An article titled “Warren William Talks” was published in the July 24, 1932 issue of The New York Times. An interesting time to catch up with William as Hollywood is still kind of new for him and yet the interview actually took place on his first time back East since having “abruptly left the cast of ‘The Vinegar Tree’ two seasons ago.”
At the time William wasn’t known to talk much:
“I think,” he said, “it’s a hangover from school days. If I hadn’t been in mortal fear of examinations at that time, I wouldn’t be an actor now. I’m still afraid of questions. You see, I just missed becoming a nautical engineer by flunking an exam in mathematics. I wasn’t really as bad as the exam painted me; it was just that I was afraid of the quiz and everything I ever knew froze inside me when I came to it.
“I think I am just psychologist enough to know how this all started. When I was a youngster, my father owned a newspaper in Aitken, Minn. Just like royal marriages, it seemed agreed all through my school days that I was ultimately to become a newspaper man and take over the reins from my father as soon as I was through with college.
” I rebelled and got the habit of rebelling against anything preconceived, cut-and-dried, foreordained. If some one had planned that I would be a nautical engineer, I should have lose all enthusiasm. If any one had hinted that I would become an actor, I would have done everything in my power to avoid it.”
In a brief paragraph the Times article shows how William tried to get his feet wet as a nautical engineer but wound up acting instead: “When the war broke out, he wanted to join the marines and get some nautical experience. He found himself in the army as a sergeant in the Minnesota division. But, once the armistice was signed, he found himself applying for a chance to tour the army camps with Madison Corey’s theatrical troupe.”
At the time of the article Warren William was to do two personal appearances, one in Washington and another in Philadelphia, with fellow Warner’s star Bette Davis. William and Davis received the script for a sketch called “The Unexpected” just four days prior to the Washington performance. “That’s where the old stage training does help out,” William said. “If we were both just film players, we probably couldn’t do it. But Miss Davis, of course, has been on the stage, too. It’s a break for me that she has, I might add.”
Warren William was coming off the success of his appearances in “The Dark Horse” and “The Mouthpiece” during this period. Davis appeared with William in both “The Dark Horse” and “Three on a Match” that year.