The Oscar winner told The Hollywood Reporter that he takes a different approach to the profession than his late Godfather co-star Marlon Brando did during his lifetime.
"It's like kids playing house," he said.
"Brando never used to like the profession. He was a guy we all looked up to, but I think it's a wonderful profession as long as people can benefit from what we do. [A fan might say] 'I saw you in the The Great Santini. It helped me with my father and the relationship'. It makes you feel good."
Duvall was also questioned as to whether he regrets turning down the opportunity to reprise his role as Corleone family attorney Tom Hagen in The Godfather Part III.
He replied: "No, because it wasn't as good as the other two. [Director Francis Ford Coppola] came to my house in Virginia. He always wanted my mother's Maryland crab cake recipe. So I wrote it down for him and we talked about [The] Godfather [Part] III. Then he left and forgot the recipe. He called me more concerned about the recipe than whether I would do [The] Godfather [Part] III!"
The star has been nominated for six Academy Awards over the course of his 51-year film career. He received the 'Best Leading Actor' prize for his performance as down-and-out country singer in 1983's Tender Mercies.
Last week, Duvall was nominated for a SAG Award for his work in director Aaron Schneider's drama Get Low.