No matter how well we might prepare for an interview with an actor or filmmaker, no matter how thoughtful we think the questions are that we've assembled, there's always a possibility that all of that work will go out the window, simply because the interviewee does his or her job rather than thinks about it. Notwithstanding the possibility that there are some creative types who manage not to think much about anything, film critics and journalists (at least one of them) have a tendency to overthink the artistic process that their subjects intuitively embrace. As a result, the interview process becomes a push-pull of thoughts versus feelings, deconstruction versus submission, and all of that careful planning ends up being for nothing, if not doing more harm than good.
Alan Arkin has worked for over 50 years in Hollywood, with so many of the industry's greatest performers, and has played a range of roles that would seem to require a discipline and analysis that, well, only maybe a film critic or journalist would apply. As Cinematical recently discovered, however, Arkin is nothing if not an intuitive performer, tackling our questions with charm and cantankerousness as we drilled him about the finer point of playing Herb Lee, the husband-father figure for the title character in The Private Lives of Pippa Lee. In addition to letting us know that we probably think too much about the acting process, he pointed out the needs and demands of acting for performers who know what they're doing, and reflected on a few of the films that he felt were most rewarding for him.