These days, celebrities only talk sh-t about other celebrities maybe once a year. Sometimes, it’s some older actor or musical legend who wants to blast all of his or her contemporaries or the younger people. Sometimes, it’s someone too stupid to understand that they’re hurting their career by talking sh-t. And sometimes, it’s just someone who doesn’t give a f–k. That’s what we have here. Stephen Dorff was once considered one of the most promising talents of his generation, a generation which included Leonardo DiCaprio, Matthew McConaughey, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Mark Wahlberg, etc. Dorff had that watchable bad-boy quality on-screen, and he was legitimately a good actor. Now he’s… more like on a friendly side of “has-been.” He still works, and that’s why he gave this interview to the Independent – he’s promoting a movie called Embattled, plus I guess the UK is only now getting the third season of True Detective? But in general, his CV is littered with WTFery and odd career moments. But that’s on purpose, according to Dorff. Because God help him if he had to spend time on some movie like Black Widow. Some highlights from this interview:
On this year’s Oscars: “This year’s Oscars were the most embarrassing thing I’ve ever seen. My business is becoming a big game show. You have actors that don’t have a clue what they’re doing. You have filmmakers that don’t have a clue what they’re doing. We’re all in these little boxes on these streamers. TV, film – it’s all one big clusterf**k of content now.”
Black Widow is embarrassing: “I still hunt out the good s**t because I don’t want to be in Black Widow. It looks like garbage to me. It looks like a bad video game. I’m embarrassed for those people. I’m embarrassed for Scarlett! I’m sure she got paid five, seven million bucks, but I’m embarrassed for her. I don’t want to be in those movies. I really don’t. I’ll find that kid director that’s gonna be the next Kubrick and I’ll act for him instead.”
He’s 47 and free: “I don’t have a family yet and I don’t have five ex-wives that I have to pay for. I pretty much still only have me to deal with.”
His weird CV: “I don’t like playing things too safe. To me, Hollywood’s always too safe. When I’ve needed money, sure, I’ve done a couple of weeks on a movie that I didn’t wanna do. See, I like money too, because I like to buy things and I like art and real estate.”
He said no to other projects to work with John Waters: He remembers his agents wanting him to do “some sh*tty movie” he doesn’t remember, and choosing to do Cecil B DeMented instead. “Why wouldn’t I do a John Waters movie? The other movie sucks! They’re like, well, it’s not gonna do anything for your career or money-wise. But I’m gonna go to Cannes and we’re gonna have a standing ovation, and kids around the world, art students and John Waters fans are going to worship this f**king movie, which they do to this day. Why wouldn’t I do that? So I fired those agents.”
Most people think he’s closest to his Somewhere character in real life: “I think most of the films that I do tend to be edgier. But Sofia [Coppola] saw something in me. Look, I’m not – in my personal life, I’m pretty funny, and I’m pretty light. I don’t walk around like some of my dramatic actor friends. They seem tortured all the time – I don’t! I’m not gonna sit here and say how sweet I am, but I’ve always felt like I’m pretty genuine. I’m not a bulls***ter. I’ve never really been a fan of that. I can read people in two minutes, whether I like them, or if I think they’re smart or I think they’re f***ing idiots. I have a very good radar for that.”
Loss: His recent run of strong roles – Embattled, the acclaimed third season of True Detective and the experimental country music drama Wheeler – all came about on the heels of the death of his brother, songwriter Andrew Dorff. “I get all these gifts after I lose people and it kind of sucks,” he says, as if he’s still confused by the timings of it all. “I was in a terrible place when I lost my little brother. I didn’t really want to act any more. But then all these nice things started happening. I don’t know if that’s because of the gods or what.”
I’m sure some people will be like “if an actress did this, she wouldn’t have a career anymore!” Maybe/probably. But I’ll ask: do you think that Dorff would be saying any of this if he really gave a sh-t about “not pissing off Kevin Feige” or “not pissing off Steven Spielberg”? Dorff DGAF. Dorff isn’t going to issue a statement in a few days saying that he was misunderstood or misquoted. He talked sh-t with his whole chest! And I do appreciate that. Perhaps because I agree with him on most stuff – the Oscars this year suuuuucked. And Black Widow looks like a dumb video game. Also: he tried doing an episodic network drama last year on Fox’s Deputy, but it was cancelled. He has no corporate overlord at the moment! He is free to talk sh-t.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.