The Timothy Dalton Chat Group Presents
Timothy's KLOS LA Radio Interview

 

Timothy's Radio Interview on Station KLOS in Los Angeles on the Mark and Brian Programme this aired on the 19th October 2000.

klos

"Welcome back to the Mark and Brian Radio Programme. Timothy Dalton sits with us luckily we got all that Giraffes and Kangaroo talk out of the way, so we can spend time with err with Timothy, welcome to the show sir."

Timothy: "Good morning, good to be with you."

Mark: "Now those of us that have seen 'The Exorcist' the releasing of 'The Exorcist' back in Theaters now, we even had William Friedkin who directed 'The Exorcist' on the programme and he reiterated once again that the book 'The Exorcist' by William Peter Blatty was based on, a little newspaper article that William Peter Blatty read many many many years ago about this, I think it was a young boy who was it England? Now where was it?"

Timothy: "Baltimore."

Mark: "Baltimore, Maryland. That was possessed, truly possessed by a demonic presence and it was dealt with by the Catholic Church and he read this little blurb in the newspaper and it was what then spurred him to write 'The Exorcist' this movie that your going to be in Sunday night 8pm Showtime (this was on the 22 October of course) called Possessed is the true story of that little clip that he read in the newspaper that day. Tell us a little bit about the set up, don't give the fun stuff but tell a little bit about the set up for the story?"

Timothy: "Well it is interesting to realize that something very very strange and very very disturbing did happen in Baltimore and St Louis about 50 years ago, just after the second World War, and it was the basis of the exorcist, and as you say the exorcist was a horror story, a fiction, they used that as their basis and what we have here, we have access to one of the priests diary's, we have access to the transcripts of interviews with people involved, and it is not simply the exorcism itself and an exorcism is not a an event. It is not someone saying the right words and throwing a bit of water and hoping for the best or believe in exorcism as a process this kid, this kid, was exorcised every night, night after night after night, week after week after week, month after month, for about 9 months, but his story of this, let us say possession, which started with strange things happening in the house, objects moving, you know, desks jerking around at school people getting hurt, you know, started and got worse and worse and worse arriving at, you know, profound disturbance, took I think three years and so ours is in a sense the docudrama, it's, it's the, it is the true story."

Mark: "First of all we have to say that you talk pretty, he is just staring, but you do, you got that, listen to me, you got that British accent, you annunciate well, you talk pretty."

Timothy: Well I guess that is because I'm, you know, hey listen if people don't understand me I guess I guess I am lost aren't I?"

Brian: "Yes"

Mark: "Sounds good!"

Brian: "I saw the desks moving. I pictured it in my mind, damn. Was it the same priests over this time or did they bring new ones in?"

Timothy: It was the same lead priest it was a guy called Father Bowdern or Badden a cigarette smoking, drinking....

Mark: "Really?"

Timothy: really pragmatic Jesuit Priest, certainly someone not afraid to roll his hands up and use whatever kind of language that he err felt was appropriate. He supported the St Louis Browns, he was to, a great passion in his life, but there was several other priests too, that came and went."

Mark: "Were there deaths involved when this, this exorcism took place?"

Timothy: "No, no but it's fascinating to think that if you, if you are challenged with finding the devil, and if you believe in the devil, you have to believe in the devil as you believe in god, your own faith is truly being put on the line and how can you as a mortal, you know, take on the devil.....

Mark: "Yes"

Timothy: and I think that's where this notion of death and madness for the priests who do exorcisms come from, because... A) You are a man, you will have your own doubts and as I said earlier it is a process if your doing doing this night after night after night and not winning, your going to weaken, your going to weaken....

Mark: "That is very true."

Timothy: your energies going to go, your faith is going to go."

Mark: "Which is what the devil wants anyway."

Timothy: "Which is, that is how the devil would win."

Mark: "You have got some fine talent sitting on this film with you, you have got err, Piper Laurie....

Timothy: Christopher Plummer and...

Mark: "Sure."

Timothy: "Henry Czerny."

Mark: "Christopher Plummer just what a wonderful actor!!!"

Timothy: "Great presence, he plays the Archbishop. A very progressive Archbishop at the time, progressive in a sense of err you know, desegregating the church, but he was a bishop who didn't really want this exorcism to take place at all, you know it was taking the church back to the dark ages."

Mark: "You have got to have some conflict somewhere in there."

Timothy: "He was good, and Henry, Henry, I could not have done without Henry he was my right hand man and a great support in this, but I tell you the miracle of all is this little kid, his name is Jonathan Malen he is not one of those professional boy actors, with the professional boy actor mother, he was just a kid who lived next door to the first AD (Assistant Director) and the first AD over the garden fence to his mom said "We are looking for a kid of about, you know, 12 or 13 you know, does your boy want to audition?" This kid had never acted...

Mark: "No kidding."

Timothy: and he is fabulous!!!"

Mark: "So he really had the natural thing that it took?"

Timothy: "He is fabulous!!!!!"

Mark: "That is great!"

Timothy: "Well you know how kids do the great thing about being a kid which I think a lot of grown up actors, maybe people beyond simply actors, you know should remember, is that kids like to play...

Mark: "Sure, sure pretend."

Timothy: and they like to pretend, they like to have fun, you know. I think we all need to remember that."

Mark: "Lets go back, we will come back and talk about this. Lets go back to the late 80's with the inception of your Bond work, your films, talk about the opportunity that you were presented with the idea that you might get the part. How did that come about?"

Timothy: "That's a long, long story I remember way beyond, before the middle 80's. I think I was only 24, 25 something like that and I called into Mr Cubby Broccoli's office in London on a mystery sort of meeting, you know it was obvious what the dammed mystery meeting was, Sean Connery wasn't doing Bond anymore, and I was you know, they were talking about whether I would do Bond then!"

Mark: "Now you grew up..."

Brian: "Really?"

Timothy: "Yes!!"

Mark: "This is before..."

Timothy: "Yes!!! and I thought that is ridiculous notion I mean, you know, you would have to be a lunatic to try and take over from Sean Connery, you know, and unfortunately the guy that did take over you know, didn't really, wasn't that successful, George, although it was a dammed good movie he was in, and then, you know, when Roger was talking about not doing it and my name kept coming up and then finally Roger wasn't doing it and they asked me if I'd err if I'd do it and I would have said yes. I would have said yes, but I was in the Theater, you were talking about Shakespeare earlier. I was in the Theater in the West End of London playing in Antony and Cleopatra and The Taming of the Shrew and then I had signed on to do a movie in Jacksonville, Florida which took me into September, so I said "No I can't!!"

Mark: "Did you want to at that point?"

Timothy: "I think so."

Mark: "Did you grow up as a kid with these movies?"

Timothy: "Yes!!!! I saw 'Dr No' in the cinema, 'From Russia With Love,' 'Goldfinger' they were great movies. Also you know, I mean, you start to get real as you get older. I mean how many parts for a British Actor international parts are there? Of course I'd have done it but I was busy, so then they went and you know, there was a lots of problems with various things this that and the other, and the resolution of those problems was that they put the movie on hold and waited until I had finished and I came and did it."

Timothy

Mark: "Now stepping in with the baggage of all of the different people that had played the part and well, and now you are going to be James Bond then stepping in to the production of actually shooting it what were your feelings as you were going through that very first one?"

Timothy: I think that I knew that I was going to be right in the firing line. I mean no question because everybody in the world has an opinion about James Bond, not everybody's opinion's agree with each other, but everyone has an opinion. We have all grown up watching them, we all know what we like, we all know who we prefer, we all know how they should be you can't be all things to all men, so I knew that I knew I was going to be right in the firing line. I knew that I was helped a little bit by the fact that I was the one, two, three fourth. I mean, you know, if there's now four actors and then there is going to be five, six, seven an audience is used to the notion of other people playing the part, but nevertheless you know, and I was also concerned by quite what do we do, what do we do with this role, we know those early movies with Connery were....although they were fantasies, they carried with them a real sense of involvement, excitement and danger and that is why we liked them. That's what turned us on, and then they got very kind of flippant and funny and you know, the kids used to go and see them. The early movies were you know rated so that kids probably with parental discretion or guidance or whatever."

Mark: "Like you said everyone has their opinion of what Bond should be. Roger Moore's Bond was entertaining but you never worried about him, you never thought, he could really get hurt here..."

Timothy: "Yes"

Mark: "It was like you said flippant and glib, your, you brought back a concern for the actual character. That's what I like."

Timothy: "That's what we should of agreed we would try to do but that would be another story because agreeing is one thing and actually accomplishing it is another, because there is a lot of people involved who also feel very safe and secure by carrying on the way that it's kind of been successful, but that's what we tried to do and I think in retrospect it's hard for me to say but I am really pleased by the numbers of people that say, just what you've just said, that you swung those movies around, you have brought them back to being adventure, adventure stories, so I am pleased by that."

Mark: "Where you scheduled to do two at the beginning?"

Timothy: "No I was scheduled to do three, and I did two, and as I we were preparing the third, the Producers of the movie Cubby Broccoli and MGM got into a major law suit which delayed the start of the third, that triggered an escape clause I had in the contract because I didn't wanna, you know, be tied to them forever and that law suit, you know, I released myself from contract. That law suit took I think it was five years....

Mark: "Yes so you would have been sitting?"

Timothy: Five years. Yes that's right, and then at the end of it they said do you wanna, do you wanna do another, and I said No I think it is too long now. I mean I have done two we have waited five years, that's what nine years of my life." They said You can't do one movie, you would have to sign on to do another three. That is another six years on top, I said no thanks."

Mark: "So now having made that decision and now the year 2000 looking back on that, good to go with that decision?"

Timothy: "Well I tell you two things, I mean it was a very tough decision, I mean in theory it wasn't so tough but when you actually have to make it it was tough."

Mark and Brian: "Of course"

Timothy: "But god it was one of the best decisions. I mean I am an actor I love doing other things. I would have hated to have been tied down to it, an actually you know there was a time I was walking, riding down the Sunset Boulevard and I saw the poster for the first Bond movie that Pierce Brosnan was doing, you know the gun, the hand, you know sort of thing, how many ways can you hold a gun? And I just felt liberated. I felt I am so happy to have done them but I'm free!!!!"

Mark: "Good memories though I mean when you were doing them?"

Timothy: "Yes"

Mark: "Is that a hard shoot for...for an actor?"

Timothy: "Very hard. I mean 20 weeks. We always came in I think about a week or so under 20 weeks, but we worked 12, 15 hour days you know a lot of stunts, a lot of hard work, three units, you never stop but nobody ever said work was meant to be easy.

Mark: "Do you have a favorite sport Timothy? Do you like American sports?"

Timothy: "Soccer."

Mark: "Soccer, that's the round ball right?"

Timothy: "The round ball. Your American woman are quite seem to be quite good at it."

Mark: "Have a good team."

Timothy: "Yes"

Timothy

Timothy as Prince Phillip II of France in The Lion in Winter.

Mark: "I was reading your Bio Timothy, it says here your acting debut came in a motion picture, academy award winning motion picture The Lion in Winter now your up there against, acting with two of our best, Peter O' Toole were huge fans of Peter's can you, can you tell us and hopefully describe the kinda of guy that we picture in our minds?"

Timothy: "He was fantastic, I owe him an enormous debt, simply because of my admiration and excitement in his work, but also because he, he looks after us, and when I say us it was my first movie it was Antony Hopkins, Sir Antony Hopkins...

Mark "Wow!"

Timothy: first movie and we were just kids you know, and he was an established star 'Lawrence of Arabia,' 'Becket' you know all these great, great, great movies, and he looked after us, he looked after us, like a dad, he made sure that we were good, he gave us all he had to give, whether he was on screen or off screen."

Mark: "So he was personable and accessible?"

Timothy: "Exactly, I have never, I don't think, you know, I was a lot younger then, more impressible then, without any experience then but that experience with him was shattering, he is a big strong exciting man.

Mark: "Well when 'Lawrence of Arabia,' I would imagine he knows that when he steps onto a set the other actors that he is working with are looking at 'Lawrence of Arabia' and he has learned how to fill those shoes and obviously positively fill those shoes."

Timothy: "Well I think probably the fact that he could fill those shoes in the first place, is what made it possible for him to be whatever it was the Henry or the Becket or the 'Lawrence of Arabia'"

Brian: "Dig it that's great!"

Mark: "And Katherine Hepburn?"

Timothy: "What a woman! I have got so many stories about Katherine Hepburn. I mean a great lady, a great star. I learned a lot from her just simply professionally, you know? I don't know but I could talk to her for a long time about her, but you know how you always hear stories about how stars are, you know play the star, or always late, never turn up, have temperaments, tantrums, this that and the other....

Mark: "Sure"

Timothy: that lady was never ever, ever, late at any moment in the entire filming, and she would say, she said to me "Tim" she said, "You know I hate to be kept waiting, so why should I keep anybody else waiting".

Mark: "Sure"

Timothy: "My first day on that film I was playing the young King of France, and O'Toole and Hepburn were the King and Queen and all the other boys were all the family and I had to meet them, so there all lined up in a line, straight line, with Katherine on the Throne on one side and I on my own facing them. Well they filmed towards the family first and it took them all day to do the whole thing that way. Then they said all right first thing tomorrow morning we will turn around and we will shoot on Tim, now remember I am 20 years old, I have never done a movie in my life and the AD (Assistant Director) says to Katherine you've got the day off tomorrow, she says but aren't you filming on Tim? And he said yes but you have only got one line, she said I am coming in.

Mark: "Ahhh"

Brian: "Yes Ma'am.

Mark: That had to feel great!"

Timothy: "You know and the next morning there was no Throne because because it was all cameras and lighting stands and that lady 61 years old threaded her way through, squatted, squatted, you know with her hands on her thigh's looked at me and said something like, Hi I am Eleanor if things have worked out differently I might have been your mother."

Mark: "Wow!"

Timothy: "And she came in to do that. Which is not simply, you know, it's about care, it's about, you know working together, it's about, you know, good professionalism.

Mark: "We have to ask you something now and hopefully your not going to say no to us, this is a...."

Timothy: "Sounds like a question that I will be saying no to you."

Mark: "No, no this is something you'd dig. If we could work out the logistics. We on this programme at Christmas time we have this book I don't know whether you've heard of it. I am not sure how old your child is."

Timothy: "Three."

Mark: "Maybe too young but we have this book it's an award winning Children's book, it is a Christmas book, it's called 'The Polar Express' you ever heard of it?"

Timothy: "No"

Mark: "OK. It is one of the more heartwarming Christmas stories you'd ever here it's only about, literally for it to be read takes maybe four minutes, five minutes, there was a gentleman involved in this programme for years that would read 'The Polar Express' to us every Christmas. We put on the tingly music and he would read it, he is no longer with us. We were wondering and we can even work with you on the exact date but it is in December, one would think fourteenth, thirteenth around that area. We would love if you would come back in and join us for that Christmas celebration and sit down and open up the book and we will put on the tingly music and you with that pretty voice of yours read 'The Polar Express' to us."

Timothy: "My voice has never been called pretty I tell you what the answer is yes I would love to read the book, no I am not going to be in Los Angeles, but if we can figure out a way to read it, record it, or whatever....

Mark: "We can work that out Timothy."

Timothy: "err I would do it with the great pleasure."

Mark: "Maybe a satellite feed from England. Where ever your going to be."

Timothy: "I am going to be out of LA in December

Mark: "All of December?"

Timothy: "Yes. I think probably from mid November onwards, but you know?"

Mark: "We can move Christmas to January."

Timothy: "We could do that?"

Mark: "Yes for you."

Timothy: "But even if it doesn't work out this year, you've got it, I will do it for you one time, and I will do my best to make it work this year."

Mark: "Wonderful OK. Now don't know what your feeling about this is but as I said I have got young kids, one of them seven, or six at the time, maybe even five, and so when ever a movie comes around that is kid friendly PG or whatever, we go to all of them. We went to Beautician and the Beast now I don't know what your feeling of it was but I loved it."

Timothy: "I liked it too. I think it was a terrific movie, warm, it's funny....

Mark: "It was."

Timothy: "It's loving it's a very, very amusing it's a great movie!"

Mark: "Now it was a fun role for you to have I would assume because you got to be....

Timothy: "Yes it was."

Mark: kind of everything and play both sides, the tender and"

Brian: "Especially 'Beauty and the Beast' it just kind of you know? And Fran Drescher who I never cared for on her television show in that movie way turned me on."

Timothy: "Yes she was good she was really good she was a delight to work with as well, she is a very good comedian."

Timothy

Fran Drescher as Joy Miller and Timothy as Boris Pochenko in The Beautician and the Beast.

Mark: "Yes Fran is very funny."

Timothy: "She is."

Mark: "She is very attractive, she has a nice body and you got to grab on that."

Timothy: "She is one hell of a kisser.

Mark: "Is she?"

Mark: "Hey that is good to know. OK, now the beard, your donning a beard is that for something err a project coming up?"

Timothy: "Yes, yes I have just been spending a couple of months in a brutally hot Texas, down near Austin in a place called Palestine. Do you know I think Prisons, I was told when we were in this place called Palestine that prisons are the number one growth industry certainly in that area of Texas, isn't that something?"

Brian: "Didn't know, what, what.

Timothy: "Me neither."

Brian: "What's to grow? Other then the population."

Timothy: "Well the prison population I guess. Anyway that is beside the point we were there filming making a movie about Jesse James. It is now called 'American Outlaws' and it's for Warner Bros. Morgan Creek, Warner Bros. and the beard I'm playing there is a guy you might have heard of, I am sure you've heard of called Allan Pinkerton who started the Pinkerton Detective Agency. He was a Scot who moved to Chicago and was hired by the railroads to chase down and capture Jesse James, which in history he never did, he never did. Our movie is the great err it's the romantic adventure, it's Jesse James as hero you know? It's a great story. It is not the gritty realistic you know, cold bloodied outlaw story at all, and I play Pinkerton."

Mark: "Who plays Jesse?"

Timothy: "A wonderful young actor called Collin Farrell whose in a movie called 'Tiger land' at the moment, and it's just been getting some great Oscar winning err Oscar winning reviews, so there all wonderful."

Mark: "Timothy's beard is full, it's way down his neck. How much of your day do you spend doing this right here?"

Timothy: Not a lot, if I do that at the moment it is just because it is something you do. When it was about a week old, ten days old it itched.

Mark: 'In the hot the heat....

Brian: "That's tough."

Timothy: "Yes"

Mark: "of Texas."

Timothy: "Yes"

Mark: "Well the err, the err show coming up (which was on October 22, 2000 but you can see it this again this month, November and details will follow this interview) on Showtime that is this coming Sunday, premiering exclusively on Showtime is Possessed the true story of the only Catholic church sanctioned exorcism.

Timothy I have enjoyed this so much"

Timothy: "That is very kind"

Mark: "You were a joy to talk with, very passionate it seems about not only life in itself, but what you do for a living you still seem to get a big kick out of it."

Timothy: "I love it, I really love it."

Mark: "Yes. Looking forward to seeing what you were just talking about that sounds like err good one."

Timothy

Steven E. de Souza and Timothy at the Premiere of Posssessed held at the Directors Guild in LA October 18, 2000.

Timothy: "It really is and we should also mention that Steven E. de Souza who, who I think it's his first, it's his Directing debut, has done a fabulous job in condensing all these strange, strange events into a very gripping and suspenseful, true, story.

Mark: "Well as far as the Sunday night. I will be watching Possessed I want to see this thing, loved The Exorcist and what it was when it first came out, went to see it again just recently on the big screen and now to see the original true story that that film was based on is kind of a very cool thing, and you said you saw it and you liked it?"

Timothy: "I love it yes.

Mark: "And it's scary?"

Timothy: "It is scary, but what is you know? There is a scariness that operates on a different kind of level. It's not a horror movie it really isn't a horror movie it's scary on the level of how could this happen."

Mark: "And it did happen."

Timothy: "And it did happen. What is the explanation and you can't come up with an explanation."

Mark: "You will have to come back and be with us again, and we do want to try and work something out for 'The Polar Express'"

Timothy: "I will do my best."

Brian: "Nice of you thank you."

Mark: "By the way don't read it before you officially read it for us."

Timothy: "Oh I see."

Mark: "Let, let, let it happen cold..."

Timothy: "Hope for the best, it is often the very best way to do it have fun with it."

Mark: "Let it happen to you..."

Timothy: "Yes"

Mark: "As you let it happen to us."

Timothy: "Yes"

Mark: "There you go. OK, we will do business and thank you again Timothy."

Timothy: "That's me thank you all."

(c) Copyright 2000 KLOS Los Angeles. All Rights Reserved.

The above was transcribed by Deb in November 2000, from an audio tape of the interview.