|by Chris Parry & Paul Zimmerman
William H. Macy is a winner. That’s right. Don’t believe the hype – William H. Macy is not like the guys he plays on screen. He’s not the snidely loser from Fargo, and he’s not the clueless woebegone from Focus. He’s not the henpecked cuckold of Boogie Nights, nor is he the baby-carrying desperado from Welcome To Collinwood or the lost-in-life superhero, The Shoveller. No, William H. Macy is one very big rarity in the world of Hollywood today – a genuine class act. The kind of guy you’d invite around for a barbeque and be unsurprised when he turns up with a six pack of domestic. The sort of artist that will leave the world a better place than he found it, just because he likes doing good work. And the kind of guy who remembers those around him, and helps them push forwards into the world. Hollywood could use more people like William H. Macy, and the evening our writers spent with him recently at the Starz Denver International Film Festival proves it beyond shadow of doubt.
We weren’t very happy. We’d just been stiffed for an interview by Gina Gershon’s publicist, who decided that she’d “pass” on working with us to help Ms Gershon hype her new film, Prey For Rock’n’Roll, despite the fact that our writer was one of the few around who actually dug it. It had been the zero hour, our guy was in Seattle ready to get to the root of Gershon’s vanity project, and then she ditched us. We weren’t the only ones she’d ditched, and if reports from those she DID bother to do press with are indicative, we were better off without (note: If you don’t want to discuss your Maxim magazine cover, perhaps you shouldn’t DO a Maxim magazine cover!).
So we toddled off to Denver at the invite of the Starz Denver Film Fest folks and were greeted at the hotel with more of the same – William H. Macy’s people didn’t want us to talk to him. Now, this was a real annoyance, because there isn’t a film fan in the world who doesn’t adore Macy and everything he stands for. The guy chooses roles that are quality, not quantity. He doesn’t take the Geoffrey Rush option of “any ol’ role” that comes along – he goes for substance. And by all reports, he was a genuinely nice guy – not the kind of guy who’d turn down a interview without reason.
So the news that we’d been stiffed really cut deep. Sometimes publicists forget what their primary job is, and those who rep big stars are the most likely to fall into this trap. Thankfully, not all publicists are scared of the independent press, and the publicity kids at the Starz Denver International Film Fest office duly launched into action to make a big save.
I’ve always battled publicists, who I could safely say are the closest thing Hollywood has to the Anti-Christ (except maybe for Peter Bart), but I was about to witness just how big a friend a smart publicist could be. 24 hours (and several emails and phone calls) later, the Starz DIFF folks notified us that we were on. They’d gone to bat for us, and managed to score a back down from Macy’s people. That they’d even bothered was stunning in itself, but that they’d managed to emerge victorious was nothing shy of pure bliss.
So we prepared ourselves for what we figured would be a ‘reception’ of sorts. Generally a big star at a moderate-sized film festival will go in for a party, shake a lot of hands, give a few words into everyone’s recorder and be gone. Jeff Goldblum pulled this stunt at the Seattle Fest (though not before letting his fingers do some walking – who knew Jean-Claude and Jeff have the same ethical advisors?), so the best we figured we could hope for at Denver was a few minutes of WHM’s time… but that would be enough. After all, Macy’s the stuff.
But no. William H. Macy is no glad-hander. He’s no fake. He’s no ‘star’. We showed up at his hotel, were escorted to a private dining area, and promptly swamped by waiters and menus. And when I say ‘we’, I mean Macy, myself, and my compadre, Spin’s Paul Zimmerman. That’s all – nobody else. No paparazzi, no minders, no entourage, no competing press. Just Macy and us.
“Hey, I’m Bill. I’ve gotta hit the head,” says Macy, shaking hands and disappearing for a few minutes, sounding like a character from a Mamet film, and looking completely dapper in his Closing Night Ceremony suit and tie. He has a presence that exudes confidence, a clarity that comes from years of stage work, and a smile that cuts right through the crap and says “if you guys are okay, so am I.” It was kind of unsettling, to be honest. You get used to the insincerity after a while, and when someone of Macy’s stature tells you he’s going for a pee, you wonder if he’ll even return.
When he does return, we sit down and settle in for what would turn out to be an hour talk. An hour, people! I’ve interviewed Canadian starlets with resume highlights that amount to a speaking role on one episode of Buffy and been ushered out in ten minutes, and we had an HOUR.
And so it began.
Q: You’ve had a good year.
Macy: I’ve had a great year. I finally got some work lined up, it was a little skinny for a while after the 9/11 and the ‘almost strike’ – they weren’t making movies for a while there.
Q: I just saw Door To Door. Allow me to gush for a few seconds.
Macy: It really came out well, didn’t it? I’m really proud of the writing and I think that’s the Emmy that meant the most – the writing. For once we took what’s wrong with episodic TV, which are the commercials… I mean, it’s viciously hard to tell a story when the audience gets up and leaves during the thing… and we used it to our advantage. We told seven little stories. And I think we learned our lesson. TNT bought another one, though they’ve not pulled the trigger on it yet, based on the old Jackie Gleason movie called Gigot… remember that? He was a mute. We’ve turned it into a kind of urban, kind of gritty, Christmas story. And we’ll take advantage of the seven act breaks to do the same thing, episodically.
Waiter: Would you like to see the wine menu, sir?
Macy: Oh, gimme anything, as long as it’s grape. I’m sure it’ll be good. Thanks a lot. I’m gonna have some dinner, what are you guys gonna get?
Q: The Lobster ravioli looks nice.
Macy: Yeah, it all looks good. Gotta eat and run.
Q: You’re introducing your film at the closing ceremony of the [Starz Denver International] film festival, right?
Macy: Nah, I’m just going do something afterwards. What’s to say before they see it, I mean… Chicken mushrooms. That looks good… So I’m also doing this movie called The Stripper And The Accountant that we have great ambitions for. We sold it to Showtime and Showtime gives you this very small window of opportunity to sell the film as a feature if you can find somebody to do it. I’d been tracking this story for a long time. It was at Paramount for a while and they couldn’t get it made. So Steven Schacter and myself did our regular outline thing. When we pitch ‘em we’re pretty much ready to write before we pitch ‘em, and nobody would take it as a feature so we got Showtime to buy it. True story.. original story based on a true event.
Q: What’s the story?
Macy: It’s this guy called Michael Peter in Florida, and he came up with the idea of high-end strip clubs, like a Morton’s Steakhouse in the middle and a limousine service and beautiful girls – college girls. There was a Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous featuring him. And he borrowed some money from a guy that owned an insurance company to open these things all over the country. So they got $7m and they drank and whored and snorted $7m, and when the guy said where’s my money, they said, “That was an investment, dude.” To make along story short, the insurance company folded and Florida ended up taking over the thing. Michael Peter ended up under indictment – he’d made millions off these things, but he’d run them into the ground. The judge in the case called a guy called Lou Berman, who he’d met years before, and this guy had an accounting firm in a pod mall in Fort Lauderdale, and the judge called him and said I want you to take over these seven strip clubs. He’d been in a strip club once when he was 17, but never again, and that was that.
Q: That sounds like it’s a little racy for most TV execs…
Macy: Yeah, they probably woulda said no, but it was the day after the Emmys and it only cost them, you know, the script wasn’t that much. They haven’t agreed to make it yet.
Q: Back in the David Mamet days, would you guys find that after shows you’d talk like his characters do? You know, short sentences, brevity...
Macy: He’s so funny that a lot of his phrases would work into people’s language. “Blah blah blah” comes to mind, that kind of thing. He’s such a good writer that when two guys who have done American Buffalo meet each other, total strangers, they’ll be like “I did Buffalo, you did Buffalo? Yeah?” And then they’ll launch into lines with each other. “Fuckin’ Ruthy, fuckin’ Ruthy, fuckin’ Ruthy...” I don’t know of any other writer that actors literally get pleasure from saying the words. They’ll say them by themselves, they’ll say them to anybody who’ll listen. It’s not realistic, that’s a misnomer; but it’s poetry, man. It’s all in iambic pentameter, the words are exquisitely well chosen, he’s funny… he’s the greatest writer of our time.
Q: I just read The Cryptogram and it’s really hard to read.
Macy: Look up Oleanna! Try and read that shit! A lot of times with Dave’s work, you’ve got to say it before you can get it. I teach a lot of acting classes and people would always bring in American Buffalo and Teach had a speech where he goes on and on about “you gotta be a stand-up guy, that’s the way you gotta be.” And it’s all about being a man of your word. And the last line of this long speech is “You don’t got friends this life.” And I saw two times, actors do the entire speech and then stop and do an emotional contortionist act to figure out how to tell this kid that he didn’t have any friends. When you say the line, you realize, because it’s Mamet, it’s “Bob, you don’t got friends this life,” dot dot dot. The implication being, you don’t have friends this life unless you’re a stand up guy.
Q: The Cooler’s coming up in the US, isn’t it?
Macy: November 19th.
Q: I saw it at Sundance this year, back in January, and was surprised it took this long to get released.
Macy: I don’t know much about that stuff. There are people who think they know a lot about that kind of thing, personally I think they have their heads up their asses, but you don’t want to open the same weekend as Terminator 9, you know? Lions’ Gate doesn’t have that much money… my guess is they’re going to wait until they see it in ten theaters or so, and if the per-screen is high and the reviews are good, I do believe they’re committed to the second tier, which is forty cities or so, pretty healthy. If the reviews are good… it’s a review kind of movie.
Q: And it’s coming out at the right time for Oscar notice. What do you think of the banning of screeners?
Macy: I think it’s a conspiracy. I really do. I think they’ll lose too, I think the hue and cry will continue. From what I’ve read, the whole piracy issue, they just shot all through it. Even what’s-his-face, Jack Valenti, said it was like 1%. Most of the piracy is from people with a video camera, or from the editing bay, it’s not the screeners. Most of the screeners I get are long after the films are already on video tape anyway. It think it doesn’t hold water, it’s a thinly veiled attempt to bolster the studios’ Oscar chances.
Q: Do people come up to you and throw quotes from your movies at you all the time?
Macy: Oh sure. Fargo especially.
Q: Along the same lines, do people assume you’re a porn expert after Boogie Nights?
Macy: For a while there I was. Anybody had a bachelor party, I was the go-to guy. Nina Hartley [his Boogie Nights co-star] has remained a good friend. She’s the real deal, she’s done about a thousand adult films. She’s a feminist, she’s smart as a whip and has a real convincing argument that pornography is actually really empowering to women. She’s going to be involved in this stripper movie I have coming up, because she’s a headliner – she’s paid to make appearances at places like that.
Q: Are you in a position where you can get a movie started on your name alone, or is it still a struggle?
Macy: It’s a bit of a struggle. There might be exceptions to this, but I think I can’t get a movie started, but me and somebody else can. So sometimes they come to me first and I call up and get other people involved and then it can go.
Q: Do you ever do the John Sayles thing where you do one flick for the money, and then use that to do the next few for yourself?
Macy: Um… [thinks for a while]… I do them all for the money. I do them all for the money, I really do.
Q: That’s funny because your roles are very much quality roles…
Macy: Yeah, that’s my cross to bear [laughs]. About six months ago I went into my agents and did this yearly or bi-yearly thing where you sit down and say, okay, thing’s have gotta change. You vaguely threaten that maybe you’re going to change representation and you say, “it’s not going well guys, I’m not getting what I want,” and they just calmly pull out an envelope and read out the movies I passed on - these hundred-million-dollar movies – everything from the sublime to the ridiculous. I mean some of them I remembered, they were big paychecks and I just thought they were dumber than dirt and I just can’t do it. I can’t. And I thought, I’ll ruin my career, because the only cache I’ve got going really is the quality of the work. That’s the only thing I got, I’m not a movie star, I don’t have anything else going for me, and if I squander that away on a couple of big movies it could be gone in a couple of years.
Q: Do you ever think of a return to weekly TV?
Macy: I love TV. It’s so fast, you feel like a real actor doing TV. One take, two takes, three or four if things are screwing up, and if you got a big role, you’re really acting. On a special effects movie you’re literally, even with all the takes they do, you act for two hours in the day and the rest of the time you’re just waiting for the set-up. That’s why they give you ridiculous trailers.
Q: Do you watch yourself on TV?
Macy: I’m not against watching myself, but I miss a lot of it. I’ve got two little kids who we don’t let watch TV so I have to wait until I get a tape, so I’m kind of guilty of missing some of my own work. I don’t think it’s a good idea to watch all of it, because you can learn stuff.
Q: Some say that watching yourself means you make small changes to your performance which can make things uneven…
Macy: Well, I’ve never been big enough on a TV series where that would come about, but I don’t go running up to the monitor when they have video assist. I mean, I’ll watch it if there’s something specific that I wanna see, or maybe early in the shoot I’ll look at some dailies or watch the playback just to see how the guy’s shooting it, you know? I mean, sometimes you get DP’s who will throw you on the fire of ugliness for their shot.
Q: Was that one of the issues on Magnolia? Was there a little tension on the set there?
Macy: Yeah, me and Anderson got onto this riff, and it went through most of one day, and was… I dunno, we were just throwing zingers at one another. I think I said to him, “You don’t know how to spell ‘The End’, so you just keep writing [laughs]. He won me over though. It was interesting. I was in Mississippi and they sent me Boogie Nights and the script that I got was MUCH racier. I mean, there was some gnarly shit in there. But the basic story was there and I thought “oh my god, I gotta get on this movie.” So I watched his first film, Hard Eight, and that was great. So we had lunch and he’s talking a mile a minute, and about five minutes in it struck me… Oh my God, I’m not auditioning here - he’s auditioning for ME. You’ve gotta love that.
Q: So I have a check for $59m to give you – what dream projects do you have in waiting?
Macy: Steven Schacter and I have done ten.. or maybe eleven.. movies of the week. Nobody knows this but we do a lot of ‘em. Been one a year, sometimes two a year.
Q: Do you act in all of them?
Macy: A couple I didn’t, but most of them I did. But I didn’t play the lead. We’ve been doing this a long time, pre-Fargo, I was rewriting scripts with Steven. He directs them. And I would like to jump into the feature field with him. So what I would do with your check… I’m trying to do this stripper movie. Because I think we’ve got a good project here, it’s got soul. We made it a buddy picture. This guy Lou Berman hired a temp, they call it a temp agency, because when he walked in there were a bank of lawsuits this big and bills this big and the roof was leaking and nothing worked, he couldn’t even get alcohol because they wouldn’t deliver to him, it was run into the ground. And it was his mission from the judge to put the place in the black so it could run or be sold. So he hired this woman and, of course, she’s a lesbian, so you’ve got an accountant and a lesbian working in a strip club, I mean.. you couldn’t write something more Hollywood.
Q: How did you find the story?
Macy: My agent called and they were thinking of me for the accountant role and I kept saying send me the script, send me the script, this is money. It’s not just because I like naked girls, which I do, but it had everything on it. It’s a David and Goliath ultimately. And the fact that these girls triumph ultimately… the worst part of strip clubs is epitomized by the guys who run them, and here the girls best them. It’s raunchy, it’s a fabulous story.
Q: If you weren’t doing what you’re doing, what would you be doing?
Macy: I’m a pretty good carpenter. I got a real nice shop, we built a house in LA and I have a shop of every boy’s dream up stairs. I’m not good enough to do fine furniture, but I’ve got some projects going at home. I built an arbor out by our pool. Big sucker.
Q: You ever talk shop with Harrison Ford?
Macy: Sure, I did Air Force One with him. I’ve got a lathe, two of them, big ones. I could turn a Volkswagen on those suckers.
(At this point, Paul mentioned he once made chairs out of driftwood but had a hard time getting them to keep together, which peaked Macy’s interest. What followed was three minutes of advice on drill bits and techniques of getting wood to stay connected. During this chat, the Executive Chef at the restaurant sent out complimentary meals for the table in respect for Macy’s work, an action that Bill clearly appreciated, and was also totally embarrassed by. To his credit, he made special effort to learn the chef’s name and send personal thanks. This would become a regular scene over the course of the hour, as Macy went out of his way to thank anyone who came by, even if he had to stop an answer and call out after someone to do so. Like we said.. class act.)
Q: Have you ever considered that you’ve ‘made it’?
Macy: Yeah, I made it.
Macy: That’s an excellent question, it sneaks up on you. You’re some schmuck and you wake up one day and you go, good god, I’m the cheese. It’s a hard thing to pinpoint. On one hand, I’ve never had a real job. I got into this business and somehow, by hook or crook… When I first moved to Chicago, right out of college, I was a bartender for six or ten months, maybe a year. And after that I made it in the business, paid my rent, took classes, started the St Nicholas theater (with David Mamet and Steven Schacter), it was wildly successful, started doing commercials and did enough of them and I thought, I’ve made it, I’m a working actor. But the bar raises as you go. I mean, one of the first things I realized… you know those big things of make-up that you use in theater? Stein’s make-up? I used a big one up. I thought, My God, it’s gone. Took two years and ten shows but I used up a whole thing of pancake and thought, I’m an actor. But sometime after, when I moved to LA, I pretty much hit the ground running. When I was in New York I was making a living. We had a summer house and a car that I could put in a garage. That’s something for a stage actor. The next big thing is going to the Oscars. You think you’ve made it when you get to the Oscars.
Q: Have the Oscars changed over recent years?
Macy: Maybe. But I’ll tell you this about the Oscars, they’re real. I joined the Academy before Fargo, I was already a member when I got nominated and the thing that struck me the most when I got to the end of that red carpet, which has to be felt to be believed, that is an experience. It’s frightening. The thing that I saw when I got to the Oscars was, I know ‘em all. I mean, the place is loaded with movie stars, but they’re like 2% of the acting population. The rest of them, the people that vote and nominate, “I kept thinking I know ‘em all.” I kept thinking “you’re in the Academy?” It’s just guys like me. It’s real. When you get a nomination, it’s a real thing. You can’t buy ‘em, you can’t maneuver them. A Golden Globe… well… (shrug)… but the Oscars, that’s the real thing, man. Academy says you did a good job, you can take it to the bank, you did a good job, I mean you really convinced a lot of people. That counts.
Q: They have as many bars there as the Golden Globes?
Macy: Oh, the Globes, that’s a big drinking event. You spend all night thinking, how can you get out to get a drink. The Spirits are great too, they’ll say anything. People say things that… yeah, because they’re not televised. Another great drinking night.
Q: Do you think about the nominations? Do you worry them?
Macy: Yeah, when Fargo came out I more than wished for it, I hired a publicist for the first time in my life. I thought, if ever I was going to make it, that was then. And he said, what do you wanna do, and I said, “I want an Oscar nomination. That’s your job, that’s what I’m paying you for.” And I got it.
Q: When are you working with the Coens again?
Macy: I dunno. We talked, they’re doing a remake of Ladykillers, and that was a role that I wasn’t right for but they were kind of considering me because they couldn’t cast it, and I, through my people, said… “I’ll wax your car, I’ll blow your poodle, I’ll do anything.”
Q: If you could cast a dream cast in an ensemble piece, who would you drag in?
Macy: Lisa Kudrow, Anthony Hopkins, Gene Hackman, Morgan Freeman, and my wife.
Q: Is there anyone you haven’t worked with that you’d like to?
Macy: All of them. Meryl Streep, I’m a big fan of her too. She’s won me. You know who else I like? Sally Field. She’s such a babe. She’s great. I’d like to do a romantic something with her.
Q: The Cooler features a romance that is a long way from the usual Hollywood romance. Why is it that we never seem to see ‘real people’ in our romantic comedies?
Macy: I don’t know. Maybe because we all want to be twenty again and have that first sense of love. I think there might be a market for romance for grown-ups. We still outnumber ‘em, us baby-boomers, I’m older than you guys, but us baby boomers outnumber all of you and we got a lot of money man, and maybe there’s an audience for grown up romantic comedies. Because, good god, there are some older women out there who are just knockouts, real beauties, and they’re not getting the roles they should.
Q: Your leading lady in The Cooler, Maria Bello, you worked with her in ER, didn’t you?
Macy: yeah, but she was the hot young thing at the time, so I hardly talked to her. Too shy. She was George (Clooney)’s love interest I think. Everyone hooks up with George. He’s a cool guy. He’s a genuinely cool guy. He’s using his powers for good.
Q: Do you find now, with actors’ salaries so high, that the actors are now becoming the studios?
Macy: Yeah, they are, aren’t they. They just say yes and that’s all it takes. But wasn’t it all that way, wasn’t Clark Gable…? I mean, you you’re right. You see these billboards in LA for this new series and it says ‘produced by Jada and Will Smith’. No actors, no names. Producers get the billing. It’s a brand.
Q: Are you thinking of launching into the director role at any time in the future?
Macy: Too hard. They work ten times harder than anyone else. Get paid a quarter. It’s plenty fun on the set, you get to say I like the blue one rather than the green one. But that’s a very small part of the job. I mean, they’re there doing the mundane stuff, like figuring out how to get Macy shot in this thing when I’m saying I can’t do this day and I have to leave by this time and I can’t do this line and, it’s a nightmare and they’re doing this rotations where you’re up by ten o’clock. I watched Schacter do it, I watched Mamet do it - it’s no fun.
Q: What’s Mamet doing now, you keep up with him?
Macy: He’s doing a film called Spartan. It’s in the can. It’s not locked, but it’s close.
Q: Mamet wrote that you have to learn to kill your darlings, didn’t he?
Macy: Yeah, he sure does kill his darlings. I’ve been in so many of his plays and there’d be this speech and you’d go, “this is the most brilliant speech in the history of the English language,” and he’ll go, “Let’s cut that speech, Willy. And let’s just say, uh-huh.” And I’ll say, “Are you fucking nuts?! If I live to be a thousand I could never write a speech this good and you want to cut it?” And he’ll say, well it doesn’t uh… you know… we got it.”
Q: Why is there no audience for theater in LA? I mean, there are more theaters out there than anywhere…
Macy: It’s designed that way, by the unions. As I understand the history of it, there was some horrible examples of producers taking advantage of actors and making shitloads of money and not paying the actors, so they came up with these contracts. There’s the loser contract which is 99 seats, which is untenable. If you want to lose all your money, do a 99 seat house and you’re guaranteed to lose every dime you put into it. The next step up is REALLY expensive, and there’s no in between. In New York you’ve got Off-Off Broadway, Off-Broadway and Broadway, and there are a couple of variations in between. So depending on how much money you’ve got, you can do a play. In LA it’s either giant or showcase, and no-one’s going to do a 99-seat play because they’re designed to fail. I don’t know much but I know this – don’t close a hit play, and in LA you HAVE to close a hit play. There’s no audience space. The only people who do them are people who can’t get jobs in TV shows.
Q: In Chicago, people go to theater like it’s an everyday part of life, but in LA…
Macy: They’ll go if it’s vital. And it can’t be vital as long as it’s financially untenable. I’ve been to LA theater. It’s all actors in the audience, but who cares? In my opinion those rules are killing it. I think theater is powerful. The best experiences I had in the theater are more powerful than the best experiences I had in movies. They’re few and far between, but the times that I’ve been in the audience and I saw something that was beyond beyond, I witnessed an actual event that was well lit and staged for me and it looked like it was an accident, it looked like a one-time event. I saw Ron Rifkin one time at the Lincoln Center… I dunno, the thing about theater, it doesn’t bare retelling. You talk about Terminator 2 and you say “his actual head exploded,” but you talk about theater and… you feel it inside. I saw Ron Rifkin do this thing, I believe it was In Regard of Flight, it was a good play, but man, those actors… oh my god. I actually wrote him a fan letter because of that show.
Q: Do you get intimidated by the actors you work with sometimes?
Macy: All the time. I still get rattled. Yeah, I get intimidated a lot. I screwed up at the Golden Globes, Scorsese was there and I’d never met him and I said ‘fuck it, I’m going in’. And he knew my name and started quoting lines from movies that I’d done! “Hey, remember when you were in this play? Remember that film?” He knew a lot of stuff I’d done. I’ve got a lot of idols like that. The worst was I’d met Bob Keishan in an elevator, all of a sudden I hear this voice and I go “I really love you.”
Q: We’ve got a moment like that coming up tomorrow. We’re going to visit Hunter Thompson.
Macy: Oh my God. Felicity grew up next door to him, my wife, she went to his house and tells a great story about going to his daughter’s birthday party, and in the middle of it all he stood up, drew a .45 and blew his television right away.
Q: Do you ever get the urge to go all Johnny Depp and do something that’s just totally out there, different?
Macy: Oh yeah, that’s the Holy Grail. You’re talking about Pirates of the Caribbean?
Q: Pirates, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Ed Wood…
Macy: He’s the real deal isn’t he? Didn’t you love Pirates? Okay, he played the gay pirate, who’s drunk… He doesn’t get the girl, and he doesn’t care. He doesn’t want her. Great stuff. I did a movie with Johnny a long time ago… Benny and Joon. I was hardly in it. Had a great scene with him that was cut.
Q: What film are you most proud of?
Macy: Really proud of Door To Door, because I wrote it, I acted that pretty good too. Happy Texas. I love that character, I just saw it again, Chappy Dent. And then Fargo. I’m proud of Homicide, but I was scared to death through the whole thing. I’d love to do it again without being scared.
Q: What are you listening to right now?
Macy: Jim Beloft. I’m crazed for ukulele. I started playing ukulele about four years ago, and matter of fact when we get home, on Monday night I’m doing a breast cancer benefit and I’m playing a song that Jim wrote and, oh God… Oh God, I still don’t know the words…
Q: What was the last DVD you watched?
Macy: I dunno. I get ‘em all in the mail but… the last movie I saw was Matchstick Men, which I liked a whole lot. I’m a fan of Nic Cage, I think he makes the best choices.
Q: And the latest book you enjoyed?
Macy: The Forger. Universal bought it recently I think, about the nazis stealing all the art, and he’s an American and he does all he forgeries and starts playing loose with all the nazis, it’s going to be a great movie. I gotta admit, a lot of the books I read are on cloth. I read a lot of cloth books, my daughter…
Q: Do girls rip up pop-up books?
Macy: Oh yeah, they all do. We take our girls to kindergarten and they all circle up and as soon as its play time the girls go over here and the boys go over there, and the boys are like “kapow!” and the girls are playing dolls.. I have a friend who has a little boy and he says no guns in the house, and he said the boy will take a Graham cracker and chew it into a gun.
Q: When the girls grow up and want to be actresses…?
Macy: That’s fine. The only thing I’m worried about is when they’re 14 and their shirts are up to here and their butt floss is hanging out… I’m just not gonna… God.
At this point we realized Macy’s screening of The Cooler was to begin in twenty minutes. We shook hands to make our farewells when, wouldn’t you know it, the Nice Guy Mode kicked in once more.
“Hey, are you guys going to the movie? Why don’t you come ride in the limo?”
At about that point in my life, you could have lopped my head off and I’d have been okay with it. Sharing a limo with Macy on our way to a closing night screening of his movie, large-breasted women making eyes at our group as we walked through the hotel lobby like a pack of important folk, and then the red carpet exit at the Starz Denver International Film Festival closing night ceremony. So this is how it feels at the Oscars.
A seat in Macy’s balcony box suite followed, which was great fun to watch a movie from, but twice as much fun when the spotlight hit us so that the entire place could give our balcony-buddy a standing ovation.
Dinner with Macy, a ride in the stretch, a movie on his balcony box and perhaps the most drunken post-screening party that I’ve ever experienced – if anyone tries to tell you that the Starz Denver International Film Festival isn’t a big ol’ time, you tell them Chris Parry says they’re a big fat liar.
Thanks Bill. T’was much appreciated.
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originally posted: 11/04/03 22:11:51
last updated: 05/28/04 10:47:34