March 14, 1959 |
St. Paul, Minnesota, U.S.
'Heartbreak House' was a lot of fun for me. I must have missed that day at school. I'd never read it or seen it. It's one of those things that a lot of people are familiar with.
A lot of times you come against actors who come from a different direction, and you tend to meet in the middle.
Often I play, especially on television, a lot of smart lawyer people and cerebral types.
Tennessee Williams is an incredible writer for women because, in many ways, his women characters are him. He writes so passionately.
I often feel that when people have affairs, it has more to do with something they're searching for in themselves than anything else.
I'd rather do a great play than a mediocre play in New York. As much as I'd like to be seen in New York, that's not my driving motivation. My motivation is to play great roles, wherever they happen.
A lot of my training is in classical theatre; I've done a lot of classical plays in New York and also at the Guthrie and here and there across the country.
I did nine months in 'Mrs. Klein' in New York, then four months on the road. Then I did a movie directed by Philip Haas, who did 'Angels & Insects'. We shot 'The Blood Oranges' in Mexico for six weeks.
One day, when I was 33, I shifted. I suddenly saw acting as a higher calling. I understood that my goal was to serve the play. And I realized if an actor can make audiences' hearts resonate or make them question their values – that's an important thing to do!
Because I was from the Midwest and untrained, I was completely open and ready to try anything. Many of my classmates were cynical and jaded; some already had conservatory training, and they were there simply to get that Yale stamp of approval, which they saw as a career stepping-stone.
That's always a fun thing to play, a relationship where there's equals. I often play roles that are repressive, or women who are slightly repressed or having some kind of internal conflict.
It's funny, oftentimes the really great roles that I enjoy are in classic plays, and there aren't many theatres in New York who will do them, aside from Roundabout.