You probably know something of his high-profile body of work–like Bullitt, The Getaway, and The Magnificent Seven, to name just a few–but we wanted to know a little bit more about the guy himself.
Unfortunately, it turns out McQueen was notoriously press-shy, but he did give this interview to a high school student in 1980, while on the set of The Hunter. That film turned out to be his last, as he died of pleural mesothelioma later that year.
KRAUS: What [can you tell us] about your background?
MCQUEEN: A lot of stuff I got into trouble for when I was a kid, people wouldn’t even blink at today. I got into trouble with robbery and booze, but not really drugs, because they weren’t considered bad at the time.
KRAUS: Does being famous disrupt your private life?
MCQUEEN: Yes, it does. The important thing is to have your identity, but never blow your obscurity. That’s the key to the kingdom, but the money makes me feel better.
KRAUS: You have not been in the public eye for the past few years, but even when you did make movies, you didn’t give any interviews. What was the reason for your silence?
MCQUEEN: For one thing, I don’t have anything to say. Also, I think the press is full of shit. But I do have a certain respect for youth, and that’s why I agreed to do this interview for your paper.
KRAUS: When was the last time you were interviewed?
MCQUEEN: How long is a decade? (Someone blurts out ten years.) Then it’s been ten years. I don’t even remember who interviewed me.
There’s more of the interview, as well as Kraus’s remembrance of the experience over at stvmcqueen.