Robert Mitchum started out making Westerns at $100 a week, and all the horse manure he could take home. It was, he says, like “playing Cowboys and Indians out in the fresh air,” and was better than working. The way Mitchum tells it, he got hired to play himself, and only worked when his family got bored of him hanging around the house.
Mitchum may have been self-effacing, but he was always very sure of himself. He was grounded, centered, and that’s what made hims attractive - you knew you could rely on him. In this interview for French TV, Mitchum suggests acting is 10% talent and 90% craft; talks his experience of working on Ryan’s Daughter; and explains why his favorite actor was Charles Laughton.
Footnote: The above picture is from one of Mitchum’s best films, The Friends of Eddie Coyle, based on the brilliant novel by George V. Higgins. If you haven’t seen it (or read it), do yourself a favor, get it now.