Kurt Russell Poster


Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Family (4)  | Trade Mark (5)  | Trivia (104)  | Personal Quotes (38)  | Salary (6)

Overview (3)

Born in Springfield, Massachusetts, USA
Birth NameKurt Vogel Russell
Height 5' 9¼" (1.76 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Kurt Vogel Russell was born on March 17, 1951 in Springfield, Massachusetts and raised in Thousand Oaks, California to Louise Julia Russell (née Crone), a dancer & Bing Russell, an actor. He is of English, German, Scottish and Irish descent. His first roles were as a child on television series, including a lead role on the Western series The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters (1963). Russell landed a role in the Elvis Presley movie, It Happened at the World's Fair (1963), when he was eleven years old. Walt Disney himself signed Russell to a 10-year contract, and, according to Robert Osborne, he became the studio's top star of the 1970s. Having voiced adult Copper in the animated Disney film The Fox and the Hound (1981), Russell is one of the few famous child stars in Hollywood who has been able to continue his acting career past his teen years.

Kurt spent the early 1970s playing minor league baseball. In 1979, he gave a classic performance as Elvis Presley in John Carpenter's ABC TV movie Elvis (1979), and married the actress who portrayed Priscilla Presley in the film, Season Hubley. He was nominated for an Emmy Award for the role. He followed with roles in a string of well-received films, including Used Cars (1980) and Silkwood (1983), for which he was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture. During the 1980s, he starred in several films by director Carpenter; they created some of his best-known roles, including the infamous anti-hero Snake Plissken in the futuristic action film Escape from New York (1981) (and later in its sequel Escape from L.A. (1996)), Antarctic helicopter pilot R.J. MacReady in the horror film The Thing (1982), and Jack Burton in the fantasy film Big Trouble in Little China (1986), all of which have since become cult classics.

In 1983, he became reacquainted with Goldie Hawn (who appeared with him in The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band (1968)) when they worked together on Swing Shift (1984). The two have lived together ever since. They made another film together, Garry Marshall's comedy Overboard (1987). His other 1980s titles include The Best of Times (1986), Tequila Sunrise (1988), Winter People (1989) and Tango & Cash (1989).

In 1991, he headlined the firefighter drama Backdraft (1991), he starred as Wyatt Earp in the Western film Tombstone (1993), and had a starring role as Colonel Jack O'Neil in the science fiction film Stargate (1994). In the mid-2000s, his portrayal of U.S. Olympic hockey coach Herb Brooks in Miracle (2004) won the praise of critics. In 2006, he appeared in the disaster-thriller Poseidon (2006), and in 2007, in Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof (2007) segment from the film Grindhouse (2007). Russell appeared in The Battered Bastards of Baseball (2014), a documentary about his father and the Portland Mavericks, which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in 2014. Russell starred in the Western films Bone Tomahawk (2015) and The Hateful Eight (2015), and had a leading role in the dramatization Deepwater Horizon (2016). He also co-starred in the action sequels Furious 7 (2015) and The Fate of the Furious (2017).

Russell and Goldie Hawn live on a 72-acre retreat, Home Run Ranch, outside of Aspen. He has two sons, Boston Russell (from his marriage to Hubley) and Wyatt Russell (with Hawn). He also raised Hawn's children, actors Oliver Hudson and Kate Hudson, who consider him their father. Russell is also an avid gun enthusiast, a hunter and a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution. He is also an FAA-licensed private pilot holding single/multi-engine and instrument ratings, and is an Honorary Board Member of the humanitarian aviation organization Wings of Hope.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Anne-Marie Cowsill

Family (4)

Spouse Season Hubley (17 March 1979 - 16 May 1983)  (divorced)  (1 child)
Children Boston Russell
Oliver Hudson (stepchild)
Kate Hudson (stepchild)
Wyatt Russell
Parents Russell (Crone), Louise Julia
Bing Russell
Relatives Russell, Jill (sibling)
Russell, Jody (sibling)
Russell, Jamie (sibling)

Trade Mark (5)

Often has long hair or a mullet
Often performs many of his stunts himself
Often works with John Carpenter
Distinctive gravelly voice
Often plays charming, laid-back characters

Trivia (104)

Rode along with the Chicago Fire Department's Squad 5 in preparation for his role in Backdraft (1991).
Played pro baseball (second base, AA club- California Angels) until a torn shoulder muscle forced retirement in 1973. Was hitting .563 at the time. His friend, Ron Shelton wrote the Crash Davis role in Bull Durham (1988) for him. The studio insisted on Kevin Costner, though.
Son of Bing Russell, a baseball player and actor, who played the deputy sheriff on Bonanza (1959) for six years.
He appeared in the music video and sang in the choir on the song "Voices That Care".
Is an FAA licensed Private Pilot holding single/multi-engine and instrument ratings and is an Honorary Board Member of the humanitarian aviation organization Wings of Hope.
Graduated from Thousand Oaks High School in Thousand Oaks, California, with Michael Richards. Class of 1969, who voted him "Best Looking".
He and longtime companion Goldie Hawn appeared together in Five films: The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band (1968), Swing Shift (1984), Overboard (1987), The Christmas Chronicles (2018), and The Christmas Chronicles: Part Two (2020).
Dating Goldie Hawn since February 14, 1983: Valentine's Day 1983.
Atlanta Braves' first baseman, Matt Franco, is his nephew.
His character Snake Plissken (of Escape from New York (1981)) is about to become a comic book. Published by theCrossGen imprint Code 6 Comics, the book will be known as The Snake Plissken Chronicles. It is marked for publication beginning in 2003.
Began Cosmic Entertainment with partner Goldie Hawn, her daughter Kate Hudson, and her son Oliver Hudson. [2003]
Has English, German, Scottish and Irish ancestry.
Is a card carrying member of the NRA.
Was the best man at Ted Nugent's wedding.
Was born three days after his ex-wife Season Hubley.
Ex-brother-in-law of Larry Franco.
Is a huge fan of Elvis Presley, Patrick Rondat and Tom Robinson.
In his audio commentary for The Thing (1982), he joked with director John Carpenter about the scene where he threw a stick of dynamite at the character Palmer (who was turning into the Thing) and how the explosion was more powerful than he had expected. In truth, he could have been seriously injured.
Was one of the first actors to do audio commentary on DVDs.
The presence of Lee Van Cleef on the set of Escape from New York (1981) inspired him to talk in a raspy voice similar to Clint Eastwood's from the Man With No Name trilogy.
During the filming of 3000 Miles to Graceland (2001) in Vancouver, he visited the nearby set of Stargate SG-1 (1997) and met the cast. Russell starred as Colonel Jack O'Neil in the original Stargate (1994). His role was adopted by Richard Dean Anderson in the spin-off series and the character's name was changed slightly (to Colonel Jack O'Neill).
Is good friends with stuntman Dick Warlock, who was his stunt double for over 20 years.
Has portrayed cult classic heroes in five different movies: Escape from New York (1981), The Thing (1982), Big Trouble in Little China (1986), Stargate (1994) and Escape from L.A. (1996).
Said in his audio commentary for Big Trouble in Little China (1986) that the test audiences reacted so well to the film that he thought for sure that he and director friend John Carpenter had a box office hit on their hands. However, the studio put so little effort into advertising the film that it ultimately didn't do as well at the box office but became a cult favorite instead.
He was considered for the role of Martin Riggs in Lethal Weapon (1987), which went to Mel Gibson.
Made his film debut in the Elvis Presley film, It Happened at the World's Fair (1963). He later went on to play him in Elvis (1979), and to provide his voice in Forrest Gump (1994).
When he and director John Carpenter were discussing the character of MacReady in The Thing (1982), they thought about making MacReady a former Vietnam chopper pilot who felt displaced by his service in the war and, as a result, was much more isolated than the other characters. This ultimately did not make it into the film.
Has appeared with Ed Begley Jr. in five films: The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes (1969), Now You See Him, Now You Don't (1972), Charley and the Angel (1973), Superdad (1973) and Elvis (1979).
He and his Tombstone (1993) co-star, Val Kilmer, have both played Elvis Presley. Val Kilmer played him in True Romance (1993), while Russell played him in a television movie, and provided his voice in Forrest Gump (1994). In Tombstone (1993), he plays Wyatt Earp. In 3000 Miles to Graceland (2001), he works with Kevin Costner, who played the role a mere six months later in the film Wyatt Earp (1994).
Is good friends with director John Carpenter. The two have collaborated on five different films: Elvis (1979), Escape from New York (1981), The Thing (1982), Big Trouble in Little China (1986) and Escape from L.A. (1996).
He claims that he often felt an outcast in Hollywood because of his Libertarian beliefs, and so moved to live in an area outside Aspen, Colorado, where he started to try his hand at writing.
Kate Hudson, daughter of his longtime companion Goldie Hawn, named her son Ryder Russell Robinson. The middle name is an homage to Kurt, whom Hudson always considered to be her father.
Has starred in films with two of his former brother-in-laws: Larry Franco in John Carpenter's The Thing (1982), and Whip Hubley in Executive Decision (1996).
A member of the conservative Wednesday Morning Club in Hollywood, Russell introduced guest speaker Newt Gingrich (1999).
Received The Disney Legends Award 1998 for living up to the Disney principals of: The Disney Legends award has three distinct elements that characterize the contributions made by each talented recipient. The Spiral ... stands for imagination, the power of an idea. The Hand ... holds the gifts of skill, discipline and craftsmanship. The Wand and the Star ... represent magic: the spark that is ignited when imagination and skill combine to create a new dream.
For his role on Tombstone (1993), he was trained by renowned Hollywood Gun Coach Thell Reed, who has also trained such actors as: Val Kilmer, Bill Paxton, Sam Elliott, Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Foster and Girard Swan.
He acted as father to Kate Hudson by walking her down the aisle and giving her away at her wedding to rock star Chris Robinson.
He was considered for Chris Cooper's role in Jarhead (2005).
Was originally cast to play the cursed heroic knight Navarre in Ladyhawke (1985), while Rutger Hauer, who played the role of Navarre in the film, was the original choice to play the evil captain, even though Hauer had no interest in the role and was actually more interested in the role of the hero Navarre. When Russell dropped out of the project, Hauer took the role.
Snake Plissken, the anti-hero of Escape from New York (1981) and Escape from L.A. (1996) is his favorite character of all he has played.
Quit smoking cigars in 2006.
He and Goldie Hawn own a vacation home on Muskoka Lake, Ontario.
He auditioned for the role of Han Solo in Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977), which went to Harrison Ford.
He was Sylvester Stallone's original choice for Church in The Expendables (2010), which he turned down. The role went to Bruce Willis.
One of his heroes since boyhood was John Wayne. He was able to use his dead-on John Wayne impression (to twisted effect) in Grindhouse (2007).
Played three years of minor league baseball (1971-73) with a combined batting average of .292, but only hit two home runs during his professional career.
Has 2 sons: Boston Russell (b. February 16, 1980) with ex-wife, Season Hubley & Wyatt Russell (b. July 10, 1986) with girlfriend, Goldie Hawn.
Has 2 de facto stepchildren: de facto stepson, Oliver Hudson (b. September 7, 1976) & de facto stepdaughter, Kate Hudson (b. April 19, 1979) with girlfriend, Goldie Hawn.
Uncle of filmmakers Chapman Way, Maclain Way and musician Brocker Way.
He was considered for the role of Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver (1976), which went to Robert De Niro.
In Elvis (1979), he played Elvis Presley while his real life father Bing Russell played Elvis' father Vernon Presley.
He turned down David Morrissey's role in Basic Instinct 2 (2006).
He was considered for the role of Agent Sands in Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003), which went to Johnny Depp.
He was considered for the role of Jonathan Kent in Man of Steel (2013), which went to Kevin Costner.
He was originally cast in Rutger Hauer's role in Ladyhawke (1985), while Hauer was cast in a different role. Russell dropped out and Hauer was recast.
He turned down Richard Gere's roles in An Officer and a Gentleman (1982) and Internal Affairs (1990).
Like his father, Russell had a baseball career. In the early 1970s, Russell was a switch-hitting second baseman for the California Angels minor league affiliates, the Bend Rainbows (1971) and Walla Walla Islanders (1972) in the short season Class A-Short Season Northwest League, then moved up to Class AA (1973) with the El Paso Sun Kings of the Texas League. While in the field turning the pivot of a double play early in the season, the incoming runner at second base collided with him and tore the rotator cuff in Russell's right (throwing) shoulder. He did not return to El Paso, but was a designated hitter for the independent Portland Mavericks back in the Northwest League late in their short season. The team was owned by his father, and he had been doing promotional work for them in the interim. The injury forced his retirement from baseball (1973) and led to his return to acting.
John Woo wanted him to star in Hard Target (1993), but he was unavailable.
Russell and Hawn moved to Vancouver, British Columbia, so that their son could play hockey. [February 2003]
John Carpenter wanted to cast him in the horror film The Fog (1980).
He turned down the role of Connor McLeod in Highlander (1986) in order to star in Big Trouble in Little China (1986). The role went to Christopher Lambert.
He was offered the role of Alan Grant in Jurassic Park (1993), but his asking price was too high. The role went to Sam Neill.
He was originally cast as Crash Davis in Bull Durham (1988) and even helped Ron Shelton develop the script. But the role went to Kevin Costner. After the film was made, Russell was so impressed, he actually wrote fan letters to Costner and Shelton.
He auditioned for Friedrich Von Trapp in The Sound of Music (1965), which went to Nicholas Hammond.
He was considered for the lead role in The Legend of the Lone Ranger (1981), which went to Klinton Spilsbury.
He was considered for the role of Alan Parish in Jumanji (1995), which went to Robin Williams.
He was considered to play Batman/Bruce Wayne in Batman (1989) and Batman Forever (1995). He was also considered to play James Gordon in Batman Begins (2005).
Is an avid gun enthusiast, a hunter and a strong supporter of the Second Amendment.
At one stage, he was considered to star in the horror film I Am Legend (2007).
He was considered for the lead role of Cliff Secord in The Rocketeer (1991), which went to Billy Campbell.
Dino De Laurentiis wanted him to star in Flash Gordon (1980). He turned down, because he felt that the role of Flash Gordon lacked character. The role went to Sam J. Jones.
The lead role in They Live (1988) was originally written with him in mind. However, John Carpenter, having cast him in three films previously - Escape from New York (1981), The Thing (1982) and Big Trouble in Little China (1986) - decided to give someone else a go and cast Roddy Piper.
Has appeared with J.T. Walsh in four films: Tequila Sunrise (1988), Backdraft (1991), Executive Decision (1996) and Breakdown (1997).
Has starred in two movies that had a character with the last name "Fuchs": Used Cars (1980) and The Thing (1982).
He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6201 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on May 4, 2017.
Stepfather-in-law of Erinn Bartlett, son-in-law of Rut Hawn and Laura Hawn, brother-in-law of Patti Hawn, uncle of David Birznieks. Ex-de-facto-stepfather-in-law of Chris Robinson.
As of 2018, the only time he has appeared in a film that was Best Picture nominee (and winner), was as the voice of Elvis Presley in Forrest Gump (1994).
William Friedkin him for the lead role in Killer Joe (2011).
He turned down Burt Reynolds' role in Cop & ½ (1993).
He was considered for Kevin Costner's roles in The Untouchables (1987) and Field of Dreams (1989).
Tom Cruise wanted him for the role of Rowdy Burns in Days of Thunder (1990). It was through Cruise that Russell became aware of Backdraft (1991).
He was offered the lead role in Paparazzi (2004).
He was considered to voice Commander Rourke in Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001).
He was considered to voice Prince Lir in The Last Unicorn (1982).
He was considered for Qui-Gon Jinn in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999).
He was considered for Jack Traven in Speed (1994).
He was considered for Patrick Swayze's role in Next of Kin (1989).
He was considered for Ralph Fiennes' role in Strange Days (1995).
He was considered for John McClane in Die Hard (1988).
He was considered to replace William Petersen on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2000).
He was considered for Jeff Bridges' role in Blown Away (1994).
He turned down the role of Jack Lansford in Sliver (1993).
He was considered for the role of Ray Leovi in Thunderheart (1992). The role went to his Tombstone (1993) co-star Val Kilmer.
He was considered for the role of Cable in Deadpool 2 (2018) that went to Josh Brolin.
He was originally supposed to star as John Nada in They Live (1988), but John Carpenter felt he should cast somebody else after casting Russell in three of his films prior (Escape from New York (1981), The Thing (1982) and Big Trouble in Little China (1986)).
He auditioned for the role of Bill Blazejowski in Night Shift (1982) that went to Michael Keaton. He was also considered for Keaton's role in The Paper (1994).
He was considered for Bill in Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004).
He was asked to voice Solid Snake in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (2004), but turned it down. Interestingly, the character was originally based on Snake Plissken.
He was offered John Ritter's role in Problem Child (1990), but he was busy with Tango & Cash (1989).
He was considered for the role of Jake Scully in Body Double (1984) that went to Craig Wasson.
Has 3 sisters.
Born at 10:42am-EST.
The last filmed appearance of Walt Disney was on October 27, 1966. Disney was promoting Follow Me, Boys! (1966), and he closed by saying, "you're about to meet a 15-year-old boy, for whom I predict a great acting future. His name is Kurt Russell".
Has a grandson: Buddy Prine Russell (b. March 11, 2021) via Wyatt & Meredith.

Personal Quotes (38)

[on why he won't marry Goldie Hawn] If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
I seem to have a knack for picking movies that go on to be cult favorites.
If it hadn't been for video cassette, I may not have had a career at all.
[on the fight scene with Ox Baker from Escape from New York (1981)] I remember Dick Warlock helped set up the fight and he came out with this big purple lump on the side of his head, and all he said to me was "Keep your head down and be careful, man.".
I was brought up as a Republican. But when I realized that at the end of the day there wasn't much difference between a Democrat and Republican, I became a libertarian.
To go on about acting as art is ridiculous. If it is an art, then it's a very low form. You don't have to be gifted just to hit a mark and say a line. And as far as I'm concerned, hitting my marks and knowing my lines is 90% of the job. I'm always criticized for talking like that. Maybe the reason I do it is that I never got the chance to develop a real desire to act. I was acting by the time I was nine so it seemed like a natural thing to do. Anyone who finds acting difficult just shouldn't be doing it.
You know, when Escape from New York (1981) first came out, a lot of people said, 'I don't quite understand this movie ... is this some kind of comment that, like, New York is a prison?' and years later a lot of people are saying, 'You know, New York is looking a lot like that movie.' In Escape from L.A. (1996), it's a story about a guy who just wants a cigarette. He just wants a cigarette! Everybody laughed back then because there was no red meat, no cigarettes in the movie. Well, look around! It's happening! You can barely smoke a cigarette anymore and although I quit smoking six months ago, the anti-smoking laws are enough to make me want to smoke!
My generation couldn't stand me and I couldn't stand them. In high school I was to the right of being straight. I believed in the work ethic, making money, and they all had this beef with the nation. Vietnam disappointed me because we didn't win.
(1996) For me there's never been a woman more beautiful than Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca (1942).
(1996, on smoking marijuana) I never did, not until I was 32. I still don't understand the reason for smoking dope if you're not going to have sex. To me, drugs have no appeal other than sex.
(1996) Bull Durham (1988) is tough to talk about. (Director) Ronnie [Ron Shelton] and I both lived that life, there were a lot of things in there that were derivative of what had happened to me. I was surprised that Ronnie [did] it with somebody else. I went to Europe on a vacation, having said the script was great, and I came back to discover Kevin [Kevin Costner] was doing it. Ronnie got a better deal. So I pulled a practical joke on him that wiped the slate clean for me. I was working on Winter People (1989) about 60 miles from where he was doing Bull Durham (1988). I got on the phone, pretended to be [production chief] Mike Medavoy, ordered that Ronnie be pulled off the set, and I told him that the dailies were shit, the movie was shit and Costner was not working, "Here's what we're going to do",' I told him. "Kurt Russell's 60 miles north of you finishing Winter People (1989) tonight. He will be on the set Monday morning". There was this long pause until Ronnie realized who he was really talking to, and then he said, "You son of a bitch!" I had him going for a few minutes, though.
(1996) The only time in my entire life as an actor when I felt I didn't know what I was doing was on Tango & Cash (1989), when I had to dress up as a woman. It's not an acting chore I'd care to do again. I looked like a really ugly version of my mother, who happens to be beautiful. I don't get transvestism.
(1996) When I read Executive Decision (1996), it was a real page-turner. I read scripts for the movies more than I do for the characters. I've read lots of characters I'd like to play, but I didn't enjoy the movie itself that much. I liked the fun of Executive Decision (1996), you know, I feel when an audience sees my name attached to a film, they think it'll probably be a pretty good movie. The movies I do, if we make them well, will be fun to watch. They may not be the best movie of the year, and I may not be your favorite actor, but people come up to me all the time and say, "I like the movies you do".
(1996) It would be fun to have enough money to have a small restaurant where you could have your eclectic group of friends come in and get a good meal and be able to scream and holler, about politics, about anything-and you could be able to afford to lose $200,000 a year on it and it wouldn't make a difference. I'd like to have a jet airplane that I could fly, which would get me back and forth to Aspen inside of two hours, so that Aspen could become a weekend place. I'd like to have enough money to be able to afford some things for my family that I know they could use. Then, too, you know, certain humanitarian things-like, financing a school which could make a difference.
(1996, on his passion for hunting and where that started) My grandfather owned a hotel along Kennebago Lake in Maine. It had 31 log cabins and was built in 1887. I grew up watching all the guys going out in snowshoes while I played with my sister in the yard, and they'd come back with a deer. And then I got old enough to go with them. I grew up thinking that was the way to live. You could feed yourself, you could have corn in your garden, you could stock things in a barn, you didn't need anybody to do anything. And my grandparents were doing that. My grandfather was a phenomenal shot. And I watched my dad shoot deer, impossible shots when I could barely even see the deer. Goldie's a great game cook. We have a party every New Year's Day in Old Snowmass where everybody just watches the football games and they have Goldie's elk stew. We cook as much of the stuff as we can and finish it every time. And she enjoys that.
(1996) I am like Thomas Jefferson or Benjamin Franklin. I love life. I have a comic outlook, I laugh at myself harder than at anybody else. I get extremely vociferous about things I don't believe in, but I'm in the moment. Benjamin Franklin loved life, he wasn't a negative person. And I do sense that I'm being more perceived like that now.
(1996, on being part of the Hollywood community) At times I take great pride in it. But most of the time I'm completely ashamed of it, especially on the night of the Academy Awards. It's the one night of the year where I just want to crawl in a hole and hide. It's a bit like standing shoulder-to-shoulder with assholes. Mike Nichols and I were talking about politics once and he said, "The thing is, you can't stand shoulder-to-shoulder with assholes." And he's right. I can't. What's interesting about Oscar night is it's a joke-it's about how bad everything is. Everybody knows that that's the night to applaud Hollywood in all its horror. And yet...There's no other business that can create such enjoyment of life as this business. I love being part of that. Actors have changed my life at times. When people get to know me, I can't tell you how many times they come up to me and say, "You're nothing like what I've read about." I think people feel me more than they hear me. I've read interviews I've done and it's exactly what I've said but it's not what I was saying. I have an acerbic, sardonic sense of humor. I'm being facetious 90 percent of the time, but then 10 percent of the time I'm not. So unless I was to qualify everything I say, I'm not going to be understood.
It's easy to listen to actors talk about integrity, but I think the truth is, if you're going to make your living as an actor, your integrity is what you run into, it's not what you run with. If you went with that - and no actor ever has - you'd never work.
I remember one time being told - I never read it - that I had been referred to as 'Disney's little Nazi'. I was just like, wow. You either continue to work, or it hurts you enough that you quit. You're always able to just walk away - nobody's twisting your arm to stay in this business.
[on The Expendables (2010)] I mean, I'm glad Sly's done well with this. He's a great person. The fellas all seem to have a good time. I've never seen any of them. It's not a beat I get. It's like looking backwards to me.
I'd like those people who have, in my mind, the intellectual - the faux intellectual - audacity to question them (the rig workers), I would love to put them there. If I could play God I'd love to say to them, here, trade places. You go through what you have to go through to survive - and now I'm going to criticize you. And then I'd just say, "Man, do you kind of feel differently about it now?"
You have criminals doing horrible things and you have cops trying to stop them. The cops have been hired by society to do that, but society hired the cops within guidelines and what many cops find out is that they can't always stop criminals within these guidelines. So, if you hold hard and fast to the rules, the crime rate goes through the roof; once you relax the guidelines, and if you're the individual cop that's going to do that, you bring crime down but you have society on your back for breaking the rules. It's a ball that goes back and forth.
I grew up in the world of baseball not the world of Hollywood.
Let's say you're the parent of a kid who's getting bullied at school. Your kid is getting punched around and he comes home and tells you about it, and your response is to say to your kid, "Now, are you sure you haven't done something to make him mad? Are you sure you didn't do anything to anger him?" and you never give the kid any credence as far as, "I believe you and I believe the bully. He apparently doesn't care for you, and you're going to have to turn around and face that bully." At least that's one argument to have, isn't it?
[about Escape from L.A. (1996)] The incorrect take on the president is that he's a right wing president, Christian coalition guy. I preferred my original thought which was that he was politically correct - it's a strange mix of political bedfellows. If you take a just left of center president who happens to be politically smart enough to hook up with the Christian coalition, he would have a pretty broad political base... Let's take that guy and let's give him a vision of a catastrophe in Los Angeles, a religious vision, which he really has. He has that vision and it comes true, bang. Not only does he think he's right, everybody in the United States thinks he's right, so they make him king for a day, bang. Well in his dictatorship, which that statement is a right wing type statement but it's not a right wing guy, it's a guy who says, I'm gonna do what's good for you. Smoking's not good for you so you're not gonna do that. I'm gonna do what's good for you. Wearing fur is not appreciated by a lot of people so we're not gonna allow that. Red meat is eventually going to get you, so I'm gonna help you out. So he takes it from the left side of the scale.
It's like television has finally gotten its tentacles completely and totally into the process of storytelling on a motion picture level. The big movies now for the most part are ones you can do six, seven, eight, nine of. It's just television series at the movie theaters. Which is really where a lot of the movie business began, years and years ago, with Saturday morning serials.
The whole point of it is freedom as long as I don't step on your toes. Well, if I run your kid over when I'm high on drugs, I've stepped on your toes a little bit. We're gonna watch you hang slow and painful, babe. That's the way it's going to be.
They call themselves liberal; I call them completely confined human beings.
When I did the light comedies at Disney, that was quite a different thing for me to be doing because when I first went there the character that I played was a the son of an alcoholic and he was very ashamed of it. The kid had real problems, but he was a tough kid that wanted to be a part of something. The other thing I remember doing with him at that age was Willie and the Yank and I was a confederate soldier at the age of 15, shooting people! Riding horses with guns! It was very cool.
I have a secret admiration for insurance salesmen, doormen, taxi drivers, guys working on the Alaska pipeline...many hundreds of jobs where they work. There's lots of jobs now in the world where we don't work, we push a button. I don't work. I've never worked. I take great pride in the fact that I played baseball, I drove race cars, I drove racing boats, I flew airplanes and I acted. None of those things are work. Doing what you want to do, that's not work.
We live in a pop culture time which I cannot abide. The whole concept of multimedia and people being a part of that... I don't do any of it. I'm amazed that anybody would. Snapchat or whatever... I don't know what it is but I'm assuming you take a picture of somebody and then you send it to other people. For what reason? I don't know! But my daughter is very into it, and one of my sons is kind of into it. I don't care. I can't imagine that anyone's that interested in what anybody else is doing. I'm not. I don't know if that removes me in a bad way. It's not that I don't care about them-if I were sitting and talking and having a beer with them, then we'd be having a great time. But if I don't know somebody, why do I want them to know I'm having a taco, for Christ's sake?
I never experienced Walt Disney in any way other than him being like my grandfather. He reminded me of my dad's dad. And I was a little different from the other kids at the studio because I was a baseball player, and he liked that. I was just making money doing movies, and I liked it. But I was just at the beginning of my long journey to play professional baseball and hopefully make it as far as I could, so I never really thought I'd stay an actor. That said, I took acting very seriously, always knew my lines and really went after it. I wanted to do it well. So I never had any reason to see Walt Disney as anything other than what I saw him as: a fun, creative guy who was a joy to work with and was always very good to me. There's three hundred and sixty degrees to everybody, but that said, when you've created something as positive and significant to the world as Walt Disney did, I'm rather uninterested in things like how he wiped his ass.
Somebody once said to me 'I look at your career and it looks like it was controlled by a drunk driver.' And I said that is actually true. I can't deny it.
[about the Dexter Riley series] Those movies were very successful in their day. That's why they kept making them. They were just fun to do. When you're me and you look at all the things you got to do, I'm really glad that's part of it. I would have missed that had I not been able to do them.
I don't know if there has been a character much like Snake before. I think the audience will pull for him because he's trying to accomplish something. I don't think he'll work his way into anybody's heart though, like John Wayne did in The Searchers (1956). He's a fairly cold person, but to me, he's very sensitive. He's living in a colder society as well. The fantasy of what the situation could be like in New York City in 1997 changes his whole outlook.
[Why he turned down Flash Gordon (1980)] The thing I was interested in about the project was that it was a $40-million picture, and I thought maybe I should do something like that because it would be a big breakthrough for me. However, I just couldn't bring myself to the character. It seemed to me that the most interesting stuff in the script didn't involve Flash. He didn't have anything really good to do. He was Flash Gordon, but that wasn't good enough for me. I tried to get Dino to talk about that, but we just kept going around in circles.
[about Deepwater Horizon (2016)] I read the script, and I went, oh yeah, I know about this, this is the oil spill deal. And I was really shocked when I found out that 11 people died. Perished. Many survived, and there were some miraculous tales. And I thought, is that where we are now as a society, where we need to know about the ecological, potentially disastrous thing, more than we need to know that people got killed?
Some of the crazy reviews we got on Escape from L.A. (1996)... "Do Carpenter and Russell realize they've made a lefty movie?" That was my favorite of all. Boy, did they not get it. That guy really didn't get it. His agenda is so in his face he can't get it's just about a guy who wants to have a cigarette! At the end of the movie he just wants you to get out of his face! He blows the match out on you. Go home! Get away! Die! Leave me alone!

Salary (6)

Stargate (1994) $7,000,000
Executive Decision (1996) $7,500,000
Escape from L.A. (1996) $10,000,000
Breakdown (1997) $15,000,000
Soldier (1998) $15,000,000
Vanilla Sky (2001) $5,000,000

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