When writing your memoir, did you ever stop and say to yourself “Wow, I’ve had a great career and life”?
Only after I completed it.
Having played both John Adams and John Quincy Adams, I would have to imagine that you know as much as the historians do about the Adams family. How did you go upon preparing all of the historical information to get into the characters?
To be honest, I didn’t do any background work. I simply had to solve the problems in the script. Afterwards, I did a great deal of reading about both of them.
I recently heard a rumor, that you attribute your success to “Never eating lunch”. Could you please explain that?
My explanation is, that it was simply a joke, but I don’t eat lunch.
After heading into TV and Movies, you did little to no theatre professionally for the rest of your career. Do you ever miss performing on the stage and wish you had done more of it?
Yes, I miss performing on the stage, but when you think about doing eight a week, in a long run for instance, I know now that I don’t miss that.
Throughout your career you have done so many memorable and incredible performances, what do you look back on as the highest point in your career?
I would say performing John Adams in “1776”, for over two years on Broadway, would have to be the highlight of my career.
Back in 1999, you had a term as the President of the Screen Actors Guild, a very important position that has been held by some very famous people, including President Ronald Reagan. What would you say the best parts of holding that position were?
The best part would probably be meeting so many nice people, and having some of them on my team to help me get through a six month strike, and many contentious moments.
For someone like myself that is looking forward to picking up a copy of your memoir, what can we expect when we read it?
Hopefully this book might fall into the hands of someone who is considering the acting profession as their life’s work, and to other people who might be interested in looking behind the scenes of the acting profession.
If you were able to jump into a time machine and tell your younger self one thing as you started your career, what would it be?
I would study with an acting teacher, and use every opportunity to get on stage and perform.
What would your advice be to any aspiring performers that are looking to start their careers?
Work hard and don’t take the no’s seriously, and get a lot of sleep!
A college student at SUNY Purchase, I see many shows on Broadway annually and love theatre.