THEY WERE ALL JANUARY BABIES
DOROTHY ARZNER (Born on 1/3/1897, she was one of the few female movie directors given the green light to toil in the Hollywood factories during the 1920s, 30s and 40s.)
“I liked working for Sam Goldwyn. Oh, he would blow his top and the writers would be carted off to the hospital with ulcers, but I’d just wait for him to settle down and then I’d explain why things couldn’t be the way he wanted them. You have to learn how to handle producers. Goldwyn gave me everything I wanted in the way of sets, lighting, cameramen and costumes, but he also gave me the job of making Anna Sten look like a great actress. He had spent a year grooming her, telling everyone that she would be greater than Dietrich, greater than Garbo, and then when she opened her mouth, out came these monosyllables. The only thing I could do was not let her talk so much.” Click here for the complete interview.
GEORGE BURNS (Born on 1/20/1896)
“I don’t think I’ll smoke a cigar in ‘Oh, God!,’ because I don’t think God smokes. And I plan to play this role without makeup. There won’t be any love interest either, because–as far as I know–God was never married. This is a bigger and tougher role than I had in ‘The Sunshine Boys,’ so I’ll have to do a little studying. I’ve done soft-shoe before, but this is the first time that I’ve ever played God.” Click here for the complete interview.
BALTHAZAR GETTY (Born on 1/22/1975)
“I was always sort of a performing child. At 13, I wanted to be a ninja. I went to school on the bus in a black outfit with only my eyes showing. And then ‘Lord of the Flies’ fell in my lap and I ran with it. But even before that, I was always putting together plays for my mom, and I’ve been doing music my whole life.” Click here for the complete interview.
CARY GRANT (Born on 1/18/1904)
"I was asked to do the movie of ‘Sleuth,’ but in the end I decided it would be too much work. I mean, I’ve done all that–-almost 70 times– and it’s a tiresome and very strenuous business."
He was also Jack Warner’s pick for the plum part of Professor Henry Higgins in "My Fair Lady." "At that time, I was considered more commercial than Rex Harrison, but the thing that stopped me from taking the role was the fact that I had seen the show on stage three times and I just didn’t think anyone could do it better than Rex. Jack Warner kept pushing, though, so finally I said to him, 'Look, Rex does it; use him.’ Actually, I always thought the movie should have been done with Julie Andrews, too, although I adore Audrey Hepburn and had a great time with her in ‘Charade.’ I just think that once something has been done to perfection, why interfere with success?” Click here for the complete interview.
VINNIE JONES (Born on 1/5/1965)
“As an athlete I played at the top level for 15 years, but because of my style of play, I didn't get the kind of credibility I'm getting as an actor. Once, on the soccer field, the guy behind me was mouthing off, so to shut him up, I just grabbed his balls and gave 'em a twist. I do things on impulse. A photographer took a picture of me doing it and it got the sports picture of the year award. Let's say I was a bit unorthodox in the way I played the game.” Click here for the complete interview.
DIANE KEATON (Born on 1/5/1946)
“I enjoyed doing the second ‘Godfather’ movie, partly because I wasn’t afraid of everybody this time. On the first one, I felt so inconsequential and all I could do was be very friendly and very nice and very scared. Jeeze, every time I’d run into Marlon Brando on the set my face would turn red and I’d start laughing and laughing. I was so high school. So totally into self-loathing.” Click here for the complete interview.
PIPER LAURIE (Born on 1/22/1932)
“My need to prove myself to the world as an actress was so immense that I couldn’t relax. And then there came a time during the 60’s, during the Vietnam War, when I suddenly became aware of the rest of the world. I had this slow, creeping sense of bewilderment at what I was doing with my life, and it seemed incredibly stupid to be spending my time play-acting. It was a long while before I realized that it is important to entertain people, important for them and important for me. Now I’m eager to play in anything that is interesting, creative and fun. I don’t care how big or how small the part is.” Click here for the complete interview.
JOSEPH LOSEY (Born on 1/14/1909)
"Gail Russell [pictured above] had the most beautiful eyes I ever saw, except for Elizabeth Taylor’s, and she was a lovely, painfully insecure girl. She used to say to me, ‘I never wanted to act. I’m absolutely terrified of acting.’ The fact was that she simply could not work without alcohol. The studio gave me strict orders not to let her near a drink, and we had to keep doing the very first scene of ‘The Lawless’ over and over because Gail couldn’t get it right. She finally came to me, shaking uncontrollably, and said, ‘I’ll never get this scene right if you don’t get me a drink.’ So I got her a drink. Gail was a very sweet, sad girl, and she never did any harm to anyone. Everything was done to her. I deeply regret her death." Click here for the complete interview with Losey.
BUTTERFLY McQUEEN (Born on 1/7/1911)
“I found it disappointing when I began working with white people. There was no hunger for perfection, no hunger for elegance that you find in so many Negroes. And I discovered that white people had what I call their three B’s: the bar, the bed and the battlefield. You can sum up the war in Vietnam in two words: white supremacy.” Click here for the complete interview.
AMANDA PEET (Born on 1/11/1972)
"You're always hearing stories about people who do an indie that goes to Sundance, gets everyone their money back and you become famous overnight. But somehow I managed to do 12 indies that never made it to the video store, to the Quad or even to the Buffalo Film Festival." Click here for the complete interview.
IRVING RAPPER (Born on 1/16/1898)
“Bette Davis was a powerful actress, and a powerful dame. Bette is the first to admit that she is mercurial; I never knew from day to day what to expect. I remember escorting her to a concert where there were to be a number of the greatest Hollywood directors in attendance. I said, ‘Bette, I’m nervous about mixing with all those guys,’ and she said, ‘Irving Rapper, if I didn’t think you were better than every one of them, do you think I would be with you in this car right now?’ And then, the next day, she would say, ‘Irving? Irving who?’” Click here for the complete interview.
OUSMANE SEMBENE (Born on 1/1/1923)
“Films can travel. New York can’t. I find this city fascinating and would like to know it much better than I do. One cannot say, of course, that New York is America. But all over there is a certain amount of corruption. That is why black people in America want things that come from Africa to be superior. They have a nostalgic, idealistic vision of Africa. That’s the reason the middle-class blacks in New York feel badly about my movie ‘Mandabi’--it doesn’t present a beautiful, glowing picture of Africa. The thing I was trying to do in it was to show Africans some of the deplorable conditions under which they themselves live. When one creates, one doesn’t think of the world; one thinks of his own country. It is, after all, the Africans who will ultimately bring about change in Africa--not the Americans or the French or the Russians or the Chinese.” Click here for the complete interview.
LIONEL STANDER (Born on 1/11/1908)
"If you think they won't institute the blacklist again, you don't know the quality of Agnew and Nixon and the people around them. Look at Nixon's background. The Alger Hiss case, the pumpkin papers! And the scurrilous persecution of Helen Gahagan Douglas. I've always been lefter than the Left, and I worked very closely with the Communist Party during the thirties. But I never joined." Click here for the complete interview.