Home » Richard Jenkins in his new film The Humans, his early days as an actor and much more

Richard Jenkins in his new film The Humans, his early days as an actor and much more

by Stewart Cole

Is there an actor or director you have never worked with, alive or dead, past or present, with whom you would like or would like to work?

Well, I do not really think so. I always thought that if I worked with him, I would be so scared, but I always loved Michael Kane. Michael Caine, when I saw “Alfi” I was about 18, 19 years old and I just thought, “What is this?” I had not seen “On the Waterfront” or any other. They came to me later. I was in my 20s before I saw these things.

But I went to the movies alone and saw “Alfie”, and that’s when I really said, “I’m going to do this. I’m going to be an actor.” If I can do something like this in my life, even close to what this guy did … It was one of those things that I think you find in movies and plays and literature, you find when you need it. Alfie came at a time in my life when I was thinking, “Could I be an actor? Is it possible? Do I have any talent?” Then you see something and it just motivates you to say, “I’m going to do this. I’m going to do this,” and that was Michael Kane.

I have never worked with him and I have never met him. But I did something in London and he was on the soundstage next door, and I don’t know why I did it because it’s not really me. I usually stayed away, but I ran there to see if I could meet him. He had gone. I do not know what to say to him. I really liked Alfie. I had no game plan.

And a director?

With the directors, no … I wrote a note to Steven Spielberg once and he never answered me, so I thought, “Well, he’s a busy man.”

We shot “The Humans” right next to where they were shooting “The Story of the West Side” and I always wanted to go because the choreographer is his friend (“Humans” director Stephen Karam) and Stephen said, “He said come and see him shoot.” I said, “Let’s go.” He said, “Well, we have a movie to shoot here.” “No, no. Let’s go see. Are you kidding? This is the” West Side Story “. We can watch the dance in the gym or something. Let’s go see it.”

Do you have a favorite movie of all time? I know it can change constantly, but do you have one?

Well, I do not know if it is the best movie, but I think in terms of interpretation, “On the Waterfront” is for me. There are shows that I just love, and I think Brando, and [Eva Marie Saint] it’s also wonderful, everyone, and it’s wonderful. When I see it, I just have to stop and watch it. But I also do it with “Grease”. I love “Grease”.

Who doesn’t love “Grease?”

I do it with “Cool Hand Luke” and “Hombre”. The movies come out when you need them. There was a movie called “Bread and Chocolate” that I liked. It’s not a good movie, but I needed it when it came out. I’ve seen it since, but at the time it was like “Whoa” and I think that’s what “Alfie” and “On the Waterfront” did for me. You see Brando in it and it’s like, “How do you do that? Dude, that’s very good.”

“The Humans” is now playing in theaters in limited circulation and on Showtime.

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