Paul Newman – a Situationist
Posted by The Situationist Staff on September 28, 2008
In a CNN interview of the legendary Paul Newman (1925 – 2008) by Heather McCartney, Newman answers a question about which of his many movies represents his best performance. Newman deflects the question and stresses the role of situation — the question that is “never asked.”
* * *
And if you — if you look at any given role and say, “What kind of help did you get? What was the script like? Who were your acting partners? How much did — did you have to expend? What did you have to investigate? How much did you have to expose?” All of those factors are different in every case.
And it also varies for the other people that you’re supposedly competing with. What help did they get? How good was the script? Who did they have to help them in the cast?
So you try to make, and to be considered one of the group is quite an honor. But then to pick out one and say that that was your best performance, I think you also ought to ask why. And that, of course, is the question that is never asked.
* * *
When asked why he is a philanthropist, Newman again acknowledged situation — his own and others.
Well, I think above all things I acknowledge luck. And I mean, if you think of that torrent of sperm out there…
And — and ours was lucky to fall where it did. That’s for starters. You can’t pick your own parents, but you may be lucky enough to have parents that give you the gift of induction and deduction and certain intelligence, certain way you look. I mean, it’s all — So I — I’ve been very lucky. And I — I try to acknowledge that by giving back something to those to whom luck has been brutal.
* * *
We’ll miss Paul Newman.