Actor Michael O’Keefe talks ‘Caddyshack,’ more serious work ahead of Steel City Con

Throughout his days as a rising star within the Nineteen Seventies and ‘80s, Michael O’Keefe was the form of performer youthful actors might look as much as.

O’Keefe might do all of it, together with a visitor shot in 1974 at age 19 – taking part in a paralyzed soldier on “M*A*S*H,” arguably the perfect present on tv on the time. It was a tear-jerker.

Later within the ‘70s, there was a supporting position reverse Robert Duvall in “The Nice Santini” that introduced extra tears, in addition to an Oscar nomination for Greatest Supporting Actor.

And the child might do comedy as nicely, starring within the very humorous 1980 film “Caddyshack,” wherein he performs a down-on-his-luck caddy named Danny Noonan.

O’Keefe, now 66, is presently showing because the overbearing professional sports activities workforce proprietor Jack Kent Cooke within the critically acclaimed HBO sequence “Profitable Time: The Rise and Fall of the Lakers Dynasty.”

In between, he’s had roles in motion pictures like “Michael Clayton” and TV sequence resembling “The Blacklist” and “Metropolis on a Hill.”

However it’s “Caddyshack,” with a solid that included Chevy Chase, Invoice Murray, Ted Knight and Rodney Dangerfield, that in some methods has overshadowed a lot of what O’Keefe has completed.

O’Keefe is scheduled to seem this weekend at Metal Metropolis Con on the Monroeville Conference Heart and he’s already anticipating that many of the followers who strategy him will need to speak about “Caddyshack.”

And he’s OK with that.

“ ‘Caddyshack’ is a big factor within the tradition,” stated O’Keefe in an interview with the Tribune-Assessment. “Actors are at all times making an attempt to un-pigeonhole themselves from a job and do issues that distinguish their work, like having folks bear in mind your work within the 21st century and never simply the 20th century.”

However the Noonan character and the film have at all times been essential to folks, O’Keefe stated.

“In about 2007, I did a pilot and I went to the wardrobe becoming and the wardrobe designer nearly instantly, after saying good day, began speaking about ‘Caddyshack.’ And I had that former sense about how I held my inner Danny Noonan expertise.

“And she or he learn me very clearly and stated, ‘Do you thoughts if I let you know why I’m such a giant fan of “Caddyshack?” ’ And I stated ‘superb.’ ”

She defined to O’Keefe that her father had simply died of leukemia and for the final six weeks of his life, her household would sit with him within the hospital — and the one factor that relieved the stress was watching “Caddyshack.”

“When she stated that to me, all the things (destructive) that I felt about having been in that film, all the things I felt about desirous to be distinguished as an actor and any of that self-aggrandizing stuff that actors are into, all simply disappeared,” stated O’Keefe. “I spotted that the movie holds a form of particular place within the American tradition. So, I’m all in on being Danny Noonan.”

O’Keefe’s “Caddyshack” co-star, Chevy Chase, who performed Danny’s mentor Ty Webb, can also be coming to Metal Metropolis Con and O’Keefe is trying ahead to seeing him.

“Instantly you choose again up the place you left off, which suggests after all that Chevy is insulting and impolite and I primarily grow to be his lapdog, which may be very a lot the best way it was on the set,” stated O’Keefe, half-joking.

Earlier than he made “Caddyshack” and grew his hair lengthy, O’Keefe performed Ben Meechum, highschool senior and oldest son of Marine Corps pilot and overbearing father Bull Meechum, performed by Robert Duvall, in “The Nice Santini.” The character of Ben is working as exhausting at studying to like his father as he’s in making an attempt to earn his approval.

The film is stuffed with intense confrontations between the 2 – with Duvall on the prime of his recreation as one of many premier actors of his era, and O’Keefe, in his first massive film position, greater than holding his personal.

“(Duvall) has an animalistic charisma that’s boundless. And on the time he was on the peak of his powers,” stated O’Keefe. “He was able to rumble and he doesn’t pull his punches and I don’t imply that metaphorically. Every time we had combat scenes, every time we had issues happening, it was for actual.

“There was a form of verisimilitude and infectious nature of his character that basically introduced us alongside,”

Not solely was O’Keefe nominated for an Academy Award for Greatest Supporting Actor, however Duvall was nominated for an Oscar for Greatest Actor in a Main Position.

However O’Keefe has by no means been one to relaxation on his laurels. He’s presently channeling his well-honed depth and comedic timing into his characterization of Jack Kent Cooke, the person who offered the Los Angeles Lakers to businessman Jerry Buss (performed by John C. Reilly) within the hit sequence “Profitable Time.”

“It’s very clear from the best way (Cooke) is written, and that is how I derived all of my preparation for the position, that he had this degree of presumptuous entitlement and was written as this sort of distinction to the pleasant and open method that Dr. Buss is being portrayed by John C. Reilly,” stated O’Keefe.

“Then it was only a query of getting enjoyable and making an attempt to do my greatest each time,” he stated. “I had a blast. You possibly can improv and roll with it. It was nice.”

Yet one more case of O’Keefe having a blast so the viewers can too.

Paul Guggenheimer is a Tribune-Assessment workers author. You’ll be able to contact Paul at 724-226-7706 or [email protected].

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