Monday, July 25, 2016

Richard Dreyfuss / This much I know / ‘When I die I want the chance to hit God in the face’

Richard Dreyfuss
Photograph by Michael Friberg
Poster by T.A.
Richard Dreyfuss: ‘When I die I want the chance to hit God in the face’

This much I know
The actor, 68, on agnosticism, depression and having ‘the finest body of work of any American actor’
Candice Pires
Sunday 24 July 2016 06.00 BST

When I die I hope I’ll have a chance to hit God in the face. If there is a God he already knows about this and he’ll get away – and as an agnostic I probably won’t get the chance. But he deserves it because of everything that happens to you in the third act of life: it’s humiliating and debasing.
My mother was my best friend. We talked about everything. I learned a lot about women and sex from her. She once said to me: “Richard, to put your mind at rest, there’s nothing you don’t do in the bedroom.”




People say nice things to me about Jaws and Close Encounters. And I say: “They’re Steven’s [Spielberg] films.” I didn’t do my films until The Goodbye Girl. And then I did them for the rest of my life.
I love the ideals of my country. But I hate that we’ve been so denied any real knowledge of the world and don’t have the education to think clearly, so we vote against our economic interest and believe in our most shallow first thoughts of fear and hatred.
I think I have the finest body of work of any American actor. It truly reflects my principles. But I am perceived as someone who has fallen. That I was a big hoo-ha in the 70s and fell away. I see it as I didn’t want to be top of the top, because none of them leave their homes or have a normal life. I was given the chance to get up there and I turned it down.
One day I realised I’d hurt every girl I’d ever loved. I had thought I was a really good guy before that. I gathered myself together and wrote letters, apologising. The response was uniform: “This ship has sailed, pal.”
I knew I was a manic depressive when I was 13 or 14, and I loved it. I always told people what I had and I was always cresting on a manic wave. I used it, willingly and happily, and it was an extraordinary experience. When I got hit with the depressive side – Boom! – yes, it was horrible and unendurable, but that’s part of the story.
Richard Dreyfuss

I never shared my life with anyone until I met Svetlana [Dreyfuss’s third wife]. I was staying in a hotel where she worked when she knocked on my door, saying: “You should take better care of your things,” and handed me my passport. We talked and I invited her in. Eventually, I said: “Well, I guess you’d better get back.” We both stood up, I took a deep breath and kissed her. She ran out of the room. I thought: “This is going to be great.”
Trump is an intemperate, mean-spirited, lying bully. If a man like that asked you for permission to marry your daughter, what would your answer be? If it’s no, I think it’s obvious we shouldn’t give him the most powerful office on the face of the Earth.
I was never a Hollywood insider. I had to learn that people do unethical things and it’s just business. I took it all personally and still do.
Reckless is out on DVD on 25 July


This much I know


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