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Rod Steiger / Actor

January 11, 1998|Steve Hochman

Rod Steiger isn't the retiring type--in his career or in his opinions. At 72, the Malibu resident who broke through in "On the Waterfront," has five movies ready to open,including "Incognito," opening Jan. 30, and "Revenant," due late spring, and is set to film "Six Wire Winter" with English writer-director Peter Webb in March. He'll receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on April 10.

NEXT GENERATION: "I haven't seen many young actors, but I've noticed that I haven't heard the storm of whispers that announce someone of real quality, like a new Brando. I haven't seen [Leonardo] DiCaprio. The man who's impressed me the most is Daniel Day-Lewis."

TABLOID MENTALITY: "Strangely enough, the National Enquirer has always been good to me. The guy who owns it liked me or something. But other [tabloids] with my divorce have been unfair to my ex-wife-to-be. Shaw said the greatest crime is unnecessary pain, and these bastards create unnecessary pain."

MEASURED VIOLENCE: "Most directors, whether they like it or not, are exploiting violence. 'L.A. Confidential' was a good picture, and anything violent was to further the story. But Ididn't even see 'Casino' because I'd walked out of 'GoodFellas.' "

Los Angeles Times Sunday January 18, 1998 Home Edition Calendar Page 111 Calendar Desk 1 inches; 19 words Type of Material: Correction
Steiger's star--Rod Steiger received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame last April. Last Sunday's Whatever. column was in error.

SENSITIVITY: "I'd have thought by now the Italian Americans would be marching on Washington over those kind of portrayals. That takes care of me ever working with Scorsese, though he's a fine director."

DIRECT APPROACH: "I've been asked to direct many times. Last meeting I had, they said they wanted to have lunch, I said, 'Gentlemen, I'll save you the price of a shrimp cocktail. My philosophy is two words--final cut.' I didn't get the cocktail."

WRITING WRONGS: "There seems to be an almost complete lack of social conscience on the part of writers. My group, the actors from the '50s and '60s--Clift and Brando up through Hoffman and others--would pick up these scripts and say, 'Forget it.' "

NOT TV: "Someone asked me, 'How do you become a TV star?' I said, 'Grow two more legs and a tail and be Lassie.' In my day, people wanted to do Arthur Miller, not TV series. TV is the biggest danger to a young actor."

PARTING WORDS: "One of these idiots [interviewers] asked how I'd like to die. I said, 'I don't want to, but if it's in front of a camera I wouldn't mind.' Someone asked what I want on my tombstone. I said, 'See you later.' "

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