John Malkovich is the greatest movie villain, now he plays the philosopher Seneca. A grim talk about impermanence, climate concerns, and striking Malkovich-style.
On a gray Berlin afternoon, John Malkovich enters the hotel room like a cold wind creeping through a tilted window. He sits down slowly, and there is a certain temperature in the 69-year-old actor’s movements, as well as in his way of speaking: at the same time drawling and singing, with a somber look. It’s easy to see why he’s so often cast for roles where he’s allowed to exude something menacing. In Robert Schwentke’s new feature film “Seneca” he plays the title hero, the Roman philosopher who led a privileged life because in his speeches he justified the bloodshed of Emperor Nero while at the same time mocking the tyrant.