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James Caan

James Caan

Birthday: 26 March 1940, The Bronx, New York, USA
Birth Name: James Edmund Caan
Height: 176 cm

A masculine and enigmatic actor whose life and movie career have had more ups and downs than the average rollercoaster and whose selection of roles has arguably derailed him from achieving true supers ...Show more

James Caan
My acting technique is to look up at God just before the camera rolls and say, 'Give me a break.' My acting technique is to look up at God just before the camera rolls and say, 'Give me a break.'
There's a big difference between wanting to work and having to work. And I had to learn that the har Show more There's a big difference between wanting to work and having to work. And I had to learn that the hard way. Now money is very important to me, because I ain't got it. Hide
I'd rather get sloshed than stoned. I'd rather get sloshed than stoned.
[on recent big-budget Hollywood films] [They] absolutely stink. All those pictures, those big extrav Show more [on recent big-budget Hollywood films] [They] absolutely stink. All those pictures, those big extravaganzas - you can't remember any characters. Either they had an animal head on them or walked funny . . . If they want me to work, I'll go, "Sure". Basically, I'm a whore. Hide
[on fans confusing him with his characters] Look, you only pray when you start in this business that Show more [on fans confusing him with his characters] Look, you only pray when you start in this business that you get to the point where people recognize you or quote you. I mean, I've got a lot of people who are like, "Hey, your ankle OK?" from Misery (1990). I get that a lot. It's harmless. Or they'll say, "Hey, don't go through that toll booth again" or "Have the right change". That's great! First of all, it means that they remember the picture. There's nothing not to like about it . . . No, I hope they never stop. Hide
[His advice to younger actors] The main pearl of wisdom I give these young kids is that you shouldn' Show more [His advice to younger actors] The main pearl of wisdom I give these young kids is that you shouldn't make your career your whole life. No matter what heights you achieve, even if you're Brad Pitt, the slide is coming, sure as death and taxes. So if you put everything into that one basket - acting - you'll wind up hurting yourself, either with drugs or any other self-destructive thing you can think of. Hide
I had great, great times as a Little League coach. People were talking about me quitting acting, and Show more I had great, great times as a Little League coach. People were talking about me quitting acting, and they would say, "What about your creative juices?" Coaching is creative, because you could take a kid who thought he wasn't any good and, within four minutes, change his mind. And I didn't have to wait six months for them to put music to it. How good a Little League coach was I? I was a little hyper. One thing I learned was that talent comes from everywhere; it doesn't have to come just from the ghetto. But in Beverly Hills, because Daddy has a grocery store, the kids lack a lot of try. Hide
[on figuring out how to play Sonny Corleone] I didn't have to work on an accent or anything, but I c Show more [on figuring out how to play Sonny Corleone] I didn't have to work on an accent or anything, but I couldn't quite get a grasp. I was shaving to go to dinner or something, and for some reason I started thinking of Don Rickles. Because I knew Rickles. Somebody was watching over me and gave me this thing: being Rickles, kind of say-anything, do-anything. Hide
I have an agent I trust professionally more than anybody else, but with the best intentions he could Show more I have an agent I trust professionally more than anybody else, but with the best intentions he could put me in the shithouse just as fast as somebody who wanted to ruin me. Hide
I never did anything else. In college I switched majors every two weeks and acting was the only thin Show more I never did anything else. In college I switched majors every two weeks and acting was the only thing that held my interest. The reason I started was to stay away from the meat market. That's where I was headed -- to be with the guys who lug beef all day long. Hide
I loved Funny Lady (1975) for whatever reason. People say they didn't know I could sing and dance. W Show more I loved Funny Lady (1975) for whatever reason. People say they didn't know I could sing and dance. Well, nobody ever asks me - it's always "Punch this guy". Hide
You know those actors who say, "I want to be alone" or they're walking around with their friggin' bo Show more You know those actors who say, "I want to be alone" or they're walking around with their friggin' bodyguards? A bodyguard! I'd never have a bodyguard. I mean, who wants to hurt me? But the point is that they have the bodyguard so that they can say, "Leave me alone!" It's this revolving door thing. If somebody didn't recognize them, they'd have a heart attack, the bastards. Hide
If it was up to them, I'd be playing Sonny Corleone my entire life. Usually, if there weren't eight Show more If it was up to them, I'd be playing Sonny Corleone my entire life. Usually, if there weren't eight people dead by page 11, they wouldn't send me the script. People say, "Gee, you do a lot of mafia movies". I think I've done two, out of 60. Hide
I went through some bad times, some very self-destructive stuff, you know, when I was on top. I'd go Show more I went through some bad times, some very self-destructive stuff, you know, when I was on top. I'd got involved in partying and doing all that and I lost my sister and, basically, I got all screwed up in my head. She was like my best friend and I lost her to leukemia and I was just a mess. I had a lot of money because I'd worked a lot and saved it. I had it in a pension plan and then I lost all my money. My accountant. I just woke up one morning and I didn't have a dime. We're talking about tons . . . I mean, a lot of money, and I was flat broke. Hide
I did this picture last year with Nicole Kidman and Lars von Trier, Dogville (2003), and it's suppos Show more I did this picture last year with Nicole Kidman and Lars von Trier, Dogville (2003), and it's supposed to be a trilogy, but now that she's walked away from it, I'm walking from it. He is very anti-American, so screw him. I'm very pro-America. I'm a conservative, basically. Hide
Anyone of my generation who tells you he hasn't "done" Brando [Marlon Brando] is lying. Anyone of my generation who tells you he hasn't "done" Brando [Marlon Brando] is lying.
[on Zabriskie Point (1970)] It was the worst fucking - and I have to curse because there is no other Show more [on Zabriskie Point (1970)] It was the worst fucking - and I have to curse because there is no other way that I can express myself - picture that I ever saw. I got so angry about it. I was in love with a girl. We went to the movie and it ended the whole affair. He [Michelangelo Antonioni] hired cardboard, the worst actors, and it was a conscious effort - that's what pissed me off. Hide
(On turning down One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)) Four or five different directors came to me Show more (On turning down One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)) Four or five different directors came to me with that at different times. I go, 'It's not a movie. Who wants to look at four institution walls?' Milos Forman made it great. Jack was great in it. I made a flat-out, fucking mistake. Hide
Quite often I'm misunderstood when I say, 'It's not my life, it's my job.' People think that means I Show more Quite often I'm misunderstood when I say, 'It's not my life, it's my job.' People think that means I don't give a shit. Sure, I want to be the best actor in the world. But my life is my family, my son, my friends. I don't know how anyone can find fault with that. For some reason when you say, 'It's my job' it sounds like 'Who gives a shit?' Well, that's not it at all. What I do quite honestly and seriously and not in any way being humble is not as important as what the garbage collector does. People make actors important. I go to the movies, I stand on line minding my own business and the manager goes, 'Mr. Caan, Mr. Caan.' And I say, 'No, no, no, I'm OK. I'll stand on the line.' 'Oh, you can't.' So, finally they take you through the line and the other 40 people go, 'Hey, Mr. Bigshot.' And I was just minding my own business, I just wanted to stand there. But other people make it very important that I'm an actor. Hide
I'll see a beautiful girl walking up to me and I'll think, "Oh, my God, I can't believe my good luck Show more I'll see a beautiful girl walking up to me and I'll think, "Oh, my God, I can't believe my good luck". But then she'll say, "Where's your son?" or "My mother loves you." Hide
A "Godfather Four"? Not by Francis [Francis Ford Coppola], anyway. Who cares? There shouldn't have b Show more A "Godfather Four"? Not by Francis [Francis Ford Coppola], anyway. Who cares? There shouldn't have been a The Godfather: Part III (1990). Hide
(On turning down Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)) I was first, Dustin [Hoffman] was last on the list of fiv Show more (On turning down Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)) I was first, Dustin [Hoffman] was last on the list of five guys they wanted. The director [Robert Benton] kept it up with me for three months. I said, 'This is middle-class, bourgeois horseshit.' I mean, 'Cut to kid crying.' Oh, please. Fuck you! Hide
[on being confused with his character from The Godfather (1972)] I'll bump into a guy in a bar, and Show more [on being confused with his character from The Godfather (1972)] I'll bump into a guy in a bar, and he'll say, "I'm sorry, Sonny!" It's surreal. Hide
[about living at the Playboy mansion] Actually, it was for medicinal purposes - I was just getting d Show more [about living at the Playboy mansion] Actually, it was for medicinal purposes - I was just getting divorced. This doctor wrote me a prescription to live there because he thought it would help me get over the pain of my divorce. My God, it worked. I got over it pretty quickly. Hide
[on being voted "Italian of the Year" in New York twice, after his role as Sonny Corleone in The God Show more [on being voted "Italian of the Year" in New York twice, after his role as Sonny Corleone in The Godfather (1972)]: I'm a Jew from the Bronx. I feel guilty about accepting these awards, but they wouldn't let me turn them down. Hide
[on actors taking themselves too seriously] The truth is . . . myself, De Niro [Robert De Niro], Pac Show more [on actors taking themselves too seriously] The truth is . . . myself, De Niro [Robert De Niro], Pacino [Al Pacino], Hoffman [Dustin Hoffman], we were arrogant, pompous asses. Hide
I won't mention names, but in my career, the most talented people invariably are the easiest and nic Show more I won't mention names, but in my career, the most talented people invariably are the easiest and nicest to get along with. The ones that are difficult try to camouflage the fact that they haven't got shit to offer. So they complain about frilly things that really don't mean a shit, like their dressing rooms, makeup. Hide
James Caan's FILMOGRAPHY
as Actor (76)
James Caan James Caan'S roles
Frank Vitale
Frank Vitale

Mr. Charles Seaboldt
Mr. Charles Seaboldt

The Bamboo Cutter
The Bamboo Cutter

Tim Lockwood
Tim Lockwood

Joe Sarno
Joe Sarno

The President
The President

Walter
Walter

Eddie Sparks
Eddie Sparks

Sam Winters
Sam Winters

Frank
Frank

Santino 'Sonny' Corleone
Santino 'Sonny' Corleone

Colton
Colton

Jonathan E.
Jonathan E.

Paul Sheldon
Paul Sheldon

Jerry Haggerty
Jerry Haggerty

Leon
Leon

Tony Archer
Tony Archer

Detective Matthew Sikes
Detective Matthew Sikes

U.S. Marshal Robert Deguerin
U.S. Marshal Robert Deguerin

Mr. Henry
Mr. Henry

Mississippi
Mississippi

Brian Piccolo
Brian Piccolo

Harold Grainey
Harold Grainey

Father McNally
Father McNally

Grace's Father
Grace's Father

James Caan
James Caan

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