I started in theatre when I was 13 or 14 years old and did a lot of theatre until my early thirties. Off-Broadway stuff - off-off-off-off-Broadway stuff - and I do love it.
One of the things I like and appreciate a lot is when somebody will come up to me and tell me how much Judge Doom terrified them as little children when he takes the shoe and puts it in the dip. They were literally scared out of their minds. I love that.
I'm somewhat of a solitary person.
There's something overwhelming about being in raw nature. It's got an aura about it is that is really kind of majestic and spiritual.
In the movie 'Star Trek 3: The Return of Spock,' I'm a really bad Klingon, and I really enjoyed playing that - somebody who's totally unscrupulous. It's like he was not genetically equipped to feel compassion or sensitivity. Just outright evil without apology.
I don't remember that I ever really went all out to come up with a costume or a persona that could compete with everyone around me. I didn't know what to do. I found Halloween scary for just that fact - it meant that I had pressure to get up and be scary, makeup and all that. That was pretty horrifying for me.
I would love to do Doc again, no question. It's tough to come up with an idea that contains the excitement of the original three. So it would be a real challenge for the writers to come up with an original 'Back to the Future' story that has the same passion and intensity and excitement as the other three. But it could be done. You never know.
Doc Brown had a feverous imagination. He was constantly coming up with new ways and solutions to various issues, and time travel was one of them. I was just very inspired by being able to portray somebody of that sort. He's a man of tremendous energy and excitement about discovery.
Uncle Fester always intrigued me. I certainly always enjoyed his kind of humor. He's just full of mischief in a kind of macabre way. I don't see anything twisted about it. It's sort of ridiculous and wacky. It's sort of fun.
I get asked a lot what the key is to creating a hit show, and I have a standard answer: Do everything right, and then get lucky 10 ways.
A sign that negotiations were handled well on both sides is that everybody probably feels a little bit like they didn't get what they wanted.
Time travel is a fantasy we all have. The 'Back to the Future' series really exploits that wish.
I don't like to repeat myself.
In point of fact, I'm not sure there are too many comedies with laugh tracks anymore. Most of what you hear is live studio audience laughing as a show is filmed. If this prompts you to wonder who those actual human beings are who are laughing at some of this stuff, that is a mystification I share.
I enjoy doing complicated or peculiar people.
We live in an era now where every episode is reviewed 80 different times on the Internet by periodicals you've never even heard of.
A picador is the guy in a bullfight who helps make sure the matador doesn't get killed by distracting the bull. That's what TV writing is. You're just distracting the bull long enough to stick around for the next set of commercials.
I sense from people that they get frustrated with me for not being out and about. But I guess I'm a shy boy.
I was a slow starter. I didn't really make any dazzling impressions. But I don't really regret that because I learned a lot along the way. I always kept busy - I found my way my way, and I'm happy about it.
I'm persistent. In the early '60s, when I first started making the rounds in New York for theater work, I became more and more enraged every time I had an interview or audition that went nowhere, and became more determined. I haven't lost that.
I don't know exactly how I end up with some of these roles. It mystifies me sometimes, but I am a fan of sci-fi. I love being taken into a strange world, and when it's told with imagination and credibility, I love being taken on that trip. I always have.
I've always been fascinated by real scientists - Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, and so many others - how they've come up with solutions to very complicated problems that nobody else can seem to figure out.
I loved doing Judge Doom in 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit.' I'm constantly running into people who saw that movie when they were kids, and it absolutely horrified them.
There is certainly a higher percentage of wit in British comedy than in American comedy. What always tickles me is the way in which people try to use their intellect to get themselves out of tricky situations but never quite manage to do so - much to their enormous embarrassment.
On 'Frasier,' a network executive once suggested that one week we have John Lithgow play Frasier and Kelsey Grammar play Lithgow's role on '3rd Rock From the Sun;' I've been deeply afraid of the idea of a crossover ever since.
I feel that I have been very fortunate and had the opportunity to play some wonderful roles and movies and worked with some great talent.
I find it difficult to work if I don't know the lines, you know, and not just knowing - they're second nature to me. Then, whatever happens in the performance when you're actually doing it, you're not going to go off. You're going to retain all of that. So I like to have my lines.
I tend to avoid things like award shows and panels and interviews, not remotely because I feel I'm above them or wish to cultivate the image of the intriguing recluse. I'm just not very good at them.
I had an attitude about some work, like television sitcoms. It was selling your soul.
A lot of things you just stumble into: relationships or ways of putting characters opposite one another that really worked. So then it's not always so much about imitating other people, but imitating yourself, at least in your thinking.
I like being busy.
I've worked a lot with kids before. They can be very, very difficult, just because they're kids.
'Hamlet' was the first movie I saw. In 1948, my mother said, 'I'm going to take you to see 'Hamlet' with Laurence Olivier.' She was worried about taking me to it because she wasn't sure I was old enough to understand it or to maybe be adversely affected by it, but I got recordings of it and memorized all the soliloquies.
'Cuckoo's Nest' was my first film, and I had wanted to do film for some time, but somehow I had not clicked. I would go in for interviews or readings, and I never had the sense that I was anywhere near what they were looking for.
I'm often asked, 'What was, for you, your greatest film experience?' And it always comes back to 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest,' aside from being a film that really handled subject matter in such a brilliant, brilliant way.
I turned down a film that was offered to me in the very early '80s, a Scorsese film. That probably wasn't a good career move.
'Cuckoo's Nest' came along, and I was cast, and that was great, but it was my first film, so I felt like I was kind of walking around on the set as Walk-On A.
Every role I get is always a challenge. I can read a script and say, 'Oh, I can do that!' and then when I start working on it, I suddenly realize that I had no idea what I was getting into. Then I have to really work hard!
I'm not too picky. I'm not waiting, sitting around for the ideal and perfect role. I like to work, so I try to make the best of whatever opportunity comes up.
Eric Stoltz was a very good actor.
I really enjoy playing villains, whether they're realistic like Switchblade Sam or whether they're a bit more over-the-top like Kruge in 'Star Trek III' or Judge Doom in 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit.' It's sort of a license just to be as bad as the script allows you to be - you can just go for it and have fun.
Some people have quick retention. I'm not one of those.
We were all such odd characters, even though we were a really functional family, in a way, as eccentric and crazy as we were. And it was such a wonderful feeling amongst us of being a family almost. We were 'The Addams Family!'
As long as I can keep remembering the lines and getting to the locations, I want to keep working as long as I can. I love it.
I guess nobody can teach you the knack, or whatever it is, that helps you come to life on stage.
I didn't know where my career was going to go. Somehow, people sensed that I have certain talents and cast me in these bizarre, off-beat roles, which I have no regret about. I've enjoyed playing every one of them.
I grew up on Charles Addams' cartoons, particularly 'The Addams Family,' and Uncle Fester was always one of my favorites.
The time and preparation before a play is something I really value, and it's something I learned in New York.
The film I had the most fun in was 'Back to the Future Part III.' It had horseback riding, and all that work, all that training, was quite an experience.
I don't know if there are too many other trilogies with stories that have continued to captivate audiences like 'Back to the Future' has.
I was just very shy. I was never anxious to do talk shows, as I didn't know what to say. And I don't feel I have any inherent interest. But as I'm getting older, I feel I want to be able to share whatever I know if it means something to someone.
In a way, theatre is still my first love.
I meet people on the street who literally chose their careers because they saw 'Back to the Future' and decided they wanted to be scientists or astronomers or engineers.
In New York theater, you always talk about wanting a great ensemble of actors.
Whether it's a very dramatic part or a comical role, I feel I need to create the same thing: a full-fledged, three-dimensional character that the audience can identify with.
I got a few speeding tickets when I was young, but I'm a little more like the turtle than the hare.
'Star Trek' came along fairly early. And I don't know what they saw in me that said Captain Kruge, because I hadn't done anything remotely like that, but it worked out.
There were a couple times with close-ups where I tended to overact. I would use more of my face than I needed to. I learned how to be more subtle.
Over the years, I have attended comic book conventions and met people that are die-hard fans; they'll come up and say, 'Clue' is my favorite movie of all time.' It has definitely resonated in some way with people and just continued to build up over the years considerably.
I had told my agents that I didn't want to do television. I can't believe I had that gall, looking back on it. I would never condescend to do TV, and then 'Taxi' called up for a guest spot in the first season. And my common sense kind of took over, I guess.
Judge Doom is such an evil cartoon! It was just such fun to do. I liked the whole mystique of it: the long cape, the glasses, and all that stuff. You grow up with horror films as a kid, and it all seemed to be embodied in that one guy.
I'm slow to pick things up. Everybody always seems to know more than I do.
I did so many interviews and auditions for films, and it was just zilch. Nothing I did impressed anybody! I could just feel it. It was always, 'Okay, thank you, Mr. Lloyd.' Then, out of the blue, 'Cuckoo's Nest' came to cast. A casting director who sent me up for different things over the years sent me up for that, and it just clicked.
I ventured into a world of sitcom, and I have no regrets. I loved it.
I love working with Bob Zemeckis. I think he's amazing and wonderful to work with.
I love watching film. I love watching stories. I watch the people in them... Even, sometimes, films that nobody else can watch - 'How could you look at that? It's lousy' - I can look at it and be totally into it.
When I started out, I didn't know if I was ever going to make a movie.
I had kind of an attitude, which was not uncommon in New York. Theater people who went to Hollywood to do sitcoms were selling out. That was the attitude. And I didn't really relish the idea of being cast in a sitcom, because I shared that attitude.
I wanted to do film. I was living in New York and working in theater, but I always wanted to do film.
I grew up near New York, and there were a lot of summer stock theaters in the area. I started an apprenticing with some of the theaters. Not really acting in them - I did everything else: everything but act.
I'm kind of lethargic in real life.
The outburst of sexual freedom in the '60s was bound to happen because the '50s were so oppressing. You had to live that way; women had to be like this - it was all locked into a false reality.
It was 1976, and I was acting off-Broadway with a pair of Canadians: Victor Garber and Gale Garnett. The play was called 'Cracks,' and Martin Sherman, the man who wrote it, went on a few years later to have a giant hit with 'Bent.' But not this time around. Opening night was a disaster.
I don't worry too much about typecasting. I just figure, one way or another, I'm going to find another role.
When I go to Comic-Cons and people line up for autographs, so many people have a story about how they are moved, how they get tearful about what 'Back To The Future' meant to them.
The film 'Back to the Future' certainly did a lot to put me where I am today, and I did not foresee that. I just was hoping the film would open successfully, the first one, but it's gone way beyond what I think most of us have imagined.
I like television, but there's not as much freedom as there is in film or theatre, and I always felt that there is a certain pressure in being able to put out a product, but it's OK.
I'll run into somebody, and of all the movies I've done, they may say something about 'Back to the Future' or whatever, but then they make reference to 'Clue' very favorably.
The seas are rising, and millions of people are going to be affected by that - and already are. We have to make sure there's enough food, water, and air.
When I come onto a show where I haven't met any actors, I try to zero in on the script and what's expected of the character I'm going to play and hopefully keep my focus on that, and friendships develop from that.