Michael Douglas: Born actor, art collector
Actor and producer Michael Douglas has enjoyed great success creating intelligent, flawed, and likable characters. In addition to his movie star status, Douglas was well known as a film producer, winning the Oscar for Best Picture for his first outing in “Flight Over a Cuckoo’s Nest” (1975). We caught up with Michael Douglas and talked about his long career, his success and his versatility.
Daily Sabah: I would like you to go back in time to your first salary. What was it for?
Michael Douglas: My first salary was around $ 85 for an off-Broadway show. My first movie salary was paid by Steve McQueen who was the producer and it was a movie called “Adam at 6:00 am”. It’s a nice car and at the end of the movie Steve said his congratulations and he held up the keys to the car. I remember as a kid so that was my reward. He gave me this Porsche.
DS: What did you spend the $ 85 on?
MARYLAND: At the time, I shared a one-room apartment with Danny DeVito on the Upper West Side, so it was about food or alcohol. It wasn’t on the laundry (smile).
DS: Thinking back to your amazing career, Mr. Douglas, what are you investing in? I believe that you were passionate about art and that you were a collector. Do you still keep this as an investment or as a hobby?
For a while I invested in art and first loved German Expressionism. I love German expressionism and even realized in 1975 that it was really expensive. So I started having what is called the Hudson River School, American Art Movement. I collected artists like Albert Biersadt, Moran for a while and then one day I was looking at a painting on the wall and beautiful as the painting was. It was next to a window that had a great view and I found myself staring at the beautiful view so I started buying some land (laughs). I realized that I appreciate the environment and the houses much more. I’m downsizing now, so if you know of anyone who wants to buy a nice farm in Mallorca let me know (laughs).
DS: Have you invested in Wall Street all these years? Are you good at this
I thought I was. I thought I was during the tech boom of the 90s and I used to get involved. I have friends that I have known for years and from school who are investors but since then and since the 2007-2008 crisis where you can understand how quickly you can get hurt I am very conservative. I sort of hand this over to people who are more competent than I am, so I have three or four, both funds and people, investing my money.
DS: With everything going on in the world right now, how do you give your own values and your own thoughts to your children?
The best way to answer that, there are so many divisions between countries and regions, our neighbors, to imagine that my last movie “Ant Man and The Wasp” is going to be seen all over the world, it’s going to be a big one. success people will laugh in about 60 different languages and it reminds me of how wonderful and magical this business we are all involved in. The world of cinema finds films that have a common language and remind us how close we are rather than far from each other.
DS: Your co-stars on “Ant Man and The Wasp” said that when you start talking and the structure of the play starts to change. First of all, are you aware of your super power? How do you deal with this?
It’s very, very sweet. Yes, I have a few movies. I’ve been doing this for a while. I think as a producer and someone who stars in most of my photos, I know what the number 1’s responsibility is on the call sheet to create the most comfortable environment possible. Some actors try to intimidate other actors. I embrace them. I want them all to be as good as they can be because the only thing that matters is a good movie. I don’t want to be good in a bad movie, do I. When the movie is good, everyone benefits so I think if you’re a younger actor my intention is just to make them feel comfortable, quickly.
DS: When you play in an action movie there are a lot of special effects and then when you play in something like drama it changes. How do you feel as an actor? Are they both the same or do you really feel a difference?
It’s a good question. It’s the variety, it’s the mix. When they came to see me with Ant-Man, I had never made a film on a green screen. Never. All of my movies were character-driven plays and I had never done this genre before, so I couldn’t wait to do it. Obviously you know the history of Marvel, why not jump into a globally successful business? Plus, they orchestrated my time so I didn’t feel like hanging out for long periods of time. Where can I register? You know, I’m 73. I’m glad to know that people are still looking at me. But to come back to your question, I like to mix it up. It’s the variety.
DS: We talked about your job but what do you do with your free time?
Golf. Golf. Yes, I like to travel a bit, but no, I like golf. I debate, I try to convince my wife to buy a catamaran. I am curious about catamarans, sailing catamarans. Really, I’m trying to think about renting a catamaran. She’s not too addicted to the idea, I’m working on it, but golf is obviously my main passion.