Nick Nolte: 'I'm not rich,' as Barbra Streisand informed me (Q&A)
As Oscar nominee Nick Nolte counts down the days to the 2012 Academy Awards, he recalls some valuable comments made by singer Barbra Streisand.
The 71-year-old veteran actor recently spoke to OnTheRedCarpet.com at the Academy Awards luncheon, an annual event that was held this year at the Beverly Hilton Hotel before the Oscars. When asked about the trappings of movie stardom, he said: "No they don't mean anything to me, really."
"It's nice to have money, you know it's nice to have money, but I'm not rich, as Streisand informed me," Nolte added. "She said to me on 'Prince of Tides,' 'Do you think you're rich?' I said, 'Yeah.' She said, 'No, you're not.' I said, 'Well, yes I am,' she said, 'No, you're not,' 'Well, yes I am.' She said, 'Okay.' She left it at that."
"The next day she came back and said, 'You know I've been thinking about it - you probably think you're rich because of your parents, but you're not." And through the years I've come to realize, she's right, I'm not rich, I'm doing well, you know compared to my parents - but I think that Barbra began at $100 million. I think she had some kind of criteria.
Nolte is known for his eclectic sense of humor as well as for an infamous photo taken after a 2002 DUI arrest.
Nolte is nominated this year for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for "Warrior," which marks his third nod. He and Streisand, 69, co-starred in the 1991 film "The Prince of Tides," which earned Nolte his first Oscar nomination. He also received a nod for the 1997 movie " Affliction." Streisand has two Academy Awards under her belt - one acting honor for "Funny Girl" and one for her theme song to the film " A Star Is Born."
"Warrior" stars Tom Hardy as a mixed martial arts fighter and former Marine. Nolte plays his father, an alcoholic former boxer, who trains Hardy's character before a tournament. His other son, played by Joel Edgerton, is a former UFC fighter and becomes Hardy's character's competition when he returns to the profession to provide for his family.
The actor faces Oscar competition from Kenneth Branagh of "My Week With Marilyn," Jonah Hill of "Moneyball," Christopher Plummer of "Beginners" and Max von Sydow of "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close."
Nolte is also known for his work in films such as "Cape Fear," "The Thin Red Line," and "Arthur" and stars in the new HBO series "Luck" alongside actors Dustin Hoffman and Dennis Farina. The show was recently renewed for another season due to high ratings for its premiere.
Nolte, a native of Nebraska, iplayed football at Arizona State University and other colleges but achieved bad grades and ultimately flunked out. His father was a College Football All-American player.
Check out what else Nolte told OnTheRedCarpet.com about growing up around athletes, who he thinks will win an Oscars and filming "Warrior."
The best scene, you're in, and it is a scene where you have a bottle in your hand and it's probably the most gut wrenching moment in any movie I saw. I want to know one take, one-hundred takes, I don't know how you got into that frame of mind and how you got out it - it blew me away.
NICK NOLTE: "It wasn't many takes. We didn't block it. We just kind of talked out the general areas would be, and Tom Hardy and I, we were just ready to do that scene. [Director] Gavin [O'Connor] had waited until the right moment, the right time. "
On to other things, this movie came ut of nowhere once upon a time, you get this Oscar nomination, you have this new role on "Luck," It's a great place in your career. Careers ebb and flow, why do you think yours is flowing so wonderfully right now?
NICK NOLTE: "I don't really know. I think at 70, they've decided I'm harmless, you know. It's like Jeffrey Katzenberg saying, 'you know, his bark is worse than his bite.' I've always said it's those who are standing at the last day are the ones that are really going to get the work - that certainly was my attitude when I started out. My attitude when I started out was to chase the authors, and to do the plays that I needed to do at the time I needed to do them. And so I would go any place to do those, whether it was the old log theater in Seltzer, Minnesota or the theater of the Rockies in Colorado. You had to be doing those roles that were necessary to do. "
Before acting, tell me about your dream of becoming a football star.
NICK NOLTE: It wasn't a dream to become a football star, it was I was around athletes all my life. I grew up in Aimes, Iowa and it was either professors or football coaches, you know, Jack McGuire was there, swimming coach at Iowa state. My sister was six foot tall, she could out run anyone until her senior year - I couldn't outrun her until my senior year. She would have been an Olympic swimmer had the times been right. The times were such in the '50s that if you were six foot tall and a woman, it wasn't good. So she literally stopped winning races because it wasn't popular.
I have a suspicion, that if you win on Oscar Sunday it will be the speech that everyone will be talking about on Monday.
NICK NOLTE: "Do I dare do that?"
I just think it will come out honest and joyful and unfiltered and everything I want in a speech.
NICK NOLTE: Well, we'll see, because I'm not writing anything, that's for sure. I think it's going to be [Christopher] Plummer or Max [von Sydow] - we'll see.
The awards ceremony is set to air live on ABC on Feb. 26, 2012. Check out the full list of nominations for the 2012 Oscars, which honor outstanding film achievements of 2011. You can also download the official Oscars app.
Reporting by George Pennacchio of KABC Television and special correspondent for its entertainment show "On The Red Carpet" (check for local TV listings).