In the theatre, as anyone knows who's even done amateur theatre all their lives, you immediately find a family there. Because you're under stress, you're trying to create something, you're putting on a show, you find brothers and sisters right away.
When I went to England on my own, I became a busker. I played guitar for money in Leicester Square. And the guys who are supposedly blind and crippled, who aren't, got me after I'd collected a lot of money, took my money and threatened to break my arm if I ever came back to their 'kip,' their turf.
I was raised to be kind. My parents were underdogs. Immigrant Jews. I spoke with an accent. I didn't speak English even - I spoke French and Yiddish mostly. I was picked on.
My parents taught me the way to deal with being picked on was to be compassionate. I had to defend myself physically, but I had to be compassionate and understand the position of those abusing me. I had to figure it out and then rise above it.
In my 20s, I was a monk. I was obsessed with theatre, not being famous, not with television. I was 20 years on the stage before I set foot in front of a camera.
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