Malcolm McDowell Says 'I'm Not a Method Actor. I Couldn't Care Less'


  • Malcolm McDowell doesn’t do method acting, focuses on making roles interesting with given material.
  • McDowell will continue acting until it stops being fun, and has interesting projects lined up.
  • McDowell stars in the horror movie
    , about a grieving woman who starts seeing disturbing images on her cell phone.

In an exclusive interview with MovieWeb, acting icon Malcolm McDowell discussed his role in the upcoming thriller, Cellphone, and said he does not use the ‘method acting’ approach, instead doing what he can to make his role as interesting as possible with what he’s given. The actor, who is known for his roles in the likes of A Clockwork Orange and Star Trek Generations, said he “couldn’t care less” about crafting a backstory for a character that isn’t on the page in front of him.

“I just do what they give me and try and make it interesting. You know, that’s all you can do. I’m not a method actor. I couldn’t care less what the guy did, how he lived his life, whether he was a crossdresser or if he loved his mother and his father, I couldn’t care less. I’m given what I’m given, and I try and make it interesting if I can, that’s it. And by the way, that goes with any part that I’ve done, and you know, I’m still going at my age [80]. God knows I’m nuts, but I still enjoy it.”


Malcolm McDowell on his Career: ‘I’m Not Playing Just the Regular Stuff’

The actor also talked about his work in Italian cinema and video games.

McDowell has been an actor for decades now, appearing in all manner of movies, television shows, and video games (both on-screen and through voice work) throughout the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and beyond. Despite having done it for so long, the actor is still in love with the work and the people he works alongside.

“I really enjoy it. I’ve always loved acting. I love the whole — it’s not so much the acting, it’s the whole thing of being with a company of people that are usually pretty nice, you know? Because by the time you get picked to be on a crew, or cast in a movie, there’s a lot of people trying to do that, so by the time they whittle it down, usually the people are great.”

“But I did a movie that went to Sundance called Thelma with a wonderful actress, June Squibb, who was 92 I think, and she was the lead in the film. I just watched it the other day and I just thought, ‘Wow, no complaints from me about age.'”

Malcolm McDowell Will Continue Acting Until He Stops ‘Having Fun’

Following the mention of June Squibb, we asked McDowell if he too sees himself acting in his 90s.

“Oh, I’ll just go on for as long as I’m having fun. When that day is over, then it’s over. But it’s not over yet. So, I’m just enjoying myself, and I’ve got some interesting projects coming up.”

Directed by Luke Sommer and written by Rachel Sommer, the horror/thriller movie Cellphone stars Whitney Rose Pynn, Justin Malik Jackson, Jared Noble, Isaac Versaw, and Katherine Barber, alongside Malcolm McDowell, who does not appear on-screen in the movie but is instead a mysterious voice at the end of the titular mobile phone.

Cellphone follows Wynne, who is grieving the death of her fiancé, and starts seeing disturbing images on her cell phone about her future. If she doesn’t figure them out in time, she will die.

is due to be released on VOD and Digital on February 13, 2024, by Gravitas Ventures.


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