Tommy Lee Jones

Space Cowboys

Interviewed by James Mottram

Where were you during the first moon landing:

I was in prep school trying to do homework at the time. No, I was at college. And also worrying about homework. You tend to forget when you get older.

You’re younger than your co-stars. How did that feel and how do you stay young:

I am a bit younger. I am barely 53 years old and I tried as hard as I could to fit into the company appropriately and I have not heard anyone complain about my youth. I stay young and fit by leading an athletic life and I have always been insured.

How did you find the nude scene:

The nude scene? That was no problem. It was just another day at the office. All you had to do was stand on a piece of paper marked on the floor and the camera dollied from right to left and it was over.

How was it wearing the space suit?

Here on earth it weighed 800lbs, and it was hard to put it on and take it off. Wearing one for six or seven hours and strapped to the end of a crane on a sound stage was difficult. You have fun for a little while, and then it is uncomfortable.

How would you like to make your stage exit?

The ideal situation would be to be playing "King Lear" on stage and you would be giving your 999th performance. You would then lay down at the end and say, "Never, never, never, never" and not come back for the curtain call.

Read about the other Space Cowboys: James Garner, Donald Sutherland, Clint Eastwood