By Ray Pride

The Ever-Great Donald Sutherland to Miriam Bale

I was happy to see in your recent honorary Oscar acceptance speech that you thanked Renata Adler. Which was a little bit of a surprise. So I looked up her 1968 review of Joanna where she mentions you. Tell me why you thanked her.
Oh, do you suppose she knows about it?

I don’t know if she knows. Let’s let her know. Maybe she’ll know from this.
Forever, I’ve always had in my head, if I was ever awarded an Oscar, I would thank Ingo Preminger, Robert Aldrich, Brian Hutton and Renata Adler. It was so important to me, that review. When I walked down the hall to go see my agent they all said, “Hey what’d you do? Renata blah blah…” They just thought it was dumb that she would say those things about me, because they didn’t have much hope for my future. And it gave me a great sense of purpose.

Do you remember some of the highlights that she said about you?
[Laughs, then lisps.] She said I had a lisp!

She also said you were an attractive gopher.
Exactly. Gene Siskel … Do you know who Gene Siskel is? Well in 1980, 1981 maybe, he had done this long interview with me. Then he said, “I’m going to get married next month.” I said congratulations. He said, “Can you answer a question for me?” And I said, “Well, I’ll try.” He said, “My fiancée finds you attractive. Why?”
~ The Ever-Great Donald Sutherland to Miriam Bale

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“I think [technology has[ its made my life faster, it’s made the ability to succeed easier. But has that made my life better? Is it better now than it was in the eighties or seventies? I don’t think we are happier. Maybe because I’m 55, I really am asking these questions… I really want to do meaningful things! This is also the time that I really want to focus on directing. I think that I will act less and less. I’ve been doing it for 52 years. It’s a long time to do one thing and I feel like there are a lot of stories that I got out of my system that I don’t need to tell anymore. I don’t need to ever do The Accused again! That is never going to happen again! You hit these milestones as an actor, and then you say, ‘Now what? Now what do I have to say?'”
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~ Richard Rushfield