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Malcolm McDowell: 'Halloween' Remake Is Great, But Don't Touch 'A Clockwork Orange'

New Dr. Loomis shares memories of Rob Zombie, 'Heroes' and his 'porn' work with Helen Mirren.

BEVERLY HILLS, California -- Quick, can you name the only actor who has appeared in both "A Clockwork Orange" and the "Mr. Magoo" movie; played David Cassidy's dad in a TV biopic and Mr. Roarke in a "Fantasy Island" remake; and killed Captain Kirk? Which actor has hosted "Saturday Night Live"; appeared on "Robot Chicken," "Entourage" and "South Park"; and made a "porn movie" with Helen Mirren?

OK, maybe by now you've looked at the giant photo accompanying this article. Maybe you're beginning to appreciate Malcolm McDowell, the Hollywood veteran who recently added roles as the boss man on "Heroes" and the new Dr. Loomis in "Halloween" to his stunningly eclectic resume (see [article id="1555254"]"Exclusive: Malcolm McDowell, The New Dr. Loomis, Talks 'Halloween' "[/article]). And maybe you're ready to read about his thoughts on working with Rob Zombie, fearing a "Clockwork" remake and possibly returning as Mr. Linderman to wreak havoc on the Heroes' lives.

MTV: It's good to see you again, Malcolm. I visited the set months ago. The movie turned out great.

McDowell: I haven't seen it yet, but it felt good. It felt like it'd certainly be more than a slasher film, anyway.

MTV: The night I was on the set, I could sense that you guys were onto something, but you were shooting an ending that wasn't very good. The new one is much better.

McDowell: I think it probably is. The only thing I missed about the old one was the vulnerability of Michael, and [Loomis saying], "It's my fault. I'm the one." That little exchange.

MTV: But the new ending has an even greater vulnerability to it.

McDowell: It is better. ... It's a pretty horrifying final shot.

MTV: You've said before that you never saw John Carpenter's classic "Halloween." Is that still the case?

McDowell: Yes. It's better not to have seen it. John Carpenter's a master, and he made an extraordinary film. We wouldn't be here at all today if it hadn't been for John Carpenter and [the original Loomis] Donald Pleasance. ... I didn't want to be influenced by Donald Pleasance's performance.

MTV: It's still pretty cool that, 30 years later, all the lines about "those eyes" still send a chill up your spine.

McDowell: Was that in the original?

MTV: Oh, sure, that's Donald Pleasance's trademark. He's running around screaming: "Those eyes! The devil's eyes!"

McDowell: And oh my God, he had such a great voice. I'm glad I didn't hear him do it. [My performance] would have been awful. I can imagine how he did it.

MTV: Did Rob target you because of the British accent? I couldn't imagine those lines being spoken without it.

McDowell: I honestly think that was neither here nor there in his mind. He chose me because he likes my work. I know that he's a "Clockwork" freak.

MTV: Have you ever seen Rob's "Never Gonna Stop" video, in which he dresses up like Alex?

McDowell: No, he's never shown it to me. He said he would, but never did! I should ask him for the video.

MTV: Did you ever catch him trying to get some stories out of you from the legendary "Clockwork" shoot?

McDowell: No. Of course, I'd volunteer that stuff. [He laughs.] There was one particular scene [in "Halloween"] that he didn't like the lighting for. It was the scene with Myers' picture behind me and me talking to the students. I just said, "This should be like the shot in 'Clockwork' -- with the spotlight coming in to make a silhouette while Alex is being presented as being 'reformed.' " He went, "Yeah, yeah!"

MTV: With "Halloween," "Psycho" and "The Manchurian Candidate," we're finally reaching the point where even the greatest films are being remade. But isn't it interesting how no one will touch Kubrick?

McDowell: Hopefully. I hope I'm not around to see the remake of "A Clockwork Orange."

MTV: Why not?

McDowell: I'm just too close to it. It's too many incredible memories of creating that character -- [when] I was a young actor, which was so monumental in my life. I wouldn't like to watch someone else do it.

MTV: Rob is a very distinctive director.

McDowell: [He laughs.] I'll say. There aren't many directors I know that do rock and roll.

MTV: You've worked with dozens of directors. What kind of ideas did he have that were different?

McDowell: Rob would go, "I need something here. I don't know what. What are you gonna say?" He'd say, "Just let it go." I love doing that, because it means you can be working right on the edge. I think most of my basic improv stuff has been cut out, but they'll be on the DVD. I don't know what's in the film and what isn't, so it's hard for me to say. But I know that when I come out [of the lecture scene] I say, "They didn't like me. Was I good? Was I good? Tell me I was good." [Loomis is] real insecure.

MTV: I hate to break it to you, but ...

McDowell: It's out? I knew it would be. Well, that's just the way it is.

MTV: You recently had a very memorable story arc on "Heroes." Since they never really got into it, what exactly was Linderman's power?

McDowell: Linderman was a healer; that was the beauty of him. He was this, if you like, evil force with this power diametrically opposite to what he was, which made him very interesting. And maybe he'll be back. ... The door has been left open somewhat. When I left, they said to me, "Malcolm, just so you know, nobody ever dies forever on this."

MTV: Really?

McDowell: The door has been left open somewhat. When I left, they said to me, "Malcolm, just so you know, nobody ever dies forever on this."

MTV: Would you like to bring him back?

McDowell: If they said, "Would you come back?" I'd go in a heartbeat. ... I'd love to see him back.

MTV: Have you been keeping up with the show?

McDowell: Yes. ... I watched it last night.

MTV: So you know what happened to your boy Nathan Petrelli? Maybe Linderman could bring him back to the realm of the living?

McDowell: I don't know whether Linderman can stick his own eyes back in their sockets yet or fix his brain. We'll have to see. But he is a healer, so anything is possible.

MTV: A new DVD for "Caligula" is coming out in October, and rumor has it that you've recorded a commentary track. After all these decades of despising the film, did you finally get a chance to let it rip?

McDowell: I pretty much did let it rip. ... They said to me, "Look, Helen Mirren did a track," and I went "Dame Helen Mirren did a track on 'Caligula'? Who am I to refuse?" I've got very ambivalent feelings about the film, unfortunately, because ["Penthouse" publisher/producer Bob] Guccione really behaved so badly. He stuck in porn and all that, and it doesn't seem to bother anybody else except me.

MTV: It must be a good feeling to record one of those tracks and be able to speak frankly for a change.

McDowell: Oh, of course! I'd say, "Oh my God! This is where Peter O'Toole [was drunk] and I had to prop him up!" It's a three-disc set, and it's the ultimate collector's item of all time.

Check out everything we've got on "Halloween."

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