I thought I’d be doing theater, really. That’s all I had experience with growing up. I mean, I saw movies and television, but I don’t think I really connected at a young age that that was acting, that that was part of the profession.
I had such an amazing experience on ‘The Pillowman’ that it was hard to think what else is going to live up to that.
In television, you are of necessity working in bits and pieces and scenes, and things are out of order, and you never can have the same sense of how will this look when it’s all put together, what will the effect be.
When you’re guest-starring, it’s very nice, but you’re there very briefly, and it’s right there in the name: You’re a guest. It’s very hard to get a real sense of belonging. With recurring and regular roles, at least you have a sense that this is a home and a steady place.
Both ‘Oz’ and ‘Homicide,’ they’re critically admired, so it’s not like they’re really neglected, but I wish they’d found bigger audiences.
I spend a lot of time in California, but New York is still my main home. I go to see a lot of theater.
Movie stars are doing TV series, and former TV stars are doing guest shots. Everybody gets bumped down the line. That’s affected everyone in the industry. I’ve been lucky; I’ve stayed busy. I’ll cross my fingers until it’s my turn to be sitting around, not working. I’m sure that’ll happen, too.
I had seen ‘Pillowman’ in London and loved it. Being part of something that I, as an audience member, would like to be part of was one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had.
The stuff that I find really intriguing is always how do ordinary people behave in extraordinary circumstances. And that’s why we have a lot of cop shows and lawyer shows and medical shows is that you’re looking for situations that just always heighten the stakes.
It’s very juicy to twirl your mustache and figure out why people do the horrible things that they do. It’s not just because they are evil, but because that’s how they somehow explain the world to themselves and justify themselves. It’s always interesting figuring out how that happens.
What I always loved about theater is that that’s an experience that a company of actors just sinks itself into for weeks, and you really get to work on the material, and by the time you’re in front of an audience, you really own it.
I actually love going to a lot of theater movies. I just love watching actors work and seeing how people tell stories.