Count Jon Voight among the many who are appalled by David Letterman’s tacky sex jokes last week about former Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s daughter. “It’s disgusting…the lowest kind of behavior,” says Voight of the lines (including, “One awkward moment for Sarah Palin at the Yankee game — during the seventh inning stretch, her daughter was knocked up by Alex Rodriguez.”)
“David Letterman is an icon. I thought he had a little higher ethical understanding, but he’s right there in the mud,” blasts Jon.
Letterman vs. Palin is just one of the matters that has the Oscar-winning actor feeling outrage these days – as those who heard or read his attack on President Obama as a “false prophet” at a Republican fund-raiser last week are aware. He admits he’s had complaint calls about his statements.
However, he says, “I’ve received many more calls saying thank-you. I feel we all have to wake up. It’s no time to be thinking in a selfish vein. Look, no one is firing weapons at me like our guys in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq have to contend with. If I lose a job or two, it’s not like the millions of people losing jobs in this economy.”
Voight has thus far continued to stay busy before the cameras – in last season’s “24” for instance — despite his vociferously expressed views that run counter to the majority in Hollywood. In fact, he blames Hollywood for “the vilification of George Bush that had so much to do with Obama’s success.” Now, he figures, opponents will be trying “to paint me as a nut or find other ways to deflect me.”
Is he thinking of going into politics full-time?
“I’m still an actor and going to do my work as an actor, but I’m not going to be silent and I don’t want anybody else to be silent. People are holding to a very extreme left wing agenda and putting their money into it. The spending that’s going on — there’s almost no word for it. We’re putting our grandchildren into a great burden of debt, and people are allowing [this administration] to make all their decisions for them. These are very, very serious times for all Americans.”
Right now, “I don’ t know exactly what I’m going to do next,” he says. “I’m taking a couple of days now to see. I’m going to get some rest and exercise. I have to make some decisions about work and stuff like that.”
MEANWHILE: Between hurling and dodging brickbats, Voight is taking satisfaction in the fact that his “Lookin’ to Get Out” comedy of 1982 (which he co-wrote) is about to about to be re-released on DVD June 20 – in director Hal Ashby’s cut for the first time. “This film was never seen the way it was supposed to be seen. It was a crippled version of what it was supposed to be,” Voight says. Referring to the filmmaker whose credits include such memorable fare as “Harold and Maude” “Being There” and “Bound For Glory,” he says, “Hal never had a chance to do this film his way. He was working on three films at the same time back then, he had a lot of distractions.” And when the studio insisted on 15 minutes of cuts at the last minute, “He walked away.”
Voight, who won his Oscar for Ashby’s “Coming Home,” found out decades after Ashby’s death in ’88 that he had completed his own cut of the film and given it to the UCLA archive. It’s that version coming out this month.
THE VIDEOLAND VIEW: Just because “a third of the country wouldn’t air it” and “Fox doesn’t want to be associated with what we want to represent” don’t count out “Osbournes: Reloaded.” That’s the word from Sharon Osbourne, who points out that even though banned far and wide for what some stations termed “inappropriate content and profanity,” the variety show “still got 10,200,000 viewers. I would be worried if it hadn’t drawn so many people. We’ve still got five great shows in the can… What one channel doesn’t want, another does,” she says. So, where might “Osbournes: Reloaded” land? Comedy Central? “You’re very clever because that’s where we ant to go,” she says. As they say, stay tuned.
CASTING CORNER: Casting forces for filmmaker Ed Zwick have been talking to candidates to play the father of Jake Gyllenhaal in Zwick’s “Love and Other Drugs” film also starring Anne Hathaway. The ideal actor should be between 55 and 60 years old and it couldn’t hurt if he has gorgeous blue-green eyes with long lashes like Jake’s. But anyway, the character is a doctor who disapproves of his son’s career as a pharmaceutical sales guy. Also being cast for the flick, which rolls in September, are his younger bother and mom.
With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster