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Martin Landau and the Art of Darkness
I was lucky enough to interview Martin Landau when he was in London for the Film Festival premiere of Frankenweenie. Like a lot of 70s kids I first discovered him as Space:1999's haunted looking Commander Koenig. When discussing his career at a recent BFI event he described with remarkably sincere detail the living conditions on Moonbase Alpha and why they couldn't procreate. It is that level of earnestness that characterises his approach to all his roles -- TV or Oscar nominated/winning film parts for renowned directors such as Ford Coppola, Woody Allen and Tim Burton. For The Strand --the BBC World Service arts programme -- I focussed on his roles of darkness. He proved delightful company and a witty mimic. Sadly he never had time to finish telling me his theory (complete with Olivier and Richard Harris impersonations) of why he thinks British actors drank so much. But he spoke movingly and protectively about his best friend, James Dean, from his student days. You can listen to