In an entertaining and very frank interview with Christina Radish over at IESB, the great Richard Dreyfuss (still one of my favourites - I can't tell you how many times I've watched "Once Around" or "Stakeout" or "Moon Over Parador", and don't even get me started on "Jaws" and "Close Encounters"!) talked a little about what it took for him to reprise one of his best-known roles for the Weinstein's "Piranha 3D".
''I play Matt Hooper. I play the older Matt Hooper, who escaped being eaten by the shark and is now eaten by a bunch of piranha fish'', Dreyfuss confirms. (Hooper, of course, was the hero of Steven Spielberg's "Jaws").
''I had said no because I didn't want to make fun of my own career. I was on the phone with Bob Weinstein and he said, "We can give you a lot more money," and I told him what I was involved in. I described to him about bringing civics back, so that people understood their own civic authority. If we're bound only by ideas and don't teach them, we're not bound. And, he interrupted and said, "If it hadn't already been written, I would have said, 'You had me at civics.'" He wrote a big check to the initiative, and I said, "Okay, I'll do the film," and their names are going to be on the bottom of the website, permanently.
Dreyfuss, who next appears in the Bruce Willis/Morgan Freeman actioner "Red" (In which he plays "The political cabinet member villain. Apparently, that's what I do, nowadays."), says it's hard to find roles that challenge him these days.
''Hollywood is so fucking corrupt that people would answer that question lying, like it's some kind of honorable thing. But, the fact is that, for everything, there's a season. I am not the person I was, I'm not the star I was, I'm not offered the roles I was and I'm not offered the salary that I was, so I take less parts and less salaries and there's no love affair going on. So, making a movie now comes a clear second to the civic initiative that I'm involved in. It's like a spiral downward because the less you do, it gets less and less. The liberation of it is that I really don't give a shit about what people think of me, so the people that you suck up to for 35 years, you no longer have to suck up to.''
Of his recent films, Dreyfuss cites "Poseidon" ("[it] was a piece of crap") and "W" ("I looked forward to playing [Dick] Cheney (in W), until I met Oliver [Stone]. Then, I looked forward to humiliating Oliver, as much as I could") as two films he'd love to expunge from his IMDB filmography.