John Malkovich Is Shy And Doesn't Want Attention, So What Keeps Him In Movies And TV?

It's no secret that John Malkovich is willing to consider any kind of role, whether that leads to him playing an assassin, a Pope, or a weird, evil sci-fi doctor. Given how high-profile his roles can be, you'd be forgiven for thinking that the man loves the spotlight. After all, how many shy people would sign on for a "Being John Malkovich"-style movie — even if the story itself was moreso influenced by screenwriter Charlie Kaufman's struggles?

It's not that Malkovich necessarily loves the spotlight; in fact, as he told Vanity Fair, he is "intriniscally shy" and doesn't care for public speaking lest someone misinterpret what he says. Yet he also doesn't hold back when a project seems exciting:

"I want to do things that interest me. You know, when I was a little, fat kid, it would have been well beyond my imagination, or anybody's — I would posit — that I would play the Baron de Charlus [in the 1999 film Le Temps retrouvé]. Why did I do it? Because I thought it was interesting."

Malkovich's emphasis on chasing exciting projects doesn't just apply to on-screen endeavors, either. Sure, he's willing to try unconventional roles, but he's just as eager to explore hobbies and passions beyond the silver screen.

Taking on passion projects, no matter how small

If you go through a few of John Malkovich's interviews, you'll start to notice a pattern: the "Space Force" actor loves to experiment with different hobbies. In an interview with The Guardian, he shared that he and his wife, Nicoletta Peyran, make their own wine — or rather, "[m]y wife does the organisation, I just drink." Peyran apparently prefers to make wine that would otherwise be hard to find in their area, ultimately providing the couple with a better alcohol selection.

Similarly, Malkovich told GQ that he started a fashion label because it aligned with many of his passions:

"I'm a longtime fabric collector. I've always liked drawing, I like designing. I've designed costumes many times. I've designed lots of fabric. There are many things I loved about doing that work."

Unfortunately, Malkovich's philosophy doesn't always pay off. He didn't like the idea of advertising his clothing line and avoided it as such, so he eventually had to close the businesses That being said, there's almost certainly one passion that's been very fruitful: Rolling Stone once described washing the dishes as Malkovich's "only real hobby" — which is surely well-appreciated by his family.

A return to old-fashioned excitement

Malkovich has made it clear that he isn't particularly interested in doing things for the sake of impressing other people. He picks up unconventional projects, shies away from reading reviews about his work, and prefers to keep out of the public eye, even if he's polite enough during interviews. But ironically, while Malkovich isn't particularly interested in doing things for the sake of impressing other people, the way that he approaches his passion projects makes them seem all the more exciting.

Whenever you get a peek into someone's personal life nowadays, especially on social media, it's easy to feel like things are only being shared to show off or make a ton of money (if they've really got things figured out, showing off can make them even more money). At the same time, it's getting harder to enjoy a hobby without the temptation of monetizing it or turning it into content. As frustrating as this can be, that also makes it captivating to watch Malkovich — who is admittedly a relatively well-off celebrity — simply chase projects that he deems interesting. Good for him, and may we all enjoy the same attitude.