AFTER SIX DECADES IN THE BUSINESS, “THE GODFATHER” AND “BRIAN’S SONG” ACTOR JAMES CAAN WANTS TO KEEP WORKING, HE TELLS “CBS SUNDAY MORNING”
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Actor James Caan has starred in some of the biggest films of his era, including “The Godfather,” “Brian’s Song” and “Elf.” Even now, after six decades in the business, Caan says he still wants to work and enjoys the respect in an interview with Ben Mankiewicz for CBS SUNDAY MORNING to be broadcast July 11 (9:00 AM ET) on the CBS Television Network.
“Pumps you up, man. I like it. I get respect, whatever I do, I want a little respect,” Caan tells Mankiewicz. “I play ball, I want respect, you know? That’s all.”
Caan has made a career of inhabiting memorable roles. He was Sonny, Don Corleone’s hothead son in “The Godfather,” a dying football player in “Brian’s Song,” and a novelist held captive in “Misery.”
“I fought always never to be the same person,” Caan says. “I wanted never to be the same person. I mean the fun of being an actor is being somebody else for three months, you know?”
Playing Sonny opposite Marlon Brando wasn’t easy. Caan says his inspiration for the character was a friend.
“And I was thinking of my friend Don Rickles. I told everybody, you know, and I started laughing like Don Rickles,” Caan says.
Caan talks with Mankiewicz about growing up in Queens, New York, life lessons he learned on the streets, and his move into acting. He opens up about his battle with cocaine following the death of his sister and how he stepped away from Hollywood for a while. He also talks about how his friend director Rob Reiner in 1989 convinced him to star in “Misery,” based on the Stephen King story.
Caan, 81, has no thoughts of slowing down.
“I can’t take it easy,” he says. “What’s – to me, I enjoy working, I love to work with good people. I have more fun when I’m working, because I get to know new people, and mostly good people, you know? Really good – always in some, you know, some things there’s a couple of people you meet, and there’s a lot – I have a lot of laughs and I get respect, too, sometimes.”
CBS SUNDAY MORNING is broadcast Sundays (9:00-10:30 AM, ET) on the CBS Television Network. Rand Morrison is the executive producer.
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