Kubrick’s Universe - The Stanley Kubrick Podcast

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A Clockwork Orange with Malcolm McDowell

January 3, 2022

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Episode 50 : A Clockwork Orange with Malcolm McDowell

We continue to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the release of A Clockwork Orange, and are very excited to share with all our listeners, a very special interview that we conducted with Alex DeLarge himself, Mr. Malcolm McDowell.

Many actors, if not most, play out their careers without playing even one iconic role. Malcolm McDowell achieved two within his career's first half-decade. And if Mick Travis in Lindsay Anderson’s If… and Alex DeLarge in A Clockwork Orange have cast a long shadow over everything that he's done since, McDowell has always been cheerfully honest about his priorities: Regular work is far more important to him than consistent artistic brilliance. In any case, as he told The Guardian in 2004, "it's easy to be good in a Robert Altman film. You try being good in Cyborg 3”.

He was born Malcolm Taylor in Leeds on 13 June 1943, and was educated at Cannock public school before turning down a university place in favor of working in his father's Liverpool pub, followed by a stint as a traveling salesman. The acting bug bit shortly afterwards, and he joined a touring repertory company, taking on his mother's maiden name in the process. Moving to London, he worked briefly with the Royal Shakespeare Company, secured a few minor television roles, and then joined the Royal Court Theatre just in time to be asked to audition for If...

We spoke to Malcolm in July 2021…