Interview 37

(May 2007)

The Star of "The Thorn Birds" lives a withdrawn life in Hawaii. The heartthrob (73) has invited us to visit him at his house. He talked to us openly.

Richard, these last years things have become quieter around you...

I continue doing films and series. I have been very busy though with my personal development. My biography was part of it, it was an important project . Then I moved, created a new home, painted new paintings. I was never bored.

You were busy for a long time writing your biography. Do you keep a diary?

I write down individual thoughts. It helps me to remember. Keeping a diary for a long period of time would be much too strenuous.

Did writing help you to deal with your childhood?

It was a liberation. My childhood had not always been nice, there was suffering sometimes especially because of my father. Isnít it astonishing though when I now think about it I see things quite differently. I have understanding. I also had many happy moments back then.

Did you talk it out with your father?

We kept in contact till he died. My father passed away in 1984, we were not enemies.

How is your new life?

I afford myself the luxury to live in the present, one day at a time. I mostly paint in the morning. Then I do some paper work and spend the evening with good friends enjoying an excellent dinner and a glass of wine. I like to cook very much. I also like to go out. I know now all the good restaurants. I am interested in art and culture. I go to galleries and museums, I read a lot and listen to music, mainly classic.

How do you stay in good shape?

Occasionally I exercise in the fitnessroom. In reality my daily activities keep me fit. I pay attention to my diet, swim every day, sleep 8 hours every night. Weekends I take my bicycle and tour the island. Actually I am not a fanatic of sports who drives his body to high performances. But a certain healthy degree of vanity should be present in each human being.

How does vanity express itself in you?

I pay attention to how I dress. When the occasion calls for it I wear a suit and a tie. In Hawaii the dress code is rather informal. You can dress informally yet neat.

Have you ever thought about cosmetic surgery?

In the United States to keep on working you have to undergo surgery. This is one of the reasons why I am not filming that much any more. A facelift to take my wrinkles away would be like betraying myself. They are proof that I have lived.

But you haven't yet filmed your last project?

Like an official goodbye? No, I haven't. I don't know which film or movie will be the last. As long as the script appeals to me I will continue acting.

Have you made your will?

Everything is in order. Death belongs to life. I can leave this world anytime.

(This article is courtesy of MC. It as been professionally translated from German into English and is © 2007 MC. This translation may not be reproduced partly or fully without the prior permission of MC.)