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Malcolm McDowell Looks Back at ‘Clockwork Orange’ and Stanley Kubrick Stealing His Pay

How do you get into the headspace to play a character like Alex DeLarge? For Malcolm McDowell, who was handpicked by Stanley Kubrick to play the violent droog in “A Clockwork Orange,” the answer was to consume as much violent media as possible in the months leading up to production.

“I spent nine months with Stanley before we started shooting, watching violent movies every day,” McDowell recently revealed in an essay for The Guardian. “They were the most horrendous films: concentration camps, bodies stacked up. He was thinking of using them in the treatment sequence, where Alex is given aversion therapy.”

McDowell worked closely with Kubrick during those pre-production months and part of his own wardrobe even inspired the iconic look of his character. As McDowell writes, “One day, I asked Stanley what my friends the ‘droogs’ were going to look like. He said: ‘What have you got?’ I said:

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