John Malkovich

July 10, 2013

I am actor / director John Malkovich - AMA!

hi reddit, John Malkovich here. I'm an actor, director and producer. My most recent film, Red 2, opens next Friday. You probably want to know what it's like being John Malkovich, so ask me anything.

I also uploaded proof in advance since I don't use social media.

ok everyone. i have to take off now. it was very enjoyable not having the media filter. thank you for your questions and comments. funny or bright or sincere and even hateful. take care. maybe see you someday.

best, john

also, i wanted to share a thank you video that i made after this AMA.

What has been your favourite theatre role to date? Also i'd like to say you were brilliant in Of Mice and Men. :)

probably a characterr called pale in a play called burn this written by lanford wilson. or in a play called true west by sam shepard.

Do you ever see things like that scene in Being John Malkovich where everyone has your face and is constantly saying Malkovich Malkovich Malkovich?

oddly enough, i happened to see that very scene when i did a kind of q and a for the toronto film festival a couple of weeks ago. a fairly nightmarish experience. sort of my idea of hell.

Magnificent Mr. Malkovich: your favorite curse word?

fuck. putain or scheisse all work.

What? Who are you? IMPOSTER!

how is it being john malkovich? let's see how much you enjoy answering that question for 15 years. cheers and good luck.

Hello John, What is it like to work with Jon and Erich Hoeber. (Be nice, I'm their aunt.) Thank you, Liz

i enjoy the brothers immensely.

When I was in high school, I took a film studies class, and my teacher told us that the film "Being John Malkovich" is commonly regarded as one of the greatest films of all time. How does it make you feel to have been the subject of what some think to be the best movie ever made?

that's a pretty big statement. all credit to charley kaufman and spike jonze. they're visionaries more or less in my humble oppinion.

Hi John -

Given the luxury of hindsight, are there any roles you'd like the chance to do over, to reinterpret in a different way?

I'm still crushing on you in Dangerous Liaisons, BTW.

yes. all of them. in that i only know what the director wanted to do with the film after i've seen it, and by then, sadly, it's too late.

How do you like being famous? Is it a bad thing or a good thing for you personally?

it used to be fine, but it gets wearing at my age. too many cell phone cameras and doofuses who need a facebook photo with their thumb up. a few hundred a day over a 15 year period is, well, not that much fun. of course, most the people one actually gets to talk to are as interesting and fun as ever.

After RED 1, did they let you keep the pig?

Also, did they let you keep the grenade launcher?

i didn't get to keep either sadly, though i was able to sneak the pig into this red 2. if they cut it i'll be so pissed.

There is a bat in my apartment and it is making me nervous, how can I get rid of it?

i had one in my house once. i think i just opened all the windows and kind of gently broomed it out. just make sure it's in your apartment and not in your head.

Hi John, how does it feel to be the star of Rachel Green's fake favorite movie, Dangerous Liaisons?

i'm sorry, i've never heard of it. am i missing something?

My old college friends claimed to live in the "Malkovich House" on Buchanan Street at Eastern Illinois University. Were they telling the truth, or just bullshitting?

what's the address?


i think, sadly, that privacy is finished. no such thing. if you're a known person, you learned to live without it long ago. that's very,very unfortunate, but such is life. i think there's no going back as that particular horse has left the barn. i have at times spoken with my peers and the head of the actors union about why we're not paid when we appear in say a tmz production, but there seems to be no real interest in combatting it. for the nsa, i've always assumed they listen to everything and read everything and see everything. france, where i've also lived for a number of years is exactly the same-possibly worse. i think it's too late.


i can't really give advice. people should make up their own minds and walk their own path.

I recently saw Dangerous Liaisons for the first time and I loved you in it. So much confidence and swagger, always a step ahead of the game! For the most part at least.

In light of that, what was the costuming process like for it and/or other period pieces you have done? Have you had a hang in picking out what you wore or personal preference for the outfits?

strangely enough, i have anew production of les liaisons dangereuses which opened last night at the lincoln center festival. a beautiful young french cast, with quite hilarious costumes. i am often quite involved in the costume choices for period films. partially for it's impact on character, partially because i'm a fashion designer, and partially cause i'm so fucking vain. but my favorite film costumes are in a film i made a few years ago in london called color me kubrick. i had some lovely teal blue bras (quite pointy!), nice fishnets, and some lovely 1970's short shorts and a very fetching kimono. costumed by a wonderful english girl and lunatic called vicky russell.

Mr. Malkovich, I saw you once in Cambridge, MA wearing dishgloves while clothes shopping in Urban Outfitters. What was that about?

dishgloves? was i catering there?

any encouraging words for a young man losing his hair?

well, young man, that's a bummer. but it's ok. michael jordan made it stylish. don't worry, life goes on.

John, purely out of interest, do you smoke ganja?

sometimes my best friend russ makes me smoke ganja, but i become a bit insane and normally eat a couple hundred dollars worth of say, ice cream sandwiches or dilly bars or what have you. even worse, i won't share any of it.

I think we can all agree that Mary-Louise Parker is brilliant and gorgeous. That being the case, if you could use only one pickup line on her, what would it be?

marie louise is my hero. sharp, sad, funny, extremely gifted and quick. i love to be around her and i adore working with her. we had a beautiful vomiting in tandem on the car windshield scene in red 2, ungratefully removed by the powers that be. for the pick up line, i'm not to sure. i would counsel the direct approach. i wouldn't use the schwarzenegger pick up line "baby your bangability is very high tonight." on 2nd thought, if you have a good styrian acccent, maybe it would be perfect.

Could you record a voicemail greeting for me and upload it somewhere? My name is Benjamin and aside from that i give you full creative freedom. Thanks, Mr. Malkovich.

doing it as we speak.please pm your email addresss.

Have you ever eaten a Donair from Halifax Nova Scotia?

no. i'm exceedingly loyal only to tim hortons.

Stanislavski or Brecht?

brecht. he was a miserable human being, but quite smart about theatre.

You're just there, having a great time, while I am serving my mandatory military service, depressed and tired. Life is great....

stay safe. and take care of yourself, and try to imagine life when you're out.

Have spoken to Jim Walpole since the Toronto incident??

no, i was doing an opera that was opening in toronto and we were in tech reharsal with the normal pursuant chaos. i did leave him a letter, though. i was happy he made it through, ok. he seemed such a dignified and preternaturally calm man.


every time i'm out here in los angeles, he's on a little hiatus, so i don't get to do it often. at one point he had asked me to become a semi-permanent character who lived in a fish tank. the script was very funny, too. alas.

Do you regret saying that George Galloway and Robert Fisk would be the two you'd most like to kill?

unlike either of those gentlemen, i regret every stupid thing i've ever said. however, when you have a public life, you're going to say stupid things, just not as many as journalists or politicans.

Hey, how's it going Mr. Malkovich? Your character in Burn After Reading is awkward, terrifying, and oddly enough hilarious. What was your favorite scene to shoot in the film?

i liked the scenes with brad pitt. i thought he was so funny in that film.

Hello John!

Are there any new and interesting projects you're working on now that Red 2 is done?


start a piece for nbc in the fall called crossbones. a ten part series. well written.

Not a question but a simple "thank you" for all the movies you helped become great with your outstanding ability.

I hope to see you continue for years to come.

thank you. that's very kind.

Are your shift keys broken or do you just refuse to capitalize words out of principle?


Hi! Do you still own a part of Lux club in Lisboa? If so, it is awesome. If not, it is also awesome. Thanks!

yes, i do. i'm going to shoot a movie in lisbon in a few weeks and will be delighted to be back and to get to spend some time with my partners there.

Have you spoken Bernard Madoff since 2008? What would you like to say to him if you had the chance?

no, i only met mr. madoff once, many years ago. he seemed very pleasant. but, you know, i don't think i'd have much to impart. for me, in all honesty, it was a good life lesson. and it also must be said that the vast majority of in the world live with nothing and with the hope of nothing their entire lives. i was lucky, as i've been my entire life. i could go back to work and make my way in the world.

Are Helen Mirren's breasts as phenomenal in real life as I think they are?

sadly, even quite sadly, maybe tragically for me, i have no personal experience with which to reply in an expert manner. she looks pretty good to me though.

You are such a great actor and I love just about any movie you are in. Why the jump over to TV? I could understand cable but it seems odd that you're doing a TV show for NBC.

it's a very nice script. good producers and hopefully a good cast. plus, movies that are well written are hard to get made and hard to finance. plus, it will be the first time since 1990 that i will be in one place for at least five months.

What is the worst script you have ever read?

i was given a script in france, by a seemingly rather disturbed young man. let's just say it was not good. also, one night, a woman came in to our yard in france around 2:00 am. i was outside on the phone talking to my producing partners in los angeles. she gave me a script called elle tue,(she kills!) which was about the lead character killing a movie star. it was written like it had been done with a butcher knife in red ink. also, it wasn't very good.

Hi John. Say I were to see you in public, would you rather I, or anyone for that matter, pretend I didn't know who you are or would you rather have a conversation (without a camera shoved at you of course)?

normally quite happy to have a conversation. or to be completely ignored.

What to this date, film industry related or not, is the thing you have felt most accomplished about?

i'm not someone who can really enjoy or even feel a sense of accomplishment about anything i've ever done. i'm just not the type. on to the next.

What is the purpose of acting in your opinion?

self expression.

Were you actually pissed when that extra threw that can at your head?

on the contrary, spike jonze wanted to cut it because we were late that night and he felt no one would be able to hit me on the head with a half full can of beer from a passing car, and about 70 or 80 sets of hands shot up on the crew saying they would like to try. eventually the task fell to johnny cusack's writing partner and he nailed it on the first try.

Boxers, briefs, or commando?

depends on my mood. i don't like anything too tight.

Malkovich Malkovich, Malkovich Malkovich Malkovich Malkovich Malkovich Malkovich Malkovich Malkovich Malkovich Malkovich Malkovich Malkovich Malkovich?


John, what time of day can I pour a drink and not feel bad?

sorry, i would say at least you have to wait until 7:00 pm. i mean if i can do it, so can you. cowboy the fuck up!

Does music play a big part in your life? If so, what are some of your favorite artists/songs?

i like so many kinds of music. so many artists. really too many to name.

From your responses, you seem like an interesting, articulate man. It's nice to know that someone whose work you like isn't a total twat.

As for a question, hmmm... is there any question you wish someone asked you during this?

i have a lot of friends in this business who are really fun and lovely people. somehow, the public doesn't get to see that.

Who would actually win in no limit Holdem, you or Matt Damon?

Also, how do you eat your Oreos? I like to put a whole Oreo in my mouth and then take a swig of milk so it drenches the entire Oreo all at once.

matt would win. he always did between takes when we played. i love oreos, but i think it's some staggering amount of calories when you have ,like 4.

Hi John. Delighted you're doing this!!

What was it like working with a young Christian Bale on Empire? Do you keep in touch?

no. i haven't run into him since then. i very much enjoyed the dance remix of his remarks to the cinematographer, though. i wanted it to be the voice mail of our mr. mudd office, but my partners felt it wasn't very stylish.

Your nephew teaches at my school. He's awesome! And so are you!

No question. Just wanted to say you're awesome.

matt is a great person. he always was.

Where is your favourite place in the world to sit and just be yourself...without worrying about all the stressors of daily life?

i think our house in france. it's an old farm and very quiet. vienna also works.

I am a man, but it doesn't matter. Is it possible to find some way to have your baby. Because I think that would be cool.

where there's a will there's a way!

Which directors do you think you've worked best with?

i don't really know how to measure best. one might do a bad film, or a not so good film with a wonderful director. one of my personal favorites was a chilean director i worked with several times called raul ruiz. he had such an odd and unique view of the world, and such a wonderful and strange and full culture. of course i loved spike jonze, frears, manuel de oliveira and many many others.

How ridiculous was the scene where you held up the gun to the bunny in con air?

it's pretty ridiculous i would imagine.

Hey John! Explain how you lost 70 pounds eating nothing but Jell-O

i lost seventy pounds eating nothing but jello for 4 months. but of course there is great variety in the colors! i think, if i remember correctly it's 230 calories for a whole bowl. maybe 270? in the 5th month i added fruit.

Nicely drawn mascot sir. Now on to my question: Gin or Whisky?

only red wine.

What are your thoughts on space travel? Would you like to go into space?

yes, i suppose i would. but don't you have to go to the bathroom in your space suit and everything? i'm just not sure i could do that?

Do you have lactosereflux?

probably...doesn't everyone?

John, what's your favorite book?

the sound and the fury. faulkner.

Do you still have your clothing line?

yes. i think. though i haven't checked today.

Hey John! What's you favorite flavor of Ben & Jerry's Ice cream? And if for some god forsaken reason you don't eat ice cream. ಠ_ಠ

What is your favorite pie?

i don't eat a lot of ice cream. i like frozen yogurt more. i'm not sure i have a favorite.

I once had a friend who, after watching 'Being John Malkovich', was thoroughly convinced you were a fictional character. I don't really have a question, just wanted to share! Thanks for all of your amazing work; I am a big fan. :)

i kind of am a fictional character....

Do you believe that MamaTejás (Mother Texas) is a decent name for a female puppy that never backs down?

yes. approved.

If you and Crispin Glover got into a fist fight, what would be your tactic? Do you believe you could win?

i suppose i would pull his hair. no?

A teacher I had in high school claims at one point in her life when she was in her 20's-30's she could have married you. Care to comment?

what was her name? doesn't that mean i could have married her too?

What is your favourite vegetable?

brussell sprouts. i know it's wrong.

Hey John, I also graduated from Illinois State. What was your favorite memory from your stay there?

steak and shake. in sight, it must be right.

Okay so Malkovich makes no bones about smoking bud every so often and also records a Redditor's voicemail message. If there's a better AMA done recently I'd love to fucking hear about it.

but i only do it because my best friend makes me! it can't be my fault!

Are you the star of "Peeing on Malkovich"?

it depends on how late it is, how far to the toilet, and how much i've had to drink. let's just say i could be.

What's Tilda Swinton like in real life? Everything I see her in she looks so ... mean.

no, she's very kind and funny.

If you had to choose a different career, what would it be?

And thank you for doing this AMA.

it was a pleasure. it would be nice to be a florist, i think. i would have liked to have been a baseball pitcher, also.

What is your favorite British film?

night train to munich?

What's your favorite French red wine?

bandol. domaine tempier.

What's your favorite dish at Jack Russell's in Benton?

do they have jalape├▒o poppers? or do i mispeak?


ok. thanks for that.

I got my first blowjob watching Red. Just wanted to say thanks.

you're welcome.

I just read that you live in Cambidge, MA. Have you ever been to The Middle East Restaurant/Club? I'm spinning upstairs next month and would be pretty amazing to have you on my guest list.

i won't be in cambridge this summer at all. where is the place?

Hi Mr. Malkovich-

Thanks for doing this ama!

One of my favorite SNL episodes of all time is when you hosted at Christmastime in 08 (or 09, I forget) and you read "Twas the night before Christmas." Did you know any of those facts on your own, or were they all fed to you by the writing team?

actually i looked them up on the internet.

My friend ran into you in Edmonton 2 weeks ago. She told you that you looked like John Malkovich and you replied "weird", hilarious. Let me buy you a beer!

sorry, i'm already gone. thanks everyone! i have to go now.

This interview was transcribed from an "ask me anything" question and answer session with John Malkovich conducted on Reddit on 2013-07-10. The Reddit AMA can be found here.