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Quote Machine: Udo Kier Edition

Sometimes an interview is so good, we have to do this. Please enjoy this special installment of Quote Machine, courtesy of the A.V. Club's extraordinary interview with German Actor Udo Kier.

"So I got a call, and they said, 'Would you be interested in making a movie with Pamela Anderson?' I said, 'Of cou-u-urse! Any time … ' I went to the director and I said, 'I don’t want too many directions on how to act with her. Can I just smell her in the film? Doesn’t matter how far from me, let me just go like [sniffs deeply].' I smell her from far or from close."—Udo Kier on Barb Wire [A.V. Club]

"Then I went to a party and I met Gus Van Sant. He came to me and he said, 'You know, you are one of my favorite actors. I’m making a movie with River Phoenix and Keanu Reeves, and I would like that you play, if you like, Hans.' Of course, if you’re German, your name in films is always Hans. Simple...So I came to Idaho, and I was sitting in a restaurant with Keanu Reeves and River Phoenix, and Gus introduced me, and River was amazing. He said, 'Hans, sit next to me!' And Keanu didn’t understand anything."—Udo Kier on My Own Private Idaho [A.V. Club]

“I’ll tell you what a friendship is to me. Friendship to me is, if my friends need my little finger to live, I’m going to have it cut off. I’m going to the hospital, they cut off my finger, and maybe I have a gold finger instead, and I become famous. But I still give it to my friend.”—Udo Kier on his relationship with Lars von Trier [A.V. Club]

"I went to the festival director and I said, 'There’s one person I would like to talk to, the person who made that film, Element Of Crime.' 'Oh yes, Udo, we can arrange that, no problem.' And I expected somebody like Kubrick or Fassbinder, all dressed in black and, like Fassbinder, touching their dick all the time, and greasy hair, and an intellectual image of 'I give a fuck.' And then came a young boy in a sweater, and it was Lars von Trier."—Udo Kier on what Fassbinder was usually doing with his hands [A.V. Club]

"The first day of shooting came, and of course I was nervous. I would lie if I said I wasn’t impressed. I mean, Lars von Trier hiring me to be the king in Medea … Lars said, 'Stop! Stop!' And I was so nervous, I turned around and said, 'What is it?' He said, '...Just be a tired king.' And that’s the only direction I ever got in 20 years. Other films I did with Lars — Dancer In The Dark, Breaking The Waves — I never, never asked him for direction, because I never forgot what he said to me: 'Be a tired king.' It always works."—Udo Kier on Lars von Trier's directing methods [A.V. Club]

"I went to an audition [for Blade], which I hate. Audition is the worst thing. It’s like cleaning furniture in a department store. Anyway, I was sitting in the corridor, and there were people up for the same part as me, and I heard through the glass door [bellowing Master Thespian voice], 'I was born like a vampire!' And I thought to myself, 'Oh my god, I better leave. Could I go to the store and buy an ice cream? And maybe I’ll buy a chair from Eames. Maybe I’ll make myself happy.'"—Udo Kier on getting cast in [A.V. Club]

"Werner Herzog, I knew him for so many years, when Fassbinder was at his highest moment. But we had a rule: An actor from Fassbinder could never work with an actor of Werner Herzog or Wim Wenders. Because if we would have done that, we would have been spies. 'Ah, you worked with Werner — how was it? How did he direct you?' I was Fassbinder’s actor."—Udo Kier on Fassbinder's propensity to gossip [A.V. Club]

"My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done was a compromise, because I had a contract with [Alejandro] Jodorowsky for a lot of money to do a film called King Shot, with Asia Argento, Jeff Bridges, and Marilyn Manson! Hello Marilyn, I love you! I thought the cast was amazing. Marilyn Manson, Jeff Bridges, Asia Argento, Udo Kier, in a film being gangsters under the sea. And somehow, I don’t know what happened …."—Udo Kier on a movie about "gangsters under the sea" [A.V. Club]

Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images