The great actor Robert Duvall is chatting these days about his new film Widows (director: Steve McQueen) — just like any actor with a gig to promote. But there’s a difference with Duvall: the man is 87 years old, so when he speaks he cuts to the chase. The veteran Hollywood luminary didn’t just embody Tom Hagen in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather films and grace countless other classics in the movie pantheon (True Grit, MASH, Apocalypse Now, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Great Santini), Duvall is also indelibly the star of his own incredible The Apostle (actor, writer, director — see it). In other words, Duvall speaks from the mountain top of the movie biz.
[Try to forget Duvall in To Kill a Mockingbird — you can’t]
The Daily Beast‘s Marlow Stern interviewed Duvall recently and the results are swift and satisfying. Duvall says sure he made some great stuff but he’s also “done a lot of crap.” (Like we said, he’s 87 — he can be a little more honest than most Hollywood interview subjects!)
It being 2018 and all, Stern eventually gets around to asking Duvall about politics. The former Republican actor shies away from the subject, saying that it’s all just too much to talk about anymore — “it’s too crazy, politics. It’s nuts. It’s just nuts now.” But Duvall still knows who’s playing the game. Stern asks him about it and Duvall fingers Stormy Daniels lawyer Michael Avenatti as a Tom Hagen-type character. (Duvall’s Hagen was the mob lawyer, fixer and consigliere in The Godfather.) The exchange is below:
Stern: All this drama surrounding Trump and Michael Cohen has reminded me a bit of Tom Hagen, your fixer character in The Godfather.
Duvall: Yeah. Although who’s the porn star’s lawyer? Avenatti? He’s more like a mobster lawyer, I think! But these lawyers are somethin’, these guys. It’s unbelievable.