Michael York, OBE is an English actor. An early career with the National Youth Theater, Oxford University Dramatic Society, and University College Players led him to the National Theater in London. After acclaimed roles in Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet (1968), Cabaret (1972) and Jesus of Nazareth (1977), he is more recently known among mainstream audiences for his role as Basil Exposition in the Austin Powers series of comedy films. Classically trained, Michael York wrote a handbook "A Shakespearean Actor Prepares."
Michael York: I'd just like to use up my time usefully, you know, and creatively. It's-- and again, this is the actor's dilemma, you don't know what lies ahead. In most jobs, you join, you're in the mailroom and you see your way up a ladder to the boardroom. It's all planned out for you, you know, if you work well and play your cards right and appropriate for the job. With an actor, you have no idea what's going to happen next. Part of that is very exciting because you know, I finished this interview and the phone rings and you know, maybe it's an offer and life goes shooting off in a totally unexpected direction or the phone doesn’t ring. So then I think you have to, you know, you have to treat the down time as-- and it can be the most creative time you have, by reading a book or learning a poem or seeing a play or doing all those things, are all you know, creating opportunities.
Question: What excites you today?
Michael York: Well I think the great thing is that it's changing all the time. You know, as soon as you, I know, I'm going to say that this is the rule. This is what happens, that something will come along and change it. I think the constant though, is that I don't think we're ever going to lose this need for certain members of our society whether they're performers, you know, writers, poets, artists, to be able to interpret the experience of being alive in a very powerful and life-enhancing way.
Question: How have you lasted 40 years in a Hollywood marriage?
Michael York: Well I think I've been blessed and lucky to have a wife who's interests and passions and even her career, she's a professional, wonderful photographer, has dovetailed with mine. And we've been able to share so much, you know. She was with me on film sets, I'm with her, you know, on photo shoots and so on and again, very lucky, very fortunate. We celebrate 40 years this year of marriage. And again, one looks for what lies ahead. One looks forward to the experiences that you know, we're going to share in the future