Bronson Pinchot has made a career out of playing effeminate foreigners, and he must be set, financially, because he burns some serious bridges in this new interview with the always great Onion A/V Club. Not that that’s a criticism, it’s awesome the 1% of the time when actors are actually honest.
On Risky Business:
We thought Tom [Cruise] was the biggest bore on the face of the Earth. He had spent some formative time with Sean Penn—we were all very young at the time, Tom was 20, I was 23. Tom had picked up this knack of calling everyone by their character names, because that would probably make your performance better, and I don’t agree with that. I think that acting is acting, and the rest of the time, you should be you, but he called us all by our character names. He was tense and made constant, constant unrelated homophobic comments, like, “You want some ice cream, in case there are no gay people there?” I mean, his lingo was larded with the most… There was no basis for it. It was like, “It’s a nice day, I’m glad there are no gay people standing here.” Very, very strange.
Same thing with Eddie Murphy—I remember somebody calling and saying, “You’ll never guess who was just caught with a transvestite!” [Laughs.]
AVC: Did you have a sense that even though Tom Cruise was boring and unpleasant, he would be exciting onscreen?
BP: Oh, no. I thought the movie would disappear. It just goes to show you, I obviously don’t have the antennae for that. I didn’t see it at all, but neither did any of the actors. All of the actors who talked about him were like, “What is this guy all about?” And you know, honestly, I never got it, and I don’t get it to this day. But it was his breakout film. He always talked about himself like he was a mega-superstar; that was weird, too.
AVC: In order to achieve that level of success, you have to have a burning ambition.
BP: I guess so. It’s just a different kind of animal, like a racing greyhound versus a mutt that sits in your lap. I guess I’m a mutt that sits in your lap. I don’t know what that is, but I’ve seen it many times. I think Denzel Washington has it—he’s one of the most unpleasant human beings I’ve ever met in my life, but he’s this mega-superstar.
On Tom Hanks:
He is a wonderful and genuine and lovely and down-to-earth person. I don’t know how he does that. He’s always been a delightful person, so it’s not really true that big stars need to be driven and repulsive, because he’s anything but.
On doing Courage Under Fire with Denzel Washington:
BP: That was a low point, because Denzel Washington was behind the incredibly cowardly bullsh-t of “This is my character, not me.” He was really abusive to me and everybody on that movie, and his official explanation was that his character didn’t like me, but it was a dreadful experience.
But the next movie I did, the director was getting a lot of crap from his star, and he started to take it out on me one day, and just like a German shepherd—you know when a German shepherd stands up on its hind legs and puts its paws on your shoulders?
I put my hands on his shoulders and I very gently but firmly said, “I don’t do abuse, and if you say one more word of abuse to me, I’m on a plane, and you don’t have enough money to keep me here.” And that was the end of it, and I’ve never taken abuse again. And I wasn’t vile or anything, it just ripped out of me. Denzel Washington cured me forever of thinking that there is any amount of money or anything that could ever, ever make it okay to be abused. The script supervisor on that movie said it’s like watching somebody kick a puppy. He was so vile.
There’s plenty more to the interview, including a part about True Romance and Tarantino, which was the first Bronson Pinchot movie role that came to mind for me, but it wasn’t quite as interesting as him bashing Denzel Washington. To be fair, he sounds like sort of a sensitive little flower, but this also isn’t the first time I’ve heard Denzel Washington described as a prick. I hear lots of things. Anyway, you guys want some ice cream? I’m pretty sure there’s no fags around. (*takes off shirt*)