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Isn't this a bleak view to hold of power and democracy? "I go around the world, working with all kinds of people who I love. I prefer to conduct my life based on how I treat people."Malkovich is flushed, excited, clearly in his stride. The whistle-blowing website Wiki Leaks, he says, is the extension of a Facebook culture that reflects our prurient appetites for status updates and a constant drip of minutiae about everything from what we are eating to international intelligence."What are the surprises – the Arabs are not happy with Ahmadinejad, Putin is authoritative, Berlusconi has too much down-time for bunga-bunga? "But no one cares who you are in Cambridge."Despite his outer cool, Malkovich appears to be a man of fulminating emotions which come and go in a flash.All Wiki Leaks is saying is, 'I looked into my teacher's underwear drawer and look what I've found in there – a big dildo'."Everybody's telling their secrets. He appears highly attentive one moment, aloof the next."I'm a super cry baby," he says, talking about the last film that made him cry ("It was probably Mysteries of Lisbon", a Portugese drama) and then adds, "Sometimes I cry because something is good."He's so right-wing," said William Hootkins, "you have to wonder if he's kidding."Malkovich has not voted in years, he says, because he does not want to be disappointed by our political "heroes" who, within a term in office, are reduced to pantomime baddies. Believe me," he nods, "it's coming."One wonders if the root of Malkovich's anger lies in the invasion of his own privacy. It is not nearly so bad now, in the East Coast enclave of Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he has lived for the past few years since returning from a decade in France.
His burgeoning film career in the 1980s was cemented by his breakthrough performance in Stephen Frears' Dangerous Liaisons, in which he appeared, arch and overdressed in powdered wig and frills, as the perversely seductive Vicomte de Valmont."I wanted a young Austrian who speaks very good English to act the part, because Unterweger was small and light and quite pretty.But in the end I agreed to do it, as the conductor very much wanted me to.I said, what could be interesting, if you really want people to come, is if we do an opera about Jack Unterweger."The proximity of the Fritzl case did not offend sensibilities in Vienna, he says. It was not taken as a national slur and there are plenty of crazy people in America. He wrote In the Belly of the Beast, a horrifically strong, sorrowful, worrisome and brilliant book, and he had spent his own entire life in the prison system until a campaign of celebrities, some of whom I know, got him released.We have at least our fair share of them, and not just crazy but sometimes violent and murderous. As soon as he got out, he gutted someone, a young boy, and he was back in prison."Malkovich was originally drafted in as director, but was later persuaded to star in the one-man play, which is accompanied by two sopranos.