John Lithgow avoided Vietnam War draft by acting

John Lithgow acted his way out of serving in the Vietnam War by “amplifying” his feelings on the conflict.The double Oscar nominee has been a cinema staple since the ’70s, studying his craft at England’s London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.During …

John Lithgow acted his way out of serving in the Vietnam War by “amplifying” his feelings on the conflict.

The double Oscar nominee has been a cinema staple since the ’70s, studying his craft at England’s London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.

During his drama studies, he was called up to serve for his country, but managed to keep out of the action, which devastated the U.S., by acting.

Talking about the federal grant he received to study in England, he said during a chat for Marc Maron’s WTF podcast: “(It kept me out of the war) up to a point, and at a certain point, I was drafted anyway. I just got out of it – pure acting. That’s what it was like back in those days.

“If you stayed in school, you were protected to a point.”

But he was eventually sent a draft notice, forwarded on by his parents in New Jersey, which he tried, and failed, to get out of because of his grant.

John was then made to visit a Royal Air Force base in the U.K. which had a U.S. presence.

“I acted like what I was, I just amplified it. I just said, ‘I have a pathological fear of conflict.’ I had actually attempted to get out of the draft as a conscientious objector because I objected to the war, but they had completely discarded that,” the 73-year-old recalled. “I did cry, I fainted when they drew my blood. I felt so ashamed of myself… it was like I was acting but I wasn’t acting for the right reasons. I wasn’t acting for an audience and telling a story.”

However, in the decades that have followed, the Terms of Endearment actor has regretted his decision to get out of the war.

“That regret has stayed with me,” he sighed. “That moment for a young man, the late ’60s, is like a third rail of American society. You rarely get guys to tell how they got out of the draft, because there is a lingering shame to that, I think.

“And yet in those days, you’d get stoned and tell your hilarious story to everybody. We all had a comic story, like a stand-up comedy routine. Up until then, you were just a nervous wreck, and afterwards you had your war story too, except that it was an anti-war story.”

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Alec Baldwin exits Joker movie

Alec Baldwin has dropped out of Todd Phillips’ upcoming Joker movie.On Monday (27Aug18), it was reported that the 30 Rock actor had signed on to play Gotham City philanthropist Thomas Wayne, the father of Bruce Wayne/Batman, in Warner Bros.’ project. B…

Alec Baldwin has dropped out of Todd Phillips’ upcoming Joker movie.

On Monday (27Aug18), it was reported that the 30 Rock actor had signed on to play Gotham City philanthropist Thomas Wayne, the father of Bruce Wayne/Batman, in Warner Bros.’ project.

But on Wednesday, Baldwin shut down the casting news and told reporters at USA Today that he wouldn’t be involved in the flick.

“I’m sure there are 25 guys who can play that part,” he said, going on to cite “scheduling” issues as part of the reason for his departure.

In addition, he later took to Twitter to emphasise that he was not involved and rejected a claim by editors at The Hollywood Reporter who stated that Baldwin’s Wayne was to be a “cheesy and tanned businessman who is more in the mould of a 1980s Donald Trump”.

“Let me state, for the record, that I have NOT been hired to play a role in Todd Phillips’ JOKER as some Donald Trump manque. That is not happening. Not. Happening,” the 60-year-old, who has previously received worldwide attention for his portrayal of U.S. President Donald Trump on sketch series Saturday Night Live, wrote on the social media site.

At present, little is known about the plot for the Joker film, though it is believed to centre on how the popular comic book villain came to be. Joaquin Phoenix has been cast in the part of the Joker, while Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Frances Conroy and Marc Maron have all been attached to the film in unknown roles.

Production on the superhero flick is scheduled to begin on 10 September, while studio executives have slated 4 October 2019 as the U.S. release date.

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Marc Maron in talks to join Joker origin film

Actor Marc Maron is reportedly in talks to join Joaquin Phoenix in the new Joker origins movie. The Glow star is in negotiations to play a talk show agent who has a hand in accelerating the titular supervillain’s drive into madness, according to Varie…

Actor Marc Maron is reportedly in talks to join Joaquin Phoenix in the new Joker origins movie.

The Glow star is in negotiations to play a talk show agent who has a hand in accelerating the titular supervillain’s drive into madness, according to Variety.

If he signs on, Maron will feature alongside Robert De Niro, who will play the chat show’s host.

Casting on the Warner Bros. movie has been moving swiftly since June (18), when studio bosses announced that Phoenix would play Batman’s arch nemesis in the DC Comics film, following in the footsteps of Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger and Jared Leto.

Todd Phillips, the director of The Hangover comedy franchise, is taking charge of the Joker film from a script he co-wrote with Scott Silver.

In addition to Maron and De Niro, Deadpool 2 star Zazie Beetz has been attached to play a single mother who draws the attention of the Joker before he turns evil, while The Wrap has reported that Six Feet Under actress Frances Conroy is in talks to play the Joker’s mother.

Production is set to begin in New York City in September (18), ahead of an October, 2019 release.

Meanwhile, Leto, who portrayed the villain in 2016’s Suicide Squad, is also set to reprise his role in a standalone spinoff.

Phoenix has previously discussed Leto’s work as the Joker and revealed he would take the character in a different direction than his predecessors.

“I think that genre, comic books, kind of lends itself to having different people play the same character and interpret it in a different way,” he told Collider. “It’s kind of built into the source material in some ways. I think it’s cool when people do that.”

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