Donald Sutherland: What I’ve Learned

At age 76, Donald Sutherland has earned all the cred he needs. He’s been in so many movies, he’s one of the icons; we would use his image if we were making a backdrop of what Hollywood looks like in 2011. He answered questions posed by Cal Fussman in this month’s Esquire.

On Obama: “If you look at what he’s done, it’s not as much as he wanted. But sh*t…it’s really something. It’s more than anybody else has done for fifty years.”

On Whistler: “The American painter? A great, great, great wit. Truly wonderful. A genius. He said something very funny around Oscar Wilde. And Wilde said, “God I wish I’d said that.” And Whistler said, “You will, Oscar.”

On James Joyce: “He was blind and near death, and the interviewer said of his wife Nora, “She’s been your secretary, your housekeeper, your editor, your muse, your guide, and now she’s your eyes. What do you have to say about that extraordinary intimacy?” And Joyce said, “I would know my wife’s fart in a room full of farts.”

On His Death: “The spirit of mankind is not going to help me through my death. My death is a lonely little journey that I’ll take myself.