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  • - But yeah, I had braces, I was in the background.

  • I think we were smoking and drinking on a street corner

  • and that was my first film experience.

  • [upbeat music]

  • - What exactly do you do for a living?

  • - Cleaner.

  • - You mean you're a hitman?

  • [gun firing]

  • Cool.

  • The Professional which came out in 1994,

  • it was the first film I made.

  • I was 11 when I started, I turned 12 while we were shooting.

  • It was so exciting, of course, my first time being on a set

  • and getting to act with incredible actors

  • like John Reno and Gary Oldman.

  • And on set too,

  • I think I remember the playing more than anything.

  • Everything felt like a game to me

  • and it was a really fun way to get to go in to acting.

  • - I own that car, I own everything you got.

  • - Shut up, shut up.

  • - You can't do it by yourself.

  • - Imma take you in take down right now.

  • It was my first audition ever.

  • Never did anything before that

  • and it was a show called Battle Dome.

  • I went, did a great job, went back home

  • and six months later I was still workin'.

  • Nobody called me.

  • There was a call back

  • six months after I did the first audition.

  • Low and behold they called me back for another call back.

  • I got back to this call back,

  • this time I try it again, I do all my stuff

  • and then three months later,

  • nine months after my first audition,

  • they call me in and give me the job.

  • It's a TV show called Battle Dome

  • and what it was was like American Gladiators on steroids.

  • It was a sports show, game show.

  • The contestants would come on the show

  • and we would basically

  • beat the living day lights out of 'em.

  • There's been nothing like it ever since

  • because I got sued three times.

  • - Lookin' for trouble?

  • - [Teen Boy] Shouldn't you be in bed Shuster?

  • - Don't think you're gonna bum any beer off of us either.

  • - Yeah, get your own.

  • - I was living in Michigan and had already discovered

  • my love of theater and music and acting

  • so I was auditioning for anything I could get my hands on

  • and this movie called the Polish Wedding came

  • and shot in Detroit with Claire Danes and Gabriel Byrne

  • and I was cast as Disgruntled Teenager Number One

  • and I was very nervous but I was also incredibly excited

  • and tried to keep my cool,

  • 'cause at that time and still,

  • Claire Danes is just so worship worthy.

  • She's just such an incredible force

  • but I tried to play it really chill.

  • - Paging Mr. Alice.

  • - [Mr. Alice] Boy.

  • - First film I ever did was Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round.

  • I played a bell boy.

  • Paging Mr. Alice, paging Mr. Alice.

  • Those are the entirety of my lines.

  • No explanations required.

  • - You need somebody to back you up.

  • It's called corroborating evidence.

  • - Look I'm gonna go through with this.

  • I played a very important supportive role

  • as I think a cheerleader

  • and actually the thing I remember most about it

  • is that that production was the job that got me my SAG card

  • so I was officially in the union thanks to ABC.

  • Little did I know that many years later

  • I'd spend seven seasons on ABC doing all the things

  • they tell you not to do in after school specials.

  • [laughing]

  • - You don't accept any responsibility whatsoever

  • for your brother's death, do you?

  • - If you're so good at asking questions, ask Martin.

  • You'll get more out of him than me.

  • Can I go yet?

  • Every actor that came out of drama school

  • was either on the Bill or Casualty or both.

  • And it was kind of like

  • it was extended drama school for people.

  • It was my first time in front of a camera

  • and I think it probably shows.

  • I have that slight deer in the headlights thing, I think.

  • - Damn it was a dumb thing to do.

  • - What's goin' on out here?

  • - My first listed role is White Lightning.

  • I was I believe five at the time

  • and my mother was in the film along with Burt Reynolds

  • and other amazing cast of actors

  • and they had dressed me to do a background walk by

  • but I, because of trauma, forced myself into the movie

  • because I watching and a man comes toward my mother

  • holding a shotgun and I panicked and started running

  • and grabbed her leg to protect her

  • so it's a devastating story.

  • I got my start in pictures by being traumatized

  • and trying to protect my mother.

  • [laughing] You're welcome.

  • - Who can tell me what this is, anybody know?

  • - Is it a semi automatic assault weapon?

  • [audience laughing]

  • - No.

  • - The first time I'd ever done anything on TV

  • was Saturday Night Live

  • which feels like something people do many, many years in.

  • Basically I'd just moved to New York, I was doing open mics

  • and I met this guy who was a writer for SNL

  • and they needed a brown guy for a sketch

  • and he just contact me and he said,

  • "Hey, do you wanna be on Saturday Night Live?"

  • and I was like, "What do you mean?"

  • And he said, "We have a sketch and you'd have some lines,"

  • and I said, "Okay."

  • I was very, very scared.

  • I had three lines and one of 'em didn't go great

  • and so they cut that line

  • so then when we actually did it I had two lines.

  • I was extremely nervous but it went well.

  • That was my first credit

  • and then I wasn't on Saturday Night Live for 11, 12 years.

  • It took 11, 12 years to come back there.

  • [crowd yelling]

  • - Speak English.

  • - He's hurt.

  • - My first IMDB credit is Heaven's Gate

  • but that was a very particular situation.

  • Someone said, "You know they're making this movie

  • "and it's Michael Cimino."

  • And the Deer Hunter came out, I had seen it,

  • I thought it was great.

  • "And they're looking for ethnic faces."

  • The audition was you did one monologue in English

  • and then you did in anther language

  • so I had a friend of mine,

  • phonetically write out a speech in Dutch.

  • They just assumed I was fluent in Dutch

  • so when I got there, Cimino asks me to improvise in a scene,

  • talks me through the whole scene

  • and he says, "Okay and then Dutch."

  • And I'm like, "I don't speak Dutch."

  • "What?

  • "You don't speak Dutch?"

  • [laughing]

  • I was in lighting set up and someone told me a joke

  • and Cimino heard me laugh and he turned around

  • and he said, "Wilhem, step out."

  • And that was it, I was fired from that,

  • so I don't really count that as my first movie,

  • although if you look hard enough, you will see me.

  • I'm one of the cock fighters.

  • I fight Jeff Bridges' cock.

  • [gasping]

  • - You put me down.

  • Put me down.

  • King Kong is my first IMDB credit.

  • I arrived in LA

  • and suddenly I'm driving through the gates of MGM,

  • which was like my childhood studio,

  • that everything about MGM fascinated me

  • and they took one look at me

  • and they weren't interested at all,

  • completely not the type he was looking for

  • but since they had flown me out there,

  • they agreed to at least put me on camera.

  • I think the second AD showed up to just say, "Roll it."

  • So I did the scene

  • and then he asked me if I'd like to do another one

  • so I did another one.

  • Then he said, "Why don't you just wait a bit?"

  • Pretty soon then the AD came on the set

  • and he ran a few takes

  • and then they called the director to come

  • so then the director showed up and I did a few more scenes

  • and then they called the producer

  • and De Laurentiis came to the set

  • and by the time I left that afternoon, I had the part.

  • It was like one of those crazy, hard to believe stories

  • but that's how it happened.

  • I think because I was so inexperienced

  • and it was the first time I was in front of cameras,

  • it didn't seem bizarre to me

  • that I was sitting in some big hydraulic hand

  • and playing scenes to blue screen or green screen

  • and no other actor

  • so at that point it was better than being a waitress.

  • That's all I could keep thinking

  • is this is a little more interesting

  • than going to the Lion's Head every night.

  • Not too much but a little bit.

  • [guns firing]

  • - My father did a movie in Israel

  • called Cast a Giant Shadow.

  • I think it was about 1966, 67.

  • I was a PA but they were doing one scene

  • and the local driver couldn't drive a jeep up to the spot

  • that had to be exactly on for the camera angles

  • so my father said, "Oh Michael throw a uniform on,

  • "get in there and you can do it."

  • I went, "Oh my God," so I had total stage fright

  • and everything else but I was a pretty good driver.

  • To this day, of all the things I've done,

  • I think Dad is as proud about the fact

  • that on the first take I whipped that jeep up

  • and I hit my spot just like that

  • and that was the beginning of the end.

  • [screaming]

  • - Nobody gets hurt mother, just hold still.

  • Don't move.

  • - What do you want?

  • - Don't jive mother, you know what we want.

  • It was the first audition that I'd ever had for a movie.

  • They just gave me the sides, the scene

  • and so they said just improvise with a couple other guys.

  • There was 50 other horrible looking mean guys

  • kind of pumping themselves up

  • into a state of hysteria and malevolence.

  • [laughing]

  • And I went in and did what I could to,

  • and there were no women there, victims,

  • but we pretended to be not nice

  • and they liked me for it I guess.

  • And Michael Winner, he was known to be an abusive director

  • and in fact the first thing he did to me,

  • the very first shot, first movie, comin' up the stairs,

  • I was skulking up to Hope Lange's

  • and Charles Bronson's apartment on the Upper East side,

  • he screamed at me, for the camera rehearsal.

  • He screamed in his British accent,

  • "Goldblum, start acting now!"

  • Something like that.

  • My god in heaven.

  • But you know what?

  • I came to think it's a darn good direction.

  • - Mr. Scott, keeper of my destiny.

  • - And where were we last Tuesday, school council meeting?

  • - I had this history test, I had--

  • - And weren't talking last time

  • about how leadership brings responsibility?

  • - I know that Waterland and actually A Dangerous Woman also

  • are my first IMDB credits which,

  • it's true I'm in those movies

  • but my dad directed Waterland

  • and my parents made a Dangerous Woman together.

  • I have one line in both of those movies

  • which was just an excuse really to go an visit my dad.

  • It was funny actually, I was 14, I felt like an actress

  • so it felt kind of weird to be doing this line

  • in my dad's movie,

  • although really nice to hang out with Ethan Hawke,

  • who, this is, 90's and Ethan Hawke was,