Odd Couple

Unlikely Hollywood/football relationship REVEALED!

Duvall – likes his footer

Robert Duvall

Both footballers and actors live in a strange bubble, in which they spend two thirds of the year working in intense groups with specific goals, then the rest of it making up for lost sex parties and boozy nights out in clubs. Hence, more of them should be friends.

Vinnie Jones has famously crossed the divide, rather seamlessly. And, for a while there, Tom Cruise was regularly turning up at the Beckham mansion – presumably to whisper subliminal “join us!” messages throughout David’s endless dinnertime monologues about the hilarious differences between America and England, such as: “you say tomato, and we say tomato!”… which doesn’t quite work in print, unfortunately.

And now – thanks to the weekend’s Observer – another intriguing actor/footballer friendship has been uncovered, between the great thespian Robert Duvall, and Celtic’s legendary winger, Jimmy Johnstone.

In an interview with every Sunday morning croissant-eater’s read of choice, the actor said this:

“The most interesting guy I ever met was the ex-soccer player Jimmy Johnstone, from Celtic. What a character: the voices, the rhythms, the speech patterns… and he’d sing to me like Neil Diamond. He’d drink and come on to women. I named a dog after him.”

And…

“Soccer is boring for some people, but I love it. When Scotland play Brazil, one team think they’re the best in the world, the other one know they’re the best in the world.”

As strange and improbable friendships go, it’s certainly up there. Can anyone shed any light on this curious relationship? Let us know with a comment, or just enjoy the men at their best in the clips below (WARNING: One features the work of soul music’s “marmite”, Jamelia).

Robert Duvall

Jimmy Johnstone


1 response so far
  • matthew // February 8, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    He played a Scottish manager in “A Shot at Glory” in 2000. He did research with Celtic.

Leave a comment
  1. View comments in RSS feed