ACTOR JAMES Caan on Tuesday at the Western Wall.
(photo credit: FLASH90)
Declaring that the US needs a hawk in power, American film great James Caan threw his support behind Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
“It’s a pretty dangerous world,” said the 76-year-old Jewish actor, during an interview on Wednesday with reporters in Jerusalem, in the middle of his first visit to Israel.
The Academy Award nominee, best known for his role as the hot-headed Sonny Corleone in 1972’s The Godfather, explained that the US needed a change after eight years of President Barack Obama’s policies.
“I was never politically oriented – in fact I called myself a radical middle-ofthe- roader. Unfortunately, with these last two terms of our current president, my children are going to be affected by his decisions, or lack of them, in a big way.
It’s a pretty dangerous world, so given the choices – which are not really wonderful – I am supporting Donald Trump in the hopes that his ego won’t get in the way, and that he’s smart enough to hire good people. We don’t know that, but we pretty much do know what Hillary will do. So if Trump listens to the people he hires and he has a great cabinet, the scale tips that way for me. We need a hawk right now.”
Wearing a T-shirt and baseball cap while relaxing in the capital’s King David Hotel, the (still) sturdily built Caan expressed his contempt for the stereotype of Hollywood being a liberal bastion, a label he said is distorted.
“That pisses me off when they talk about all these Hollywood liberals,” he said. “There’s a whole bunch of us who are conservative. I find it offensive when actors go on news shows and spout their political views. They don’t exactly have political science degrees, who cares what they think?” Referring to politics in the Middle East, Caan said that he admired Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with whom he was planning to have an audience later in his trip.
“He’s a tough guy in a sense, a real guy,” said Caan, who should know something about tough guys, having appeared as one in dozens of films in a diverse career that has also seen him play romantic leads (Chapter Two), sports heroes (Brian’s Song) and scores of offbeat character roles.
“I had great luck to be working in the 1970s, and the luxury to work with [Robert] Duvall, Bobby [Robert De Niro] and Francis [Ford Coppola]. It was just plentiful.
Today it’s more of a business feeling.
That’s why you get Fast and Furious 10.
“I realized that there’s a big difference between having to work and wanting to work, so I’ve retired from having to work.
If I did a picture just for money, I wouldn’t feel good about myself.”
The Brooklyn-raised Caan, whose parents were German immigrants, does feel good about finally making it to Israel, where he is a guest of the Tourism Ministry, the Einstein Fund and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
“My family wasn’t very religious – we were a little rough around the edges. Our rabbi came to my mother to talk about me and my brother and he said to her, ‘if there were two more Jews like your boys, I’d be a priest.’ “But at times, I’m super-religious because I feel such a strong connection to Israel. If Israel is war, then I’m at war...
I’m very pro-Israel, and I can’t like anybody who isn’t,” said Caan, who visited the Kotel, put on tefillin, and met with the rabbi of the Western Wall, Shmuel Rabinowitz.
“He said a prayer with me. Unfortunately, I don’t understand Hebrew, which isn’t good. But he doesn’t understand Brooklyn.”