With an Oscar and four Golden Globes to his name, Jon Voight is as intimidatingly talented as actors come.
Peel away those layers of Hollywood genius, however, and you’ll find a man of the people; an ordinary guy who keeps that Oscar on the mantelpiece alongside his daughter’s old swimming medal, and who, as we speak to him for DVD release of Dracula: The Dark Prince (out now), has some wonderfully everyman habits.
Okay, so his medal-winning daughter happens to be Angelina Jolie, but you get our point - he's a grounded man, as you can see just why below:
"Masters of Sex, I suppose. Michael Sheen’s a fantastic British actor and it’s nice to see him with such a strong part with which he can express the depth of his work. But yeah, it’s got sex in the title, so people might feel guilty about that. That’s the only reason I’d list it. I’m not crazy about nudity in a certain way - especially if it detracts from the story, but in this case it’s okay, it’s a great show. I danced half naked in a hotel in a towel in Ray Donovan. My dancing is very provocative. I got a lot of attention for that. It was kinda cute and funny, you know?"
"People talk about this new Batman vs Superman, but I love old Superman. I turned down the chance to play him, too. Yes, it's the late Seventies, I was in the A-list, and a studio was trying to find a Superman. Dick (Richard) Donner asked me to go over to his place and pitch me the role. I was in good shape, I’d been working out, but I had a beard and long hair for another role at the time. We also had a very funny discussion because I’m a skinny guy, I don’t have a body for Superman. But many people, including Dick, thought you can act anything - but I knew I couldn't act Superman. Then he tells me the suit for the film is sat in his bedroom, so I tried it on! I was dressed as Superman and then Dick passes me the phone - it's body builder Arnold Schwarzenegger, who wasn’t even famous at the time, but I’d heard of him and he says [Voight does a spot-on impression), “John! You good to do this movie? You’d be great in this movie - take the job, in two months I make you as big as a house!” I didn’t take the job, but I was still flattered, being such a big fan of the comic as a kid. Christopher Reeve was wonderful, too. Unique."
"If I have something around the house, it goes in a flash. I like liquorice. If I buy a packet it’s gone - it’s just too tasty. I’m not so much of a cook, either. I know a couple of guys who cook well. I go out to eat a lot, even for lunch so I can hang out at delicatessens and get some work done while I’m there. Not that I’d stay too long though - I wouldn’t want to hog a table and prevent someone from getting a tip."
"I recently flew to Cancun with the cast of Ray Donovan, and Ann Biderman, the writer/producer of the show, was sat right next to me. She’s like me - a workaholic, but I’d never have put her down as one for guilty pleasures because she’s always focused on what she does. I was reading The Prime Ministers by Yehuda Avner, and I turned to her, expecting another weight tome, and she’s just flicking through US gossip magazines and sharing them with Rosanna Arquette a few seats up. It got me thinking, maybe I should check them out! You know what, next time I will."
"I grew up in the sixties. But in the fifties, my brother, his name is Chip Taylor, wrote many, many hits, including Wild Thing, so I’ve always loved that one, even if it isn’t so revered today. Chip was attune to country and western stuff, too, and he’d introduce me to Elvis and so on. Dancing is something I like doing, and Chuck Berry is great for that. You have to get on down to Chuck. That said, the sixties was a very destructive decade, and romanticising about drugs, which is what some of the songs did back then, was as bad a thing as you can do. It took down their generation in many ways. We’ve just seen the tragedy with Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s passing. When I got the news it hurt me deeply. It was almost like a family member died because I loved his talent so much. Drugs are a poison."
Dracula: The Dark Prince is out now on DVD
(Images: AllStar, Shutterstock)