kurtz in the made-for-TV movie Heart of Darkness (1993), taking the story to Africa as it was originally written. Malkovich has periodically returned to Chicago to both act and direct.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Spouse (2)

Nicoletta Peyran (20 September 1989 - present) (2 children)
Glenne Headly (2 August 1982 - 1 January 1988) (divorced)

Trade Mark (1)

Often plays menacing, sadistic villains

Trivia (32)

Listed as one of twelve "Promising New Actors of 1984" in John Willis' Screen World, Vol. 36.
The costume he wore in the Annie Lennox video, "Walking On Broken Glass" was borrowed from the set of Dangerous Liaisons (1988)
Education: Eastern Illinois University, Illinois State University.
Chosen by Empire magazine as one of the 100 Sexiest Stars in film history (#70).
His father was of Croatian descent, and his mother had French, German, Scottish and English ancestry.
Parents ran and owned local newspaper in his hometown Benton, Illinois.
Children with Nicoletta Peyran: daughter Amandine (b. 1990) and son Lowry (b. 1992).
Has developed a great passion for Portugal, where he has filmed some movies recently. He also keeps a house here, as he co-owns a disco in Lisbon.
Legend has it that he was told by the head of the Theatre Department at Illinois State University that he would not have a career as an actor. Even though he did not graduate from ISU (he never took the constitution test), the Theatre Department still claims him as an alumnus. On April 4, 2005, he returned to visit the Theatre Department where he was presented with an official diploma for his bachelor's degree in theatre.
When he was a teenager, he decided to get his excessive weight under control and lost 70 pounds by eating nothing but Jell-O for four months.
In 1976, he quit college in order to work at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theater.
His favorite films include: Citizen Kane (1941), It's a Wonderful Life (1946), High Noon (1952), The 400 Blows (1959), The Battle of Algiers (1966), The Conformist (1970) and This Is Spinal Tap (1984).
Won a Village Voice Obie for his performance in "True West" in 1984.
Won a second Village Voice Obie this time for Direction for "Balm in Gilead" in 1985.
Attended college with Joan Allen who was occasionally a scene partner of Malkovich's in their acting classes. Later attended another acting class years with John Mahoney. He encouraged both actors to join the Steppenwolf Theater Company, which they did.
First actor to win a major award (New York Film Critics) for portraying himself in a movie (non-cameo role). The film was Being John Malkovich (1999).
His performance as himself in Being John Malkovich (1999) is ranked #90 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time.
Frequently visits Sarajevo Film Festival (Bosnia).
Offered the role of Green Goblin/Norman Osborn in Spider-Man (2002).
He dropped out of Crazy People (1990) after around two weeks of filming and was replaced by Dudley Moore.
He co-owns a restaurant/nightclub in Portugal.
He was nominated for a 1980 Joseph Jefferson Award for Actor in a Principal Role in the play, "Say Goodnight, Gracie", at the Travel Light Productions Theatre in Chicago, Illinois.
He was awarded the 1981 Joseph Jefferson Award for Director of a Play for "Balm in Gilead", at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago, Illinois.
He was awarded the 1982 Joseph Jefferson Award for Actor in a Principal Role in a Play for "True West", at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago, Illinois.
He was nominated for a 1985 Joseph Jefferson Award for Director of a play for "Coyote Ugly", at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago, Illinois.
He was nominated for a 1996 Joseph Jefferson Award for Director of a Play for "The Libertine", at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago, Illinois.
Good friend of Gérard Depardieu. They worked together on several projects: The Man in the Iron Mask (1998), Les Misérables (2000) and Napoléon (2002).
Lost an undisclosed amount of money in the Bernard Madoff scandal.
He turned down the role played by Timothy Dalton in The King's Whore (1990).
Fluent in French, and lived in France for almost 10 years. He left in 2003.
He moved outside Boston, Massachusetts. [October 2008]
As of 2014, has appeared in three films that were nominated for the Best Picture Oscar: The Killing Fields (1984), Places in the Heart (1984) and Dangerous Liaisons (1988).

Personal Quotes (45)

[on Being John Malkovich (1999)] When I first looked at the script, the title seemed like a one-line joke, but it turned out to be a 100-page joke.
[Spike Jonze wanted to borrow photographs from his childhood for Being John Malkovich (1999)] "I gave them my mother's phone number and told them to tell her that I'm an actor and it was for a film. I don't think my parents know what I do."
"I want to be successful. I would like it to be a success with something that doesn't make me want to vomit all over the screening room after I've seen it." (1980s quote)
I'm not terribly articulate in many ways and particularly when it comes to what I do. And, at the risk of sounding like Holden Caulfield, I don't know if I would talk about it even if I could.
[on Dangerous Liaisons (1988)] The movie should appeal to everyone. It's sleazy, elegant, vicious and mean, and it's about people doing hideous things to each other. If that weren't enough, it has a tragic end. What more could people ask for?
I'm not cynical. I'm merely stating a fact. Most filmmakers' entire body of knowledge is of other movies. When they describe things, they describe them in relation to other movies. That's why we have so many cyclical movies that look like other movies. But I'm not cynical. I even go to some of those movies.
I probably have more female friends than any man I've ever met. What I like about them is that almost always they're generally mentally tougher, and they're better listeners, and they're more capable of surviving things. And most of the women that I like have a haunted quality - they're sort of like women who live in a haunted house all by themselves.
I still don't know if I made the right decision when I went into acting. I have driven school buses, sold egg rolls and painted houses, and I have often wondered what my life would have been like if I hadn't gone into acting. Mind you, it's a great life, going around pretending you're other people and getting paid ridiculous sums of money for it.
Because I've been doing theatre so long, there isn't a lot for me to learn about theatre acting. But there is an enormous amount for me to learn about movie acting. It's not that I can't do it, but it never feels quite right. I almost always feel like a race car on a go-cart track. There's no place to unwind. Just as you get going, it's time to go home for the night.
I wasn't really raised to be the type of person to have doubts.
I've always felt that if you can't make money as an actor, you`re either incredibly stupid or tragically unlucky.
"I'm drawn to a character with a lack of humanity. People give reasons for being cruel or sadistic but I think it is just a lack of humanity and concern for others. I think I'm good at them because I don't like them. Audiences are attracted to them but I hate them. It's strange." - On why he enjoys playing evil characters.
"I don't like all of the crap associated with it. If I wanted to run wind sprints, I'd be a sprinter. Or if I wanted to lift weights, I'd be a weight lifter." - On why he doesn't like doing research for the characters he plays.
From the start I was relaxed onstage. It's home to me.
Film is about what appears to be. You can't fake theater, but you can fake anything in movies. You can fake chemistry between people. You can fake sex, love, explosions, special effects, horror...
I was born in the West after World War II in a senselessly wealthy country, and I never really had to struggle. Sure, there were years when I didn't have a refrigerator or stove, but that's nothing compared to Rwanda.
We're all going to die, so the death penalty should be called the early-death penalty. And the furor about it strikes me as ridiculous. To make criminals feel what they've chosen to provoke others to feel would be the ideal penalty, but it's impossible to do that. Many of them are psychopaths without conscience. People can debate all this as much as they like, but I really don't care. I'm not a big believer in the judicial system, our laws or our Constitution. All the things Americans rave about as being sacrosanct are to me incredibly deeply flawed.
"I've lived in Europe for the better part of 12 years, and I've noticed that one of the big errors Europeans make is to dismiss America as having no culture. That's an incredible mistake, and whether it's born of arrogance or neurosis caused by the fact that America is perceived as hugely powerful, it's wrong. For a century or two, a decent percentage of the major writers, poets, artists, musicians, painters, filmmakers, actors, screenwriters, and dancers have been born in the U.S. Americans have acquitted themselves pretty well in those areas. There's a great culture there, an enormous culture. I just don't plain like a lot of it, but it's OK if other people like it." (Late 1990's qoute)
"I did a million things. I worked in an office supply store, I drove a school bus, I painted houses, I worked for a Mexican landscape gardening company, picking out weeds. And generally when I was doing something it somehow took my interest. In fact, it must be a kind of shallowness. When I did office supplies mostly I thought about office supplies, and then when I got on the train I'd think about theatre, and then I would do theatre. But the next morning I would go in and, you know, reorganize the paper clips." - On menial jobs he held before becoming a successful actor.
The other day I was walking down the street in the rural town where we live (in France) and a truck hit me, rather hard, going fairly fast. And he starts to drive off, so I chase after him, reach in the window and grab his steering wheel. And I say, 'Normally, in a civilized society, when we hit someone with a truck, we might inquire as to their well being.' So he said, 'I'm sorry,' and I said, 'Great. Try and be a little more careful and that would be fantastic, and so sorry to have troubled you.' I walk another 30 meters and he pulls up beside me a second time -- and asks me if he can have an autograph.
It's 'Be lucky, be good, and have a good story to tell '. Cause a failure is a failure. And, believe me, I've had many. It's like playing baseball. Even the best actors don't bat 300 all the time. Sometimes, you know, you just strike out.
[on fashion] It's something I always liked. I don't know where that came from. I always imagine it was from being very fat as a child. I was a very good baseball player and football player as a kid, but my father always told me - occasionally while striking me - that I was much more interested in how I looked playing baseball or football than in actually playing. And I think there's great truth in that.
I don't think I ever - even to this day - made a conscious decision about acting.
I don't think, personally, I'm much like any character I ever played, including John Malkovich (in Being John Malkovich (1999)). I don't really see the resemblance at all. It's more a frequency you transmit than something that you fundamentally are.
(Acting is) always things about imaginary people, imaginary events, imaginary things. That can make you know that what you're doing is very trivial. The nature of what it is, remaining, in some way, a child. Sometimes you look at it like an adult and think, 'What difference does this make to anything?' But you can say the same thing about banking or journalism or anything in the world ...
I'm not prone to talk much about what I do. But then I never have been. I mean, I don't think hookers rush home from work and say, "Honey! I had the most incredible hand-job today!
You focus on how a character views the world. And, if you have talent, you focus on what they do to get what they want, on what they do when they don't know what they want, on how they look and sound and react. I don't go out and buy a false nose every time I pick up a script. I don't lose or gain 40 pounds. But I think about stuff like that. I've done a monocle part or two. It just seems to me that monocles and canes are only useful if they help the performance.
I love Charlie Sheen. If there was a Charlie Sheen For President committee, I'd be on it. With this movie, I liked the idea that when John Malkovich is in a personal jam, Charlie Sheen is the one who provides the tough love. It seemed to me to be such an invitation to nihilism that we couldn't resist doing it. -- John Malkovich on Charles' cameo in the film Being John Malkovich (1999).
I'm more likely to lose my temper on a film set than almost anywhere. Often the level of idiocy is so exalted that it's impossible to comprehend.
I'm very much a typical Midwesterner, and I don't think the condition is curable.
For me, movies are like a quick sketch, a doodle. Theatre is like a painting. It involves more craft. It has more depth, more texture, and it changes every single night because it's a living, breathing organism. It commands my respect that much more.
I probably know a lot more technically than most film actors about lenses and lights and things like that, but basically to be effective I need the sequence of events behind me. I get that in the theatre every night, which I find freeing in a way.
What we were doing [at Steppenwolf] was better, that's all. We started out to try and do good work for its own sake. That has nothing to do with theatre in New York. Yeah, they want to do good work once they're doing it, but basically it's more to do with where that'll get them. That's perfectly natural, but not necessarily acceptable or right. If you did a good play in New York you got a little lead spot on Kojak (1973). That's not for me.
Generally you act in movies because you are too lazy to act in theatre, or you can't, or you want a lot of money, or you want to be really famous.
For a long time I played brooding, "James Dean" types. I was kind of relieved when my hair fell out and I didn't have to do that any more.
A lot of our wonderful actors, from Marlon Brando to George C. Scott, found it a shameful occupation and really lost interest in it. But it always interests me, and watching others do it always interests me, and I don't find it shameful. I mean, as compared to what?
The first acting teacher I had taught me the worst sin was to be boring. When it comes to how I think a character views the world, I'm fairly decisive . But for me, there has to be inherent in the act of presenting that view something which didn't exist before. Something an audience won't have seen - commensurate, of course, with the writing.
[on turning down the Jimmy Conway role in Goodfellas (1990)] It sort of came at a bad time in my life, when I wasn't feeling well and didn't want to think about working. It's hard to explain why you end up in Eragon (2006) and not Goodfellas (1990). But De Niro is fantastic.
[on the costumes in Secretariat (2010)]: I think 1973 was the nadir of fashion. When you watch the coverage from that era, you're struck by the astonishing ugliness of the clothes. It binds you. But was I conformable wearing the stuff? Sure, why not?
Unlike my grandfather or my brother, I've actually been able to make some money at a racetrack. That'll be a family first and has great meaning for me.
I think the nicest experience one has being an actor is when you like watching someone you're working with...Good actors love to watch good acting, and I think a lot of them - oddly enough, far from being jealous of it or threatened by it - actually live for it. Me, I've been a director my whole life, so there's nothing I love more than sitting there with my piehole shut watching great actors transport me somewhere. [2010]
[on making Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)] I love doing things like this. I'm not offered them very much, for reasons that remain obscure to me. It's always fun to do a film with a certain amount of action and a great amount of fantasy.
I like to direct movies, but I don't like to goof around for eight years talking about it. And it's pretty irritating to get a movie on and you get all that irritation already as a producer. So to complicate it by having more irritation as a director, I don't really need it. And because I direct a great deal still, but in the theater, I kind of get that anyway. Which is not all to say that I would never do it again, or it would never happen again. But I haven't read any scripts at all where I've felt like, "You know what? It's probably better if I just do this myself." I could always think, "Well you know, I think so and so should do this." And then as a producer, sometimes I'm able to get that person to do it. We occasionally have a project where I wouldn't mind saying, "I could be someone who could be considered," but I would never go any further than that. I just haven't found the thing that made me want to. And films take too long. There's too much BS, too much nonsense. You know if I want to do a play, I just call the theater, whether it's here, or in Paris or Mexico or Spain or London or whatever, and say, "I want to do this, are you interested?" They'll answer the next day. With a movie, it's all, "Oh, I see this film as blah blah blah." They don't know what they're talking about, they don't care. I loved doing The Dancer Upstairs (2002), and I like the film, but it also is like a waste of seven years of my life.
I'm not a Method actor. I don't believe acting should be psychodrama. I look within myself and see what I can find to play the role with. If I'm playing a blind man, I don't go around blindfolded for days. A lot of good actors would, but I don't go in for that very much, principally because I'd rather make it up.
In movies you're a product. And if I'm a product, I'm a Tabasco sauce. I'm not a sort of shepherd's pie, and that's the way it is.

Salary (1)

In the Line of Fire (1993) $1,000,000

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