US actor John Malkovich said it made little sense to do theater for money as he presented his latest play/opera, in which he plays a writer and serial assassin, in Mexico City.

"I don't care if I get paid at all. You don't really do theater for money, it doesn't make a lot of sense," Malkovich told a news conference in response to a question on how much he would earn for his stint in Mexico.

Malkovich has toured in "The Infernal Comedy," which also includes an orchestra on period instruments and two sopranos, for almost two years.

His character is based on Jack Unterweger, an Austrian serial killer who murdered prostitutes and was first convicted for a 1974 murder. Unterweger later became a journalist and minor celebrity but started killing again. He committed suicide during a further jail sentence.

The work was an attempt to "understand why some humans not just enjoy but actually need to hold the power of life and death over other people," Malkovich said.

The star of movies including "Burn After Reading" and "Dangerous Liaisons" said the major challenge of the play, which has already toured in South America, Europe and the United States, was working with the orchestra and singers.

Malkovich will take part in seven performances directed by Mexican movie actor Diego Luna in three Mexican cities, including the capital.