CANNES -- Tony winner and Oscar nominee Frank Langella can explain how he emerged from the financial collapse unscathed. For the most part.
"When I was shooting Frost/Nixon in 2007, I woke up one morning with no intellectual thought, just some kind of old-lady, Italian-emotional thing that I shouldn't be in the stock market," he recalled at the Cannes Film Festival this week. "And I called my accountant and I said, 'Take everything I have out of the market -- my equities, my bonds, whatever you've done.' And he said, 'Why?' And I said, 'I can't tell you why. I just don't want to be there any more. I don't want my money at anyone's mercy but mine.' "So Langella and his accountant got on a conference call with several executives of a multibillion-dollar firm that shall remain nameless. Langella declared his intention to withdraw everything. The executives stalled. Three hours later, "I finally said, 'I have a diagnosis of something serious and I need it for medical reasons,' " Langella recalled. "I got it back like that." (Langella later joked that his medical condition improved 30 seconds after he hung up.)
Langella, perhaps best known for his performance as Dracula on Broadway and his Academy Award nod for playing Richard Nixon, thus had no need to panic when the you-know-what hit the fan.
"I didn't make any money on my money, but I didn't lose a thing, because I was out before people were losing 30, 40, 50% of their portfolios," he continued, in an interview to promote his new movie, "Wall Street: Money: Never Sleeps."
The fateful turn of events reminded Langella of the best financial advice he ever received: "Keep it in a sock."
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