Steve Guttenberg Jokes About Hollywood, Comparing It To Horse Racing (Exclusive)

Actor Steve Guttenberg, 65, is no stranger to the ups and downs of a Hollywood career.

“There was love if you succeeded, and no love if you didn’t,” he tells PEOPLE with a laugh. “My publicist at the time said to me, ‘You’re a wonderful racehorse, and when you stop winning, they’ll send you to the glue factory.’

But he insists none of that bothers him – and he was fully aware of what he was getting into when he signed up to become an actor. In fact, he says that at first he quit because he didn’t like the competition culture.

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Steve Guttenberg in “Three Men and a Baby”.

Photos by Touchstone/Courtesy Everett

“I thought I had nothing to lose,” he says of his move from Long Island to Los Angeles after high school graduation in 1976 and his attempt to become an actor. “My mother and father both gave me a carefree attitude. If it didn’t work out, it was a big deal, I would come home. I had nothing to lose.”

He landed a commercial in his first two weeks in Hollywood, then made two films, but still decided to move back East and go to school at SUNY Albany.

“I didn’t like the culture,” he says of the film industry. “It affected me. Young actors are very competitive and I didn’t make many friends, so I decided to go back to school.”

Five months into his first semester, he got the audition for The boys from Brazil, I got the role, and that was it. Soon he became a real star, chosen to play the lead role in the film. Police Academy franchise, Cocoon And Three men and a baby, and he had both money and fame.

“I was careful,” he said, not to let it all go to his head. “I still am. It’s a fickle business, and when you’re hot, you’re hot, but you’re not always hot… It was the fashion industry – you go in and you go out of fashion So I always kept my be realistic about it.”

Steve Guttenberg at the Oscars in 1986.

Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty

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Guttenberg, who has also just published a memoir It’s time to thankabout caring for his ailing father, says that as his career continued, there were definitely roles he wanted and didn’t get.

“You have to come out of it and realize that if they didn’t pick you, that doesn’t mean you’re not great, just like if they didn’t pick you. TO DO “I choose you, that doesn’t mean you’re great,” he says. “It’s a difficult life and it’s a weird life for people. You have to be very, very careful. That’s why people lose their minds in show business: it’s easy to buy this that they sell.”

He adds: “You have to be careful not to believe in success. You have to remember that the stars are in the sky and you are just a lucky human being.”

It’s time to thank is available now, wherever books are sold.