On HBO's Deadwood, Al Swearengen is a bad influence, but the derisive saloon owner has done wonders for the guy who plays him, Ian McShane. The foulmouthed role earned the Brit a Golden Globe as well as parts in the upcoming films We Are Marshall, with Matthew McConaughey, and Woody Allen's Scoop (see review on page 48). ''Woody does his shtick in the movie,'' says the actor, ''but off camera he's quite a serious guy.'' Not so the jovial McShane, 63, who had plenty of fun taking our Personality Test and managed to keep it (practically) expletive-free.
Name: Ian McShane
1. The first famous person I befriended:
We all went to a dinner party in London in 1970 and this guy said, ''Here's an old friend of mine,'' and Marlon Brando turned around. Everybody was so gobsmacked.
2. The worst advice I ever received:
Switch agents. It will be good for you.
3. Choose one:
A Steve McQueen
B Paul Newman
C John Wayne
D Robert Mitchum
Oh, Mitchum, I worked with him, I love him. I still exchange Christmas cards with his widow.
4. In high school I was...
A good student. I was almost perfect. Very popular, and I played a lot of sports.
5. Choose one:
A The Rolling Stones
B The Beatles
The Beatles, because the Stones are middle-class pretending to be bad boys.
6. The person I'm mistaken for most often:
Someone once sent me a letter: ''Can you send me 10 autographed photos of Terence Stamp?''
7. If I had to gain 30 pounds for a role, I would eat:
I'd get a fat suit. At my age, it would be too difficult to lose the weight, and they make very good fat suits.
8. The Rat Packer I most identify with is:
A Frank Sinatra
B Sammy Davis Jr.
C Dean Martin
D Peter Lawford
In 1975 I had drinks in Caesars Palace with Frank and Dean I knew [Frank's daughter] Tina. I was sitting with Dean and Frank behind a velvet rope with 2,000 people watching. Strange, but cool.
9. If my life were a drinking game, everyone would do a shot when...
My life WAS a drinking game, and I did a shot whenever I could! But I stopped a long time ago. Actually, there's a Deadwood game: Every time I say ''c—sucker,'' they drink. So people must be barfing up.
10. You're stranded on a desert island with the Deadwood cast and you've
run out of food. Who do you eat first?
Trixie's (Paula Malcomson) buttocks.
11. My porn name is:
Max + Freckleton = Max Freckleton
(Childhood Pet Street You Grew Up On)