Bankrate: Along the way, you've worked with some very big directors: Alan
Parker in "Midnight Express," Walter Hill in "Long Riders," John Hughes in National Lampoon. What do you think you bring
to the table that directors seek you out for their films?
Randy Quaid: Well, I'm a pretty good actor, I guess. The more I'm in this
business, the more I appreciate my talent, and the talents of other really good actors because there are a lot of good
people who act, but there are very few who are really able to go deep within themselves and reveal themselves through
the role. That's something I've always strived to do. I don't always have the material to do that.
Bankrate: In the last few years, you've done some important movies in supporting
roles, such as Ang Lee's "Brokeback Mountain" and Harold Ramis' "The Ice Harvest." Are you secure enough now that you can do smaller
roles with a huge impact, rather than a larger role in a lesser quality film?
Randy Quaid: Lately I've been looking to work with really good directors
because that's something I started out doing early on in my career and then things happen. I got away from doing work
maybe that you shouldn't be doing, but everyone has clunkers ... I have bills to pay, college tuition to pay. You have to
work concessions in life, but for the last three or four years I've been focusing on working with really good directors
again and finding parts that are really challenging to me. I've done "Goya's Ghosts" with Milos Forman and I play the
King of Spain, which is a different role for me.
Bankrate: What movie got away from you?
Randy Quaid: Years ago, I wanted to play Buddy Holly, and Gary Busey
got that part.
Bankrate: You would have been a great Buddy Holly.
Randy Quaid: He was already an established musician and I was just
fumbling along, but I thought maybe I looked the part. Gosh, there are a lot of things I don't get. For the last
few years, I've been in a really good place creatively and acting is something I took for granted. Now I really
appreciate it more. It's something that I want to get better at and I want to get as good as I can.
Bankrate: Maybe acting before was just a job while now it has turned
into a passion.
Randy Quaid: Yeah, it started out as my passion. Then the business side
of it all kind of got between me, as an artist, and creativity. The business side of acting can really be a difficult
one and you lose sight of what you got into the whole thing for. Now I think I really strive to be more creative.
Bankrate: In "Bloodhounds of Broadway," you met your wife Evi, so certainly
this was a pivotal time in your life. Can you cite a few other turning points in your life where art intersected life
or vice versa?
Randy Quaid: I have to say when I met Peter Bogdanovich and he cast me
in "The Last Picture Show." I think going into the drama room in high school. I just went in it because the room was
air-conditioned (laughs). In Houston, starting school in September always meant hot and humid with no air conditioning
in school. The only other places in school that had A/C were the principal's office or the chorus room. I didn't want
to be close to the principal and didn't have an affinity for chorus, so I got in the drama room and something clicked