Peter O'Toole: What Becomes of a Playboy Past His Prime?

"You know we were in Arabia -- we were in the middle of the desert and we lived in tents," O'Toole said. "We'd stick up the tents, wake up in the morning, and go off and do a scene. … Then Omar Shariff and I would go off to Beirut."

And, O'Toole recalled, he and Shariff had their share of adventure in the "Paris of the Middle East."

"There was everything that two young men could have wanted," O'Toole said. "There was a big casino and night life. There was gambling. There was all sorts of things. Lovely girls kicking their heels up in the air. It was smashing."

At one moment in "Venus," the audience sees a picture of O'Toole from an earlier era. Looking back on his former self, the screen legend says he has no regrets.

"I look at this young man and remember I wasn't a bad kid. A bit wild, a bit anarchic," O'Toole said. "I can remember him. Yes, he was a bit noisy and drank far too much and could be a pain in the ass, I suppose, but he wasn't a bad fellow. Whatever else he was, that young man, he was a very serious actor and I like that."

On the Razor's Edge

O'Toole said he knew that the May-December romance in "Venus" was touchy subject matter, but he praised the deft way in which it was handled.

"It's a razor's edge, a romance with an old man and a young woman," O'Toole said. "I can't bear them, some of them. I think, 'Oh, stop it. It's rubbish.' … But Hanif Kureishi, the author [of the novel on which 'Venus' is based] had taken this razor's edge and written it like a three-lane highway."

"It's a very tricky subject," O'Toole said, "but to see it handled with such enormous humanity and fun, it was great fun."

Despite the actions of his character in the film, O'Toole confessed to a different stance in his personal life.

"[If] my daughters brought back anybody, the poor anybody was in terrible trouble," he said. "If I sense they were messing my child around at all, I'll break his neck."

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