Frank Langella Takes Aim At Paul Newman’s Acting Skills

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July 1, 2012 | 6:36pm EST

Frost/Nixon star Frank Langella has stunned Paul Newman fans by questioning the late movie legend’s acting skills.
The revered thespian takes aim at Newman in his new memoir Dropped Names: Famous Men & Women as I Knew Them, admitting he was never a fan of the star’s big screen performances.
Defending his provocative comments at the recent Nantucket Film Festival in New York, Langella said, “It’s fascinating how many people have come to Paul’s defense whom I really, really loved. I say that he was, as a person, dull. Well what’s wrong with dull?
“He was gorgeous, had talent, was a wonderful citizen, marvellous husband, father; but he’s a little dull.
“He had a tremendous desire to be a great actor, but he was not a great actor. Great actors are rare. He was a movie star and that’s not an insult; it’s a fact and I promised myself I would write an honest book. I read these sugar-coated biographies that drive me crazy. I said ‘dull’ not to insult him but to say that he was a victim of his beauty, a real victim of it as much as female beauties are.
“He worked like a dog to make himself as great as he could but he lacked the thing that a great actor has – danger – and he knew it.”
But Langella heaped praise on Newman’s movie work, adding, “Paul is a movie star, of which there are hardly any more of, really. Our movie stars today, they all look machine made.”