“I was out of my depth”: Malcolm McDowell Felt Typecasted in Hollywood, Claimed All His Work Was “Measured Against A Clockwork Orange”

Malcolm McDowell battling the shadow of A Clockwork Orange.

Malcolm McDowell Felt Typecasted in Hollywood, Claimed All His Work Was “Measured Against A Clockwork Orange”

SUMMARY

  • Malcolm McDowell's career started great with critically acclaimed movies.
  • He worked with one of the best filmmakers in Hollywood, Stanley Kubrick, in A Clockwork Orange.
  • His collaboration with Stanley Kubrick started overshadowing his career.
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The English actor Malcolm McDowell has been actively working in the film industry nearly for six decades, throughout which he has starred in everything from genre movies to TV series. One of his most memorable performances is seen in Stanley Kubrick’s 1971 film A Clockwork Orange as Alex DeLarge, who was also an inspiration for Heath Ledger’s Joker in The Dark Knight.

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Malcolm McDowell
Malcolm McDowell

It has been one of his highly acclaimed performances. However, the actor later opened up about how the one highly claimed performance started overshadowing his entire career.

Read More: Heath Ledger’s One Sadistic Joker Feature in The Dark Knight Was Inspired By Character in Stanley Kubrick’s 1971 Classic ‘A Clockwork Orange’

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Malcolm McDowell on the Impact of Working With Industry Giant

Starting his acting career in the late ’60s, Malcolm McDowell has spent decades working as an actor and has shared that he is still as excited about his work as he was in his youth. During an interview with The Guardian, the 80-year-old actor reflected on his career, saying, “I was out of my depth. So I played the heavy. The Brit.”

A Clockwork Orange
A Clockwork Orange

He also reflected on how it impacted his career. The actor shared that he still looks at the role before selecting a project. “I still love it. Otherwise, I wouldn’t do it.” While everything seemed going well for him, he shared that his career took a turn after starring in Stanley Kubrick’s 1971 film, A Clockwork Orange.

“Maybe in my forties, I didn’t have a good time. People didn’t know what to do with me. I was a useful rebel in the 60s and 70s. But the Kubrick movie was overbearing. Everything was measured against A Clockwork Orange, which gets a little old.”

Stanley Kubrick with Malcolm McDowell
Stanley Kubrick with Malcolm McDowell

The actor described it as the aftermath of working with “giants” in the industry, as his further projects at the time were also expected to have a significant impact similar to A Clockwork Orange or he was expected to do something similar to it.

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Mick Jagger Desired to Star in A Clockwork Orange

A Clockwork Orange was a controversial film at the time of its release. However, despite controversies surrounding the movie, it went on to be a box office hit, grossing over $100 million on a $1.3 million budget. When Kubrick took over the project, he reportedly had Malcolm McDowell in mind for the lead, as he had seen his work in the 1968 film, If…

Malcolm McDowell as Alex DeLarge
Malcolm McDowell as Alex DeLarge

However, on the 50th anniversary of the film, McDowell revealed that there was someone else who wanted to star in the adaptation of Anthony Burgess’ 1962 novel. He shared that before Kubrick got his hands on the movie, Mick Jagger wanted to work on it with Rolling Stones.

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We used to be friends. We were hanging around in New York,” he said (as per Variety) before adding, “We were sitting in a window seat and talking because Jagger wanted to play Alex in A Clockwork Orange.” However, the idea was dropped after the author of the book reportedly warned him that it might not get through British censors.

A Clockwork Orange is available on Prime Video.

Read More: 15 Mishaps and Disasters That Happened On Movie Sets

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Written by Laxmi Rajput

Articles Published: 2233

Laxmi Rajput is a writer at Fandomwire. She finished her Post Graduation in Broadcast Journalism and worked as a Business News writer for a year. But her interest in entertainment and pop culture compelled her to find a way towards Entertainment Journalism. She has worked across various fields and has 2 years of experience in content writing. She likes reading, music, movies, and traveling. She aspires to become a fiction writer in the future.