Wallach gets slightly emotional when he talks about his friend Marilyn Monroe. He co-starred with her and Gable in the last film for both of them; John Houston's The Misfits. "Norman Mailer and I spent a couple of hours together discussing Marilyn. It's mentioned in his book. Marilyn, I guess now, is being exhumed. Everybody has got their own theory about what made Marilyn tick. She's being used as an example of what's wrong, the malaise in the American system. The ass wiggling sex symbol who's unhappy. We tend to put a soap opera look on it. I don't know, everybody is an amateur psychologist as far as Marilyn is concerned and they say she's the fruit of a sick system.
"I think she was tortured, unhappy, her marriage was breaking up while we were making the movie. Arthur Miller had just written a Valentine for her and then, suddenly, everything she had to say in the movie runs counter to what she's really feeling. So she was very disturbed while we were shooting.
"When she was in a good mood she was marvelous. I'll never forget. Gable was on overtime when we were shooting the picture. I think it came to $50,000 a week, and Marilyn could never come on time because she'd be upset. She didn't want to face the camera, she hated herself and so on. Once she came about quarter to eleven; we'd been sitting around since nine. She threw her arms around Gable and said: 'I'm terribly sorry I'm late.' Gable looked at her and said: 'there's no hurry.' But remember, he was getting an extra $50,000 a week."
Wallach believes in the American system. Wallach believes that "eternal vigilance is the price of liberty" and carries on his person an excerpt from the Congressional Record citing 73 reasons to initiate impeachment proceedings against President Nixon.
"I think there should be impeachment so the real truth can be found out," Wallach says, but privately feels that the President will resign.
Wallach also speaks out against censorship although he does not care for the current wave of hard core films. "When I watched Deep Throat it reminded me of the method of force feeding a duck. You stick a long tube down its throat and shovel the food in."
Long acclaimed as one of America's finest actors, Eli Wallach uses little method or mood techniques in his performances. "There's an old theory that you can spend days in the library, put on all the clothes but if you haven't got the talent it won't mean a damn thing. It's a very mystical and mysterious thing that happens. I've got a technique but a lot of times the wonderful qualities in acting that come out escape the actor if he tries to pursue it too hard."