Robert Duvall on Playing Don Quixote


Last October, it was announced that Terry Gilliam was revising his passion project The Man Who Killed Don Quixote a decade after his first attempt was derailed by bad weather, destroyed sets and lead actor Jean Rochefort’s back problems.

It was later revealed that Gilliam was interested in having Robert Duvall take on the title role of Miguel de Cervantes’ classic 17th century romantic tale. Gilliam and Tony Grisoni have updated the script from the first time around and the new film is expected to revolve around a filmmaker who is charmed into joining Don Quixote’s eternal quest for his ladylove, becoming an unwitting Sancho Panza. got a chance to ask Duvall about the project at the press day for Get Low:

CS: You just touched on the subject of great movies that never get made – so is “Don Quixote” ever going happen?
Robert Duvall: I hope so. I hope so. And I hope “The Hatfields and McCoys” gets made. What a script. It’s like Shakespeare.

CS: I was reading a description you gave about this script, but I wasn’t quite understanding it.
Duvall: Yeah, I read the script and still don’t understand all of it. You know, Terry Gilliam has his own thing. I want to do this film, it’s just I hope there aren’t too many dwarves running around, you know? But, like, it’s terrific. It’s different from the version that failed eight years ago that he had to scrap because the guy got hurt, the French actor. This is totally different. I did a thing with Richard Harris where I played a Cuban barber, “Wrestling Ernest Hemingway,” and he saw it and liked it and that – if he hadn’t seen that he wouldn’t have offered me the part because I worked very hard putting on the accent and everything.

CS: But he’s got you now, so what’s the roadblock?
Duvall: It’s a little more than like this. It’ll be three times the budget, something like $25 something, $20, $25, yeah.