×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Donald Sutherland Reflects on Storied Career Ahead of Governors Award

Despite a storied career and some 180 screen credits, Donald Sutherland has never been nominated for an Academy Award. The closest he can recall being involved is he got to present one once. So he was shocked when he learned he had been selected as one of this year’s honorary Oscar recipients. But he’s been a favorite for some time, no doubt due in large part to the sense that the Academy is tardy in its recognition.

“I don’t think I’m overdue,” Sutherland says, “but certainly we’re running out of time at 82.”

The moment invites reflection on his career — a career that is still very much in progress, as his recent schedule has the professional traveling from Toronto to Los Angeles to Rome to perform at the top of his game for filmmakers including Danny Boyle and James Gray.

He’s had very few bad tastes left in his mouth over the years in this business, and listing some equally heavy-hitters with whom he’s worked is enough to conjure all sorts of anecdotes and observations on the fly.

Robert Altman (“MASH”): “I’ve not been in any film ever since where we said one thing for the master and another thing for the medium shot and something altogether different for the close-up.”

Federico Fellini (“Fellini’s Casanova”): “It was everything you could dream of — a flight into the imagination of a genius.”

Robert Towne (“Without Limits,” “Ask the Dust”): “He was wonderful in his ability to move that subjective process, writing, into the objective process, directing.”

Sometimes Sutherland’s observations are diamond-like in their precision. Robert Redford, with whom he worked on “Ordinary People,” he simply calls “perfect.” About Michael Crichton, who directed Sutherland in “The Great Train Robbery,” he says: “Cold. Ruthless.” Other times collaborators’ names might send him headlong into a dense recollection of baseball’s “Blue Monday” (Google it, though Expos fans will know), or the coma that nearly killed him on “Kelly’s Heroes.” That story in particular ends with one of the great Don Rickles jokes, though one that wouldn’t receive justice in this space.

It’s been a long journey for the young man who started out in radio and went on to become an icon. Sutherland isn’t all that familiar with the Governors Awards, but he’s looking forward to a laid-back evening of celebration alongside his fellow honorees.

“I’ve been told it’s so relaxed and it’s so easy and not disciplined by time constraints,” he says. And it’s a good thing on that last point. You could fill a whole show with Donald Sutherland.

More Film

  • Korea Box Office Weekend: ‘Default’ Wins

    Korea Box Office: ‘Default’ Wins Again, ‘Nutcracker,’ 'Mortal Engines' Fail to Excite

    Korean-made financial drama, “Default” remained on top of the South Korean box office for the second consecutive weekend. The CJ Entertainment release earned $4.95 million from 631,200 admissions between Friday and Sunday for a total of $19.9 million after two weekends on release. “Bohemian Rhapsody” also remained in second. The Fox release earned $4.79 million [...]

  • Ventana Sur: Meikincine Picks Up ‘Just

    Ventana Sur: Meikincine Takes ‘Just Love,’ ‘Super Crazy’(EXCLUSIVE)

    BUENOS AIRES — Lucia and Julia Meik’s Buenos Aires boutique sales company Meikincine has acquired international sales rights to two of the more mainstream Argentine propositions at this year’s Ventana Sur: Andy Caballero and Diego Corsini’s “Just Love,” and “Re Loca,” the Argentine remake of Chile’s “Sin Filtro.” The “Re Loca” deal is for world [...]

  • Priyanka Chopra Variety Power of Women

    Ivanhoe Pictures Boards Priyanka Chopra’s ‘The Sky is Pink’

    “Crazy Rich Asians” producer Ivanhoe Pictures has come on board Priyanka Chopra’s family drama “The Sky Is Pink.” Ivanhoe will co-invest and co-produce. Fact-based, “Pink” is written and directed by top director Shonali Bose and is based on the life of motivational speaker Aisha Chaudhury. The film is Chopra’s first in India since her U.S. [...]

  • Aquaman

    China Box Office: ‘Aquaman’ Sinks All Challengers With $94 Million Opening

    The decision to release “Aquaman” in China two weeks prior to its North American outing paid off handsomely. The DC Comics adaptation achieved a massive $94.1 million opening in three days, according to data from Asian entertainment consultancy Artisan Gateway. The early release meant that the film played against weak opposition – tired Hollywood and [...]

  • Alfonso Cuarón, Emmanuel Lubezki Discuss the

    Alfonso Cuarón Details 'Roma' Cinematography With 'Gravity' DP Emmanuel Lubezki

    As part of an overall push to bring Alfonso Cuarón’s “Roma” to awards season voters, Netflix’s “‘Roma’ Experience'” played host to guild and Academy members Sunday in Hollywood. The all-day event featured panels focused on the film’s crafts and an audio-visual installation akin to the streamer’s FYSee initiative for Emmy contenders, featuring costumes and art [...]

  • IFFAM: Erik Matti Hatches Plans for

    IFFAM: Erik Matti Hatches Plans for ‘On The Job’ Franchise

    Filipino director Erik Matti is known for his eclectic body of work that includes “Honor Thy Father” and “Seklusyon.” His 2013 effort, “On The Job” travelled widely and won several awards including two at the Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival, and was nominated for an SACD Prize at the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight. Matti is at [...]

  • Joan Chen attends the season premiere

    Joan Chen Talks Diversity in Hollywood, Welcomes #MeToo

    Chinese-American actress, writer and director Joan Chen says that she was flattered when Time magazine described her as the “Elizabeth Taylor of China.” When asked at an in-conversation event in Singapore on Saturday whether she paved the way for Chinese actresses to follow in Hollywood, Chen said, “We never go to work because we want [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content