You know how sometimes Anderson jokes that his goal is to make it past the age of fifty, when his father died? Thing is, I don’t think he’s joking. He tries to pass it off as a joke, but I’ve heard or read in multiple interviews him saying he always sort of expected that he’d die young. I think he means it. Which really, really explains a lot.
When you’ve thought, from the age of ten, that you’re not going to live very long, that you’ve got this ticking time bomb in your chest, well, doing something insane like forging a press pass and going to wars without even the most basic protection? It doesn’t seem that insane.
Even now, when he’s not taking risks that are quite that stupid, it seems like he’s still got that countdown in the back of his head. I wonder if that’s part of the reason why he hasn’t had kids yet — not wanting to put a child through the loss of a father.
I got wordy as fuck, so I did this as a reblog instead of an answer.
I wouldn’t doubt in the slightest that, like Captain Hook and his crocodile, he still hears that clock in his sleep. When Doug was diagnosed with cancer in ‘95, the actuarial statistics for people with his specific diagnosis showed a 60% survival rate for the first year, tapering all the way down to 5% after 20 years. And despite all of the advances in science and medicine that we’ve seen in the 17 years since, every time he gets sick, we’re left wondering if this is the beginning of the end.