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Heston: That's difficult. It's a hard question because roles please you for different reasons. If they're very successful, either financially or in terms of winning prizes, both those things are valuable in a material as well as an ego sense. If you do a role that's a very difficult role and it comes out well, that's of course rewarding. If you do some of the great classical roles, you're joining a line of actors that goes back for centuries. I'm as proud of the fact that I have done three Shakespearian films as I am of anything else. The fact that I've done maybe a dozen or so biographical films is rewarding to me. I'm also pleased that I've made pictures that have won prizes and made a lot of money. But not all of those parts were as creatively difficult as, say, playing Antony or Macbeth.
Reason: Any great characters that you've always wanted to play and fear that you'll never get the chance?
Heston: I surely now will never play Othello. It would be very difficult for any white actor this side of Laurence Olivier to play Othello. The great Shakespearian roles, you have to have worked on all your life, as I have Macbeth. Realistically, you want to stick to the parts that you have already devoted years of work to, because the parts are such man-killers.
Reason: One of the most striking images in any of your films is at the end of Planet of the Apes, where Taylor stands in the sand and looks at...
Heston: Oh yes. "Damn you, goddam you all to hell!"
Reason: ...at the decaying and forgotten Statue of Liberty. It's a very pessimistic film. Is that your worldview, with your worries about the population crisis and such?
Heston: Well, I think it's a distinct possibility. I guess the sum of my opinion in that area is that I believe profoundly and absolutely in the capacities of the individual man, the extraordinary man-but I'm very skeptical about mankind.