Saturday, August 02, 2003

The James Woods Interview

Belmont Club simply has to link its readers to Salon interview of James Woods, where he makes more points in the subtext than he ever makes explicitly. It contains some of the best dialogue between interviewer and interviewee since Dashiell Hammett. Here are some excerpts, the items in bold are by Salon journalist Amy Reiter:

And you're pretty happy with the kind of decisions Bush's been making so far? You're unfazed by recent controversies, like the ...

Uranium in Africa?


It's like playing golf. Even Tiger Woods gets a triple bogey but still goes on to win the U.S. Open. Clearly, everyone's going to have their moments, but by and large do I think -- to me the more relevant question -- and you probably won't print this -- but the more relevant question is when millions of people are suffering and millions are being murdered, do we as a nation have a moral obligation?

A lot of my friends in Hollywood have actually said things like "Let's melt their hearts with hugs and love." It honestly doesn't work. So I respect people's sweetness for believing that you can melt the heart of Osama bin Laden with a hug, but you can't. The only solution to Osama bin Laden is a fucking 88-millimeter shell through his forehead.


What do you think about the whole Dixie Chicks brouhaha and backlash?

I would have paid you, gladly, cash not to talk about politics today, but I'm a polite person, so I'll answer your question, so please put that in. I personally would ...

Couldn't you just refuse to answer questions about politics?

If you wanted to call up and ask me to talk about politics, only about politics, and I weren't promoting a movie, I'd say, "You know, Amy, you're such a nice person, I'd rather put a goddamn shotgun in my mouth and pull the trigger." OK? So, that said. I think it's fine if every citizen has an opinion. I find it unfortunate that celebrities have a bully pulpit by virtue of their celebrity and I would caution people to check the credentials of those who speak and make sure that they have the education, the knowledge, the experience and the intelligence to say what they say, given that it's said in the context of a bully pulpit of celebrity. If you want to quote that exactly, I'd appreciate it.

So you think the Dixie Chicks should not have said what they said?

I think anybody can say whatever they want. I think it's great when people say what they think because people are going to form an opinion. I mean, the Dixie Chicks are the greatest thing to happen to the Republican Party, OK? The RNC couldn't have been happier, OK?


Because when you say rude things about people, the rudeness creates a greater backlash than the things you wanna get across.

In case you're wondering, James Woods graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.