"I was of a different generation from Cliff Robertson, but we were playing best friends who age over 25 years. As a 25-year-old I had to play a 50-year-old, and as a 50-year-old he had to play a 75-year-old. He was very much of the movies and I was very much of the theater, so we sort of had to find common ground and that was a very odd experience, but you know we had Brian De Palma on our side. He was super, super prepared. He sort of tore a page out of the Alfred Hitchcock playbook. Everything was done in his mind and shooting a film was a necessary evil, because in his mind it was already done. The actors just had to deliver it. He spent a lot of time sitting in the director's chair just waiting for us to do our work."
'The World According to Garp' (1982)
"Robin [Williams]was already a superstar as Mork. But this was a young man who had trained at Juilliard, and even though he was a brilliant comic, he liked to think of himself as a serious actor too. [Director] George Roy Hill's most brutal and most frequent direction to Robin was 'don’t give me any of that comedy shit,' and it’s exactly what Robin wanted and needed from George. It’s a beautiful, simple performance."
'Terms of Endearment' (1983)
"I replaced another actor. I don't tell people who it was out of respect. [With the other actor], James Brooks just thought that the tone was very, very wrong. I was in L.A., rehearsing Footloose at the time, and I had to be let loose for five days in order to shoot Terms of Endearment. It never would have happened if Jeffrey Katzenberg hadn't leaned on Herbert Ross and said, 'You've got to let this guy go.' [When I got to the set], this seemed like a completely out of control movie. I knew it was great because the script was great, but it was like chaos to me, and I had no expectation that this would be one of the best films every made. It was just a quick in, quick out. I had a great time with Debra Winger, and I loved James Brooks, but I thought, 'Boy, this movie is in real trouble.' "
'The Twilight Zone' (1983)
"[Director] George Miller encouraged me to bring it all, like all my fear, all of my tendency to overdo everything. Nothing was enough for George, and that was extremely liberating. I just loved that experience, I still think it’s some of the best work I’ve done in front of the camera."
"It was the beginning of a string of villains that I did. It was the most fun movie I had ever done because it was four months in Italy, two months up in the Dolomites in the Italian Alps. I got to have a great big knock-down, drag-out fight with Sylvester Stallone. Every actor should have that much fun at some point. You can hit him as hard as you can, and it’s never enough for him. I was just dreadful in that film, but that didn’t matter. It was such fun."
"Voice work is fun. But about three-quarters of the things you enjoy about acting are just not there. You’re not working with another actor, you’re not working with an audience, you’re just working with a bunch of writers and a microphone. It’s very abstract."
'This Is 40' (2012)
"It's a wonderful thing to get to be my age and work in a completely new vein. Judd [Apatow] has a work process that is so loose and creative and fun. Leslie Mann plays my daughter, and I played her husband in Orange County. That was an opportunity to come full circle." (Laughs.)
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Who better to judge the best movies of all time than the people who make them? Studio chiefs, Oscar winners and TV royalty all were surveyed as THR publishes its first definitive entertainment-industry ranking of cinema's most superlative. View gallery