Because we are human, because we are bound by gravity and the limitations of our bodies, because we live in a world where the news is often bad and the prospects disturbing, there is a need for another world somewhere, a world where Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers live.
I felt Michael Jackson was inspired a little bit more from the elegance of a Fred Astaire. Michael loved Sammy Davis, Jr. and James Brown and Judy Garland and Fred Astaire. But he wasn't any of those people. To be inspired is one thing, but he made it all his own.
While I was making my solo films, RKO was busily trying to get me and Fred Astaire back together. The studio wanted to capitalize on the success of 'Flying Down to Rio' and realized that the pairing of Rogers and Astaire had moneymaking potential.
When I am cast in a movie where I feel that the woman's part is more interesting, I usually start thinking about Spencer Tracy and Fred Astaire. They seem to be the most clear actors when working with women.
I wanted to be Stan Laurel, then I wanted to be Fred Astaire and then Captain Kangaroo. I actually started out as a radio announcer when I was 17 and never left the business, so that's literally 70 years.