Tom’s 1999 AOL Interview

OnlineHost: AOL’s Entertainment Asylum welcomes Tom Sizemore to Preview Thursday on AOL Live. Tom starred in the summer blockbuster “Saving Private Ryan,” which is once again back in theaters. Welcome, Tom Sizemore!

Tom Sizemore: Thank you.
Question: In filming “Private Ryan,” did you have to go through “basic training” to prep for the role?

Tom Sizemore: Yes, I had to go to boot camp. Tom Hanks, myself, and everyone, except for Matt Damon, went to a forest outside London somewhere and lived in tents. A Captain trained us. He said “All right turds, welcome home.”
Question: How does it feel acting with Tom Hanks?
Tom Sizemore: It was great. He’s a terrific actor and a great person. I’ve been blessed to work with DeNiro, Denzel Washington, Al Pacino. Working with Tom is as exciting as one would expect. He was very open to me and we had a great time. Tom doesn’t make anyone feel less than the whole. It was a pleasure.

Question: Where was the beach scene filmed?

Tom Sizemore: It was filmed in the small town of Wexford, Ireland.

Question: What was the hardest scene for you in the movie?

Tom Sizemore: One was the D-Day sequence, which went on forever. Also, the scene in the church with Tom and the guy is soon to be dead, and we talk about the jackets and Tom shakes. I address his shaking for the first time. Another would be when I confront Ed Burns for insubordination, when we let the German go and I pull my revolver on him. They all came out real well.

Question: In the movie “Heat,” were you intimidated working with those actors?

Tom Sizemore: No, I wasn’t intimidated, it was great working with them.

Question: What was the experience like when filming “Wyatt Earp”?

Tom Sizemore: That was a long time ago. I can’t recall.

Question: Did you find Oliver Stone strange?

Tom Sizemore: Not one bit. He is a great director and a good friend of mine.

Question: How involved was James Cameron in “Strange Days”?

Tom Sizemore: Very involved, he wrote it, along with Jay Cocks, who is one of his writing partners. He was going to direct it, then decided to give it to Kathryn Bigelow, who was once his wife.

Question: Did you ever get scared when you played John Gotti in that TV movie?

Tom Sizemore: No, I was scared about the weight I put on. I didn’t know if I would be able to lose it in time for all the press I had to do for “Private Ryan.” I gained 44 pounds and had to lose it all.

Question: What was the most romantic Valentine’s Day you have ever had?

Tom Sizemore: I’d say my first married one. My wife surprised me with something I really wanted… a material thing. It was just a shock for her to go to the trouble to get it.

Question: When did you decide to be an actor?

Tom Sizemore: I was 15.

Question: When filming “Private Ryan,” what emotional changes did you go through in the role you played in the movie?

Tom Sizemore: I realized what a sacrifice those men made on that day. Largely, they were teenagers except for the officers. The average age was 18. I played an officer. They were willing to lose their lives to keep their country free. I never really knew what that meant, and I have a whole new take on the military.

Question: What do you think of Matt Damon?

Tom Sizemore: Matt is a terrific young man with an exceptionally bright future. He is handling his quickly found fame extremely well. I consider him a friend, which isn’t true of a lot of people. My friend list is not lengthy.

Question: After playing such a demanding role, did you feel it hard to “shake” it after the film was done?

Tom Sizemore: No, because I had a lot of help. I had to get into the whole “Gotti” thing. I might have had trouble otherwise.

Question: Did you really try out for Mr. Pink in the “Reservoir Dogs”?

Tom Sizemore: I read 6 times, and it came down to me or Steve Buscemi. We were the 2 final choices. I really wanted to do it. I was just starting out, and it would have been a great thing, but I loved the movie. I am very satisfied with how things came out for me. So far, so good.

Question: Have you finished shooting “Bringing Out the Dead,” and how was it working with Martin Scorsese?

Tom Sizemore: Yes, I am done. I wrapped December 30th. Working with him was unbelievable. He is a force of nature.

Question: Why do you think that “Natural Born Killers” was so misunderstood?

Tom Sizemore: Because 2 percent of the population reads.

Question: Did you play sports in college?

Tom Sizemore: I played, but not on a college team.

Question: What advice would you give to an aspiring actor?

Tom Sizemore: You must have to want it so badly, if there is any way you can live without it, get out of it. Being an unsuccessful actor is like having a skin disease. Make sure your passion is not misplaced.

Question: How did you feel about “Killer Instinct,” the controversial book “NBK” producer Jane Hamsher wrote about the filming? Also, do you still hang with your “NBK” and “Strange Days” co-star Juliette Lewis?

Tom Sizemore: The book was fine, except there was one thing that was not true. I did not try to seduce Jane, at the party, like she claimed I did. I am good friends with Juliette, but work and life have taken us apart. We were very close and are good friends. She is doing very well.

Question: Have you ever thought of writing and or producing?

Tom Sizemore: Yes, I have, and I am writing a script right now. I wrote fiction in college, and I do want to produce my own material at one point.

Question: Is it true that you were offered a role in “The Thin Red Line,” but you turned it down for “Ryan”?

Tom Sizemore: Yes, it is true.

Question: How long did it take to make the movie?

Tom Sizemore: It was 61 shooting days out of scheduled 68. We came in 7 days early. I worked 61 out of 61.

Question: What is going to be your next movie?

Tom Sizemore: I am going to do “Witness Protection,” “The Story of Bobby Batts,” then probably the “Soloist.” Also, I might do the McQueen version of “In the Vein of Bullet.”

EAMC Host: Thank you Tom, that was great!

Tom Sizemore: Thank you, I really care about my fans.

(c) 1999, Entertainment Asylum & America Online, Inc. All rights reserved.

 

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