James Caan was a true Hollywood icon, having collaborated with some of the greatest American auteurs – ranging from Howard Hawks to Francis Ford Coppola. Through unforgettable performances in iconic masterpieces like The Godfather and Michael Mann’s Thief, Caan established himself as one of the biggest talents in the industry.
The tragic news of Caan’s death has rocked many fans and colleagues, with many tributes still being posted on social media. Icons such as Al Pacino, Coppola, Rob Reiner and more paid their respects to the revered acting legend who passed away on Wednesday, July 6th, in Los Angeles at the age of 82.
A prolific actor, Caan continued to appear in productions throughout his life and maintained a steady output in recent years as well. After starring in the 2018 crime drama Out of Blue, he also appeared in a romantic comedy last year titled Queen Bees which would eventually become the final role of his film career.
Like many great actors, Caan was often apprehensive about appearing for interviews and one great exchange happened when he agreed to sit down for a conversation with Playboy. After being asked about things such as his reputation for toxic masculinity and his spending habits, Caan got annoyed and decided to attack the interviewer.
When the journalist questioned Caan about his unwillingness to do interviews, the actor responded: “That shouldn’t come as a surprise, with schmucks like you to work with. No offence. As my friend Mel Brooks said in his Playboy Interview – to another one of you assholes. Oops – there I go again. Sorry.”
To explain himself, Caan provided a hilarious anecdote: “You’re really not as bad as this guy who did an awful – I mean, an unbelievably stupid – interview with me a year ago. At the end, trying to be cute, he said, ‘What’s the dumbest question you’ve ever been asked in an interview?’ I thought for a second and said, ‘That’s it.'”
It definitely gets better since the interviewer tried to salvage the feature by reassuring Caan that he had no reason to be doubtful about this particular conversation. Offended by the interviewer’s condescending comment about how well Caan was doing as an interviewee, the actor hit back: “No thanks to you, shitface.”
Read some of the excerpts below.