Coming all the way from San Francisco,
between two films, actor Peter Coyote is
lending his charm to the role of the elegant
man. He plans to direct his screenplay,
Crimes of Opportunity this winter and
complete his autobiography. When it is time
for his photo meeting with Gala, Peter
Coyote shows an eclecticism, and not
without humor. He is an actor who is not
afraid to reveal himself.
At fifty-three years old, he has made 50 films playing troubled characters
such as those in Kika and Bitter Moon. He started out spending ten years
of his life wandering
between anarchistic communities and street
theater, and then went on to serve under the
Governor of California as president of the
State Cultural Affairs finally ending up in
Hollywood. Some might be satisfied, but not
him. His dreams are elsewhere, dreams of
writing and of excellence.
GALA: Does it amuse you to model for these fashion
Yes, but it is difficult! It is necessary that the
photographer gives me freedom to perform
in my own way, so that I can stop to think
about my physical flaws and what I can bring into play. After we agree, I find there is
pleasure in becoming this object of desire...
GALA: Do you consider yourself a
If by seduction, you mean one pretends to
be what one is not, no. I prefer by far to be
desired for what I really am. But if, by
seduction, one understands it as a dance
between two people who are attracted
each other and who reveal themselves slowly while making it last a long time, I adore
GALA: You live alone?
Yes, although I am not, therefore, celibate. I
have a friend, but we have deliberately
chosen to live apart.
Because it is much better. I have already
been married fifteen years. I have been
divorced for five years and I like to live
alone. The ideal for me is to have two
separate apartments, but on the same floor
of the same building.
GALA: How is it that your friend is not
known? Do you keep it a secret?
No, it's simple. She is not an actress or
celebrity and her name would not mean
anything to anybody.
GALA: Do you prefer an annoymous
When each one is a public figure, that can
lead to failure.
GALA: What do you think of women?
They are incontestably more intelligent than
men, more subtle. I really like them and I
listen to them a great deal. I think they
GALA: And you, what is it that seduces
For a long time I have, first of all, been a
greedy fellow. But now, I am tired of the
quantity and the diversity. My only
greediness now is for a genuine and deep
GALA: Why do you live close to San
Francisco, far from Hollywood?
Hollywood can amuse me for one week and
then I am bored. People talk only about
movies. I choose to live elsewhere because I don't want to be a worker in a worker's city.
GALA: You are an atypical actor. You've
worked with Roman Polanski, Pedro
Almodovar... Is that by choice?
I would like that! But I have made fifty other
films, which were not done by those
directors unfortunately. It pays the rent.
No, if I'm atypical, rather it is because I
always consider myself a writer who earns
his living by being an actor.
GALA: And you write?
Yes, I always write - articles, essays... I just
finished my first book, The Free-fall
Chronicles, and I am negotiating with an
editor. It's my memoirs of my life and that of
my friends during the Sixties. Crimes of
Opportunity is what I hope to direct this
GALA: You're an actor, writer and also a
I did several scenes for the theater, but I
haven't yet directed anything for the cinema.
This film will be my first. My objective for
the next ten years is to especially devote
time to writing and directing and have the
pleasure of people who really interest me.
GALA: If you had to define yourself, what
would you say?
I continue to discover myself day after day,
to fight against my own imperfections, to
train myself to be even more human
GALA: Train yourself to be a human being
is a definition?
Yes, it is true, and also that life is too short.