What really matters is that you do what you think is right, what you believe in, and you surround yourself with the people you care about in this world. That's what counts in this life.
Theater is a physical activity as much as anything. It's harder for me to learn the lines than it was 30 years ago. At the same time, I'll never quit working in the theater - until I can't memorize two lines back to back.
I'm not one of these people who likes to do as little as possible. I really do feel the hot breath of time on the back of my neck these days. And there are certain things I want to do before my time is up.
I come from an Irish Catholic family, and hell-raising is part of the DNA.
I lied about serving in Vietnam, and I'm sorry. I did not mean to take away from the actions and the sacrifices of the ones who did really serve there... I did steal valor. That was very wrong of me. There is no real excuse for that.
If you're sixty-something, pushing 70, the chances of you getting a tremendously fascinating part in the movies are very low, as to be almost negligible, or even in television. But in the theatre, there are still things to do, very interesting, very profound things.
My grandfather was a really, really tough no-nonsense factory worker who emigrated from Ireland in about 1900 to Bridgeport, Conn. He had a big effect on me. Those guys who took a great leap out into what they knew not were the ones who were the real stars, the real heroes.
From 1965 to 1974, I served the best possible apprenticeship for an actor. I learned firsthand how a truck driver lives, what a bartender does, how a salesman thinks. I had to make a life inside those jobs, not just pretend.
Call me old-fashioned, but I believe that morality is not just a matter of opinion.
At 13, I was a big, totally uncoordinated, hopeless football player. I responded to somebody else's rules, and I stayed just good enough to get a scholarship to Columbia, which was looking for scholar-athletes.
I'm not in the movie business anymore, and hardly any 70 year olds are. I always ask the producers: 'Are there no 70-year old vampires?' Apparently there are not - or even zombies for that matter. I guess they all get eaten.
It'd be very difficult to cast me as a ballet dancer. Everybody is, in some sense, controlled by their size and their gender. I'm not going to be allowed to play the part that Denzel Washington plays.
I remember playing John Wayne Gacy, serial killer, very sick, neurotic, screwed-up guy. You know what? There's a part of me there, too, and you explore that.
I was in high school in 1953 when the Committee of One Million circulated a petition urging that Red China - one third of the world's population - be excluded from the United Nations. And I remember I refused to sign it, at 14 or 15 years old.
I've got two artificial knees, I have an artificial shoulder, and I'm reasonably healthy given the damage I've done to myself. Everything hurts.
For un-subscribe please check the mail footer.