The Man and his Movies
David Warbeck was interviewed by Jason J. Slater
with the assistance of Harvey Fenton, Julian Grainger and Michelle Perks.
The interviews were transcribed by Matt Pelton
Q: How do you feel about being seen as an Action Man type character?
How do I feel about it?
Q: How did you feel about it in those days?
Amazed! Well, initially amazed when I went off to do Sergio Leone's A FISTFUL OF DYNAMITE and that sort of stuff. I wasn't really acting, I just got my head shot off!...
If you actually think it and put yourself properly into the situation, for some reason the eyes telegraph the intent of what's going on without any dialogue...
...if you remember the one I did with James Coburn in A FISTFUL OF DYNAMITE; we had to do a whole complicated conversation with no words, where he has to tell me with his eyes that has to kill me because of the politics. And my eyes have to say "I want you to kill me and I understand why you have to kill me. I still love you as my best mate and friend. Please kill me. You have to." So he shoots me and in my last few seconds of dying, my eyes say "I forgive you, you had to do it." And he's saying "You're dying with my love." We had to do all that stuff and I thought this would never come over. I think probably the highest compliment I ever had in my life was in the Camden Town food market one day when one of the stall boys cried out (falls into mock barrow boy accent) "Oi! Dave! You're in that film!" And I said "Oh, yes, yes, yes," and he said, "that was brilliant that sequence." And he told me what I just told you and I was flabbergasted and I said "Oh, you've read the book or something?" and he said "No, no! That was brilliant that. It was really good that you could do that without words." So that's going back to everything with being "action man"; the trick here is telling a story through a million things; the head turns, hand on a gun, the way you respond to it. It's all visual stuff and I'm very, very lucky.