When I was a kid, my parents gave me piano lessons and guitar lessons for a while, but I was never very good at it. I have big, sort of awkward hands. It's hard to keep going when you don't get any better.
Quite often, I'll be sent a script for a movie. And I find that I like it, so I say I'll do it. But then they rewrite it for me. They make it quirky. Odd. I find that rather annoying. I call it Walkenising.
You do something on television, and so many people see it that it follows you around. It's interesting. I've done a couple of things on TV, and probably more people saw me than in all the movies I've made.
I think if you do something effectively whether you're the lover or the comic or the action guy or the villain like I play; movies are very expensive to make. Chances are you'll get asked to play that part again.
I think that sometimes when they see me in a movie they expect me to be something nasty. I mean, I play a lot of villains and you show up and they think maybe... That's why it's good to defy expectations sometimes.
I like to stand in my kitchen with the script on a counter that's about chest high. Usually I do something else at the same time - make a chicken or slice vegetables - and all day long I just read it over and over and over.
I grew up in the '50s, in New York City, where television was born. There were 90 live shows every week, and they used a lot of kids. There were schools just for these kids. There was a whole world that doesn't exist anymore.
There are people who are able to plan their career, their future, but I've never had any talent for that. I just do things and hope for the best. Say yes, take a chance, and sometimes it's terrific and sometimes it's not.
The last time I did a movie that needed a horse, I said: 'If it moves, I'm out of here.' The worst thing is, they know when you're afraid and act up accordingly. I've had them run off on me. Horses I do not like.
I have made a number of movies that I have never seen. It's not a matter of ego. It's a matter of being disappointed. It's really a shame. It's just as difficult to make a movie that no one cares about as to make a hit.
My life is really quite conservative. I've been married nearly 50 years. I don't have hobbies or children. I don't much care to travel. I've never had a big social life. I really just stay home, except when I go to work.
I like cats a lot. I've always liked cats. They're great company. When they eat, they always leave a little bit at the bottom of the bowl. A dog will polish the bowl, but a cat always leaves a little bit. It's like an offering.
I think early on I knew what I was going to do and it was based a lot on familiarity but it was also because I didn't have a lot of skills. There was nothing I wanted t be. I didn't want to be a doctor. I wanted to be in show business.