Bronson Pinchot Shovels Some Serious Hollywood Dirt

“Cousin Larry, let us do the dance of joy.” If you don’t know what I’m talking about, I don’t like you very much. Did you never see “Perfect Strangers,” the awesome ’80s sitcom starring hottie Bronson Pinchot as Balki, a sheepherder from the island of Mykos who comes to America to live with his cousin? Netflix now, people. Anyway, Bronson has largely disappeared from the pop culture scene, but the Onion’s A.V. Club chose to interview him. And his comments are amazing—he claims that Tom Cruise made constant gay jokes, that Denzel Washington is the meanest guy on the planet, and that it makes Mischa Barton cry when you talk about her butt. On struggling before his big break:

“I had so little money that someone had given me a gift basket for Christmas, and I would limit myself to two slices of the apple and a bite of cheese every day. That’s how poor I was.”

On co-starring in “Risky Business”:

“We didn’t know it was going to be a big hit. We thought Tom [Cruise] was the biggest bore on the face of the Earth. Tom was 20, I was 23. He was tense and made constant, constant unrelated homophobic comments, like, ‘You want some ice cream, in case there are no gay people there?’ I mean, his lingo was larded with the most … There was no basis for it. It was like, ‘It’s a nice day, I’m glad there are no gay people standing here.’ Very, very strange.

On almost canceling on “Beverly Hills Cop”:

“I almost didn’t do the movie, because my girlfriend and I had tickets to go to Florence, and they kept pushing the date back of when they were going to shoot it. Not having a crystal ball and not knowing what was going to happen with it, I said, ‘If you don’t shoot it before next Wednesday, I’m not doing it.’ But it opened up a whole world. I got the television show and movies, and I would go sign autographs for one hour and get paid $25,000. I had bodyguards and police barricades, and I had that whole life from 1985 to about 1992.”

On the sitcom experience:

“I discovered my inner physical comic there, because I felt that the writing was weak. I mean, I received my training in Shakespeare, Shaw, and Beckett, and all of a sudden I’m doing this stuff, like … What the hell is this about? Who cares?”

On shooting “Courage Under Fire”:

“I think Denzel Washington—he’s one of the most unpleasant human beings I’ve ever met in my life, but he’s this mega-superstar. He was really abusive to me and everybody on that movie, and his official explanation was that his character didn’t like me. I spent my salary on time with my shrink just for helping me get through it. The script supervisor on that movie said it’s like watching somebody kick a puppy. He was so vile.”

On his not-yet-released movie, “Finding t.A.T.u”:

“I play a fashion photographer being incredibly abusive to Mischa Barton’s character … The director said, ‘Do you like improvising? Basically, you have to reduce her to tears, and it has to be very personal, and it has to be about her body, because you’re the most powerful fashion photographer in the world, and you should decimate her.’ So I took Mischa Barton aside and said, ‘Are you aware of this? What are you okay with? Give me an arena.’ She said, ‘If you talk about my ass, it’ll make me cry.’ So I did, and I wasn’t loving it—I don’t love that stuff—but she felt that it was important for me, so we did like 20 takes where I made comments about her ass, and then she cried, and then we all went home.”

[A.V. Club]