Actor Robert Duvall Talks about 'Getting Low'

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He's considered one of the greatest actors of our time. Robert Duvall got his start in films like, "To Kill a Mocking Bird" and "The Godfather."

Since then, he's gone on to have a tremendous career that has stood the test of time. And it's far from over! 

Now, the 79-year-old Duvall stars in a new movie "Get Low," in select theaters now, and releasing nationwide Friday, Aug. 27. It's a 1930s tale of a man with a soul-crushing secret who sets up and goes to his own funeral. 

Dr. Pat Robertson recently spoke with Duvall at his horse farm in northern Virginia, about his latest movie.

"They approached me four to six years ago, they wanted me to play this part." Duvall recently told Robertson. "Felix Bush is the guy's name. It's just a terrific part. It's my wife's favorite film I've done since 'T'he Apostle.'"

Pat Robertson's interview with Actor Robert Duvall aired on The 700 Club, Tuesday, Aug. 24. Click play to watch the interview. Read the transcript below.

Pat Robertson: It's a strange story?

Robert Duvall: Very unique. I don't think they'll be doing a remake in 10 years.

Robertson: He's filled with guilt, doesn't know what to do with his life, lives in seclusion. And everybody thinks he's crazy.

Duvall: Yeah, but he's really not, he really has his own thing.

During a crucial day of shooting, Duvall got word that his friend, writer and director Horton Foote, had passed away. He was 93 years old. Foote wrote "To Kill a Mockingbird" and several other movies Duvall starred in.

For Duvall it was like something had come full circle.

Duvall: And when the scene was over, I got moved because I wanted him to see this, because it was very much like his films.

Robertson: Horton wrote "Tender Mercies"?

Duvall: Yes, he did and, "To Kill a Mockingbird." I did four or five films with Horton, so we're friends. I mean, how many friends do you have for 50 years?

Robertson: Well, you've been so sensitive to the Christian audience, you sort of have their ear?

Duvall: Well, you don't think of that going in. but yet I did play Stalin once! I don't know how that appeals to anybody? (Laughing.)

I think these films can resonate with both sides. Like I told you before when I did "The Apostle," I heard that Billy Graham liked it. And I got a wonderful letter from Marlon Brando that he liked it. So I got it from the secular and from both sides.

Robertson: "The Apostle" was just magnificent. You caught the mood like nothing I have ever seen.

Duvall: Coming from you, that's a good, valid checkpoint.

Robertson: And you financed that thing yourself?

Duvall: Yes, sir. I wrote it, directed, financed it. If I had done it in Hollywood, they would have paid me a big price to do it to get it wrong, and I couldn't have done it the way I wanted to. So, I got my money back, plus change. I made nothing on it."

Robertson: You went around to black churches, listening to them, speaking to them?

Duvall: When my wife came up when I was doing my research, she said, 'Bobby, do you think we'll ever go to a white church?'  (Laughing.)

But Duvall said his favorite role so far was that of Texas Ranger "Gus McCrae" in the TV mini-series, "Lonesome Dove."

Duvall: Pretty interesting guy. Judgmental but not judgmental. Wonderful part to be able to play.

Robertson: What's coming up next?

Duvall: I got a few things left before they wipe the drool.

Duvall said he really has his heart set on playing Devil Anse Hatfield in a movie about the infamous Hatfields and McCoys. In fact, his beard in his latest movie "Get Low" was fashioned after the Hatfield patriarch's.

Duvall: I thought that I would never get to play Devil Anse. And so the make-up guy - we put the picture of the 'Devil' there - and he did the exact same thing for Felix Bush. So if we ever get to do the Hatfields and McCoys - I'll get this guy, and we'll do the beard again.

He really was kinda the devil. Those guys did some pretty...whew!  But it's like Shakespeare though, American Shakespeare. The story should be told."

Robertson: We'll see, I think that will be a great movie, but I think this one will, too.

Duvall: "Get Low" is a sweet little movie and I think people will really respond to it. This is a love story. This is a love story going back in time with this wonderful woman that he loved and didn't know if he'd done something awful to her in his memory.

Robertson: Well, you keep the suspense all the way to the end. I hope it'll get you an Oscar.

Duvall: It's all political, we'll see. You know how life is.

Robertson: Indeed, I do.

Duvall: Rev. Pat, good to see you, sir.

Robertson: My pleasure.

*Originally published on August 24, 2010.

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