MY INTERVIEW WITH ‘INVASION’S’ KEVIN McCARTHY

This being the birthday of the late, great Don Siegel (1912-1991), I thought it a perfect opportunity to post my interview with Kevin McCarthy (1914-2010), the star of his most famous film, Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Yes, Siegel did indeed direct Lee Marvin in The Killers, but that was pretty well covered in Lee Marvin Point Blank via my exclusive interviews with Norman Fell, Clu Gulager, Angie Dickinson and Bob Phillips. Siegel’s collaborations with Clint Eastwood may be popular, but to my mind, and many film geeks like me, Invasion was his best work. Besides, this time of the year, it certainly makes more sense to post about that film than say, Dirty Harry.
My 1999 Filmfax interview with McCarthy was no small coup as publisher Mike Stein said they had been trying to get him for years. I lucked out meeting MCarthy at a trade show in which he was hawking his new book at the time in tribute to Invasion (see inside cover below), aptly titled “They’re Here!”

McCarthy's inscription for my copy of his book reads, "To Dwayne Epstein - 'Sleep No More!' Like They're Coming! But they are skipping the fearful Epsteins!"

McCarthy’s inscription for my copy of his book reads, “To Dwayne Epstein – ‘Sleep No More!’ Like They’re Coming! But they are skipping the fearful Epsteins!”

The stars were aligned when he agreed to sit down with me a few weeks later at Musso & Franks. McCarthy was understandably wary of the interview at first, having been burned in the past. He was specific in citing writer Patricia Bosworth in her bio of McCarthy’s best friend, Montgomery Clift. According to McCarthy, she had misquoted him so badly, he vowed to never be interviewed again unless he could have approval of the content before publication. I rarely agree to such conditions but figured it was worth it. My one condition was that seeing how long and varied his career had been, no subject was off limits. The resulting article and accompanying rare photos proved so liked by the publisher, he commissioned artist Harley Brown to render the cover…my first cover article! Enjoy….

Artist Harley Brown's impressive cover image for my Kevin McCarthy interview.

Artist Harley Brown’s impressive cover image for my Kevin McCarthy interview.

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INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS’ KEVIN MCCARTHY

In honor of the Academy of Motion Pictures screening on May 22nd of the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), I’ve decided to post the interview I did with the film’s star, Kevin McCarthy for Filmfax Magazine back in 2000. I’ve always maintained that the best part of my job is being able to write about people who’s work I admire, about the work I admire. Below is a prime example.
I interviewed McCarthy on assignment as publisher Mike Stein said he’d been trying to get McCarthy for quite some time. The wily old MCarthy was not an easy subject as he had some conditions I had to abide by that I normally would have NOT agreed to. He said the interview he gave to author Patrciia Bosworth for her bio on McCarthy’s great friend, Montgomery Clift, was so badly mangled he would not do another interview unless he could proof it first. Relucantly, I agreed (for the last time, by the way). And so, in two sessions at Musso & Franks, as the then 90 year old McCarthy flirted with all waitresses, I conducted the interview you see below. He passed in 2010 at the rip old age of 96 so I was extremey glad to be able to get him on record about his amazing life and career. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did and Rest in Peace, Mr. McCarthy……

Cover of Filmfax, Feb 200

Cover of Filmfax, Feb 2000

 

 

 

 

 

 

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