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Jack Reacher - Robert Duvall interview

Jack Reacher

Compiled by Jack Foley

ROBERT Duvall talks about getting into shape at the age of 81 to appear in Jack Reacher and why he couldn’t turn down a phone call from Tom Cruise about getting involved.

He also reflects on his own career, including his personal favourite roles, why Hollywood has and hasn’t changed and why he still loves to Tango.

Q. At the ripe age of 81 you are returning to the screen with an action film. Why?
Robert Duvall: That’s a good question. You know, I almost didn’t do this picture because I was not in very good shape. I enjoyed life a little too much on my farm, and I had put on a little weight. That’s when Tom Cruise called me.

Q. And when Tom Cruise calls, even Robert Duvall can’t say ‘no’?
Robert Duvall: Well, I was interested in this character. And I really like Tom. I think he’s just a terrific actor. So, I told my wife that I wanted to lose at least 20 pounds, and she was more than happy about that.

Q. Your character Cash in Jack Reacher is a crafty guy. And he loves his guns. What’s your take on guns?
Robert Duvall: I know my guns somewhat. I believe in guns, but I don’t have any. I haven’t shot much since I was in the Army. I go and shoot once in a while. My wife though, she is a good shot.

Q. How much of Cash is in you?
Robert Duvall: Every character has something of the actor in him. You have to make a character believable.

Q. How do you stay in shape these days. Still dance the Tango?
Robert Duvall: Sure, I do love the Tango. I promised my wife that I wouldn’t go back up in my weight again. I go swimming and I ride horses. All that helps. I love Buenos Aires. It’s my favourite city in the world. We go down, but haven’t been down there for quite some time.

Q. I guess it’s legitimate to ask you about ever wanting to retire. Do you ever think about it?
Robert Duvall: Yeah, I do. But I think I’ve got a couple left in me. My good buddy Gene Hackman is retired. He likes it. But I am not there yet. I still enjoy it. But I don’t like to work at night anymore.

Q. You live out on a farm in Virginia. Do people come out to visit you?
Robert Duvall: Yes, they sure do. We just had Mrs. Romney over for lunch. What a lovely lady. I really like her.

Q. Has Hollywood changed over the years?
Robert Duvall: Sure, it’s changed. But at the end of the day it’s still “Action and Cut”. It’s still movie making. And there are a lot of wonderful actors out there. Good movies are still being made.

Q. How do you want people to remember you?
Robert Duvall: Oh, I guess it’s nice when they know your name. I made some pictures that I am really proud of. My favorite part was my character in Lonesome Dove. I will always cherish that.

Q. You achieved pretty much everything an actor can reach. Why are you still doing this? It can’t be the money…
Robert Duvall: You don’t make as much money anymore as you used to. It’s just if something comes along that tickles my bones, I am interested in.

Q. Have you met guys like Jack Reacher before in your life?
Robert Duvall: I have met guys like Jack Reacher before. I met a guy once, he was the head of the Texas Rangers. They are no nonsense kind of guys. I like people when they are straightforward.

Read our review of Jack Reacher