I lived in Bel Air for quite a long time. If you have a party and someone asks how to get to my house, I just say, "Buy a map." It's unbelievable how people would literally get out of their cars or stop the tour bus and call out, "Do you mind if we come in and look around?"
Like it was the Gene Autry Museum! I hated that part of it. Just getting out of the driveway was hard. Clint Eastwood is the only star you can't find on a tourist map. He doesn't even have people to his house.
I've known Clint Eastwood for some years. First time I went to his house was for Thanksgiving dinner. There was a young gentleman there about my age, and I asked him how long he'd known Clint. "I've known Clint since kindergarten. How long have you
known him?" I said, "Fifteen years." He came back, "Boy, nobody's ever gotten to the
house that quick!"
I don't know where Mr. Eastwood lives now. I know he's got a house somewhere. But he sure has a sense of privacy that I envy.
Having power corrupts, yes. I remember when the studio gave me a bodyguard and I said, "Who needs a bodyguard?" But they prevailed, and here was this guy constantly coming up to me, putting my jacket on me. I'd say, "Stop that!" because it was embarrassing.
This went on for about six months, and then one day I caught myself saying, "Where the hell's my jacket?" It just came out of my mouth.
As long as I can remember there have always been two things about this business – one
that I love and one that I hate. The thing I love is that if you're black or gay or yellow you can excel if you have what it takes. The thing I've always hated is the class system. Bit players don't go to lunch with extras. Extras don't go to lunch with Stars. Stars don't go
to lunch with ...
It's something I never paid any attention to. I sit with whomever I want to I tried to break those rules, but they still exist.
I have no friends. I brought a parrot home and it told me to get out. The FBI could send a Wanted poster out on me and no one would come to my door.
People I had practically started in the business not only weren't calling me, they weren't even answering my calls. But it was all part of becoming an adult in this business. I was particularly disappointed by the ones I thought were my friends. I mistakenly believed that because I was invited to their house for dinner, knew the wife and the children, and had gone on vacation together, we were friends.
But you see, when they put your picture on their wall, what you don't realize is on the back is Kevin Costner's picture. They just flip it over.
Well I certainly could have behaved better. In those days I was rather young. Some people take a long time to grow up, and I'm the first to admit it. I was about forty-eight before I stopped driving at a hundred and sixty miles an hour. At parties I was still diving off buildings into swimming pools, fighting anyone ready for a fight.
Some of the things I am quoted as having said — I read them now, and ask myself, "Who is this guy? What an ass!" Maybe at one time I was arrogant. I spoke my mind, but I still do. You gave me a wonderful compliment, and I wasn't very gracious. For that apologize.
One of my professional problems is I got too good at looking effortless in my work. A lot of people assume I'm just having a good time, but I am really working hard at making chicken salad out of chicken something.
You know, Carry Grant made it look simple, too. I loved the guy. When he finally got an honorary Oscar, I can't tell you how much it meant to him. He showed it to me twenty five times. He was like a little boy, thrilled to death. I want to be like him.