John Malkovich: I Couldn't Say No to “Secretariat”

Actor John Malkovich, who spent much of his childhood at the race track with his grandfather, said he just couldn't turn down the chance to be a part of his upcoming film "Secretariat." 

“I loved the horse Secretariat, my good friend Randy Wallace was directing, Diane Lane -- it all seemed like a great idea," the actor told Niteside. "Everything. I read it, and I couldn’t find a reason not to do it."

The 56-year-old actor is featured in two big upcoming films -- "Secretariat" on Oct. 8 an "Red" on Oct. 15 -- and said a lot of his preparation for the film about the legendary prize-winning horse began when his grandfather took him to the track as a kid.

“I have been a fan of horse racing in the sense I have been around it much of my life," Malkovich said. "My grandfather was a big gambler, so I was always at the races, and I really started watched in ’73 with Secretariat. And of course I never miss the Kentucky Derby.”

The busy actor, who has worked in more than 70 films during his career, said he'd like to ease up on his schedule but wants to get as much time on the silver screen as possible. 

"I would like to slow down, but the thing with getting older is that there is still so much you want to do," he said. "They will retire you when it's time. You don't have to do it yourself. I truly still love what I do." 

The Emmy winner and two-time Oscar nominee was also recently cast as “Casanova” in the Austrian production of “The Giacomo Variatons," but he isn't letting the A-list treatment get to his head. In fact, he said the acclaimed film "Being John Malkovich" seems to be just another film to him.

"You would think it would matter more," he confessed. "That it would be something much more special in my life,. ... I liked the movie, but it was another movie. I didn't think much about it being about me. I just thought about it being another script except it was very original and unique."

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