Patinkin in 2008
|Born||Mandel Bruce Patinkin
November 30, 1952
Chicago, Illinois, US
|Other names||Mandel Bruce Patinkin, Mardy Marterson|
|Alma mater||Juilliard School|
|Occupation||Actor, singer, voice artist, comedian|
|Spouse(s)||Kathryn Grody (m. 1980)|
My inner motivation is to make the world a better place; the bad guy and the good guy think the same thing.
I didn't think of myself as a singer. I'm an actor who recites words, and sometimes that happens to be on musical notes.
I don't know what's going to happen in life, so I don't think it's fair that I know what's going to happen in 'Homeland.'
I'm a Jew. I'm fascinated by our culture and our history, by what made us the people we are. It influences every breath I take. It informs and guides me. Without it, I'd just be a vacuum.
But I loved the theatre and I was just doing theatre 24/7 and kept dropping courses because I didn't have the time and the chancellor thought that wasn't a good idea after awhile.
I don't want people to sit and process the song. I want them to just let them bathe over them.
If I hear a lie in my life with my children, with my wife, my work, my audiences, I want to annihilate myself, vaporize myself and wipe myself off the face of the earth.
I have no problem with violence, I have no problem playing horrible people.
I have the strength from my mother, the survivability. I have wonderful qualities from my mother – but please, Mother, forgive me – I heard judgment constantly about my father.
One of the greatest gifts that 'Homeland' has given me is it's affirming on a daily basis.
I moved to New York to go to Julliard Drama School. Didn't sing a single note of music.
We did a different show every night. We'd open a show, and then two weeks later we'd open the next show. And two weeks later we'd open the third show until we had all eight running. And it was just one of the richest experiences I'd ever had in my theatrical life.
I think it's fair to say I'm attracted to playing characters who are rather intense.
I try to say something about the human condition whenever I can when I'm lucky.
Well, I'm not a critic, I'm just a worker. So, I'm always grateful for anything the critics say – good or bad.
My sense of religion is Einstein's sense of relativity. I don't believe in God. I believe that energy never dies. So the possibility exists that you might be breathing in some other form of Moses or Buddha or Muhammad or Bobby Kennedy or Roosevelt or Martin Luther King or Jesus.
It's what Shakespeare's mission was – to illuminate our thoughts and struggles and bring about the possibility of getting the most we can out of a day as opposed to least in this brief moment we're here.
I guess I am sometimes over the top on stage, but then, that is my personality. I'm over the top in real life, too.
The way I like to work is to attach personal experiences to what I'm doing, so it helps tremendously if I can write my own play under what the writer has written.
My wife will tell you that if you feel my hands before I walk on for a performance, you could chill a bottle of wine.
The best work I can do is to take myself as much as I can out of it and get it as simple as I can.
I'm on the board of directors for Peace Now, which works tirelessly between the Palestinians and the Israelis to create peace in the Middle East and we've never been closer.
I can achieve that by personally relating the words that I am saying to something I have known in my life.
The great fun for me is these collaborators. I'm nothing by myself. Being with these people, whether it's the 'Homeland' cast or stage collaborators, they make you everything you are. They make you come to work. They make you be alive.
People on both sides of any conflict believe they are right, whether it's on a TV show or in the real world.
I would go to war with words, not weapons. I would die talking before I lifted a weapon.
I never publicise in advance what I'm going to be singing because I never quite know until I start. I often change my mind halfway through. I sometimes throw in stuff about politics or Shakespeare or do songs in Yiddish.
There's something about singing that I just love. It makes me feel freer than anything in the world.
I've been very blessed in my personal life and in my career and I have never been ungrateful for what I have.
I'm active in PAX, which is a gun awareness organization. We treat gun safety as a public health issue.
Peace in the Middle East isn't going to be created by another war or violent act on the other side.
I've always been someone who some people like and some people don't like.
In the hands of good writers, you have the opportunity to present both sides of an opinion equally and that you leave it to the audience to listen and then make up their own minds.
In my prayers every day, which are a combination of Hebrew prayers and Shakespeare and Sondheim lyrics and things people have said to me that I've written down and shoved in my pocket, I also say the name of every person I've ever known who's passed on.
I got married because I wanted to do something that was more than I understood, because my feelings were more than I understood.
I try to get that across in the work, to try to, if I'm lucky, to make this world a little bit better for all of us before I check out. And that's if I'm lucky, I don't always get to have that privilege but I try always.
I belong on the stage. I love how the day's events, whatever you read in the newspapers or watch on the TV, are reflected in the performance and how it's received.
I'm blessed. I have a 13-year-old girl's eye and a 14 year-old boy's eye. I've been given the gift of sight by people who decided to donate organs. I try to do as much organ-donor work as I can.
During 'Chicago Hope,' I never let directors talk to me, because I was so spoiled. I started off with people like Milos Forman, Sidney Lumet, James Lapine, unbelievably gifted people. So there I was, saying, 'Don't talk to me, I don't want your opinion.' I behaved abominably.
Isaac and I are going to Israel to ride for peace enviromental justice and a safer world for us all.
I desperately want to see the day today and do the best I can not miss a shred of sunlight. It'll be over before I know it.
When you work on a text of a lesser quality, as the interpreter or the delivery person, you are obliged to try to fill it out as you see so many people do in lesser work.
If a movie musical came along and the part was right and somebody wanted me to do it, I would do it in a heartbeat.
The biggest public mistake I ever made was that I chose to do 'Criminal Minds' in the first place.
I'm an obsessive hiker and I do it every day for two hours and it really helps me when it comes to learning songs or scripts.
When I'm on the road with concerts, people ask me to autograph my CDs, but more and more they come up with the cookbooks.
Singing in Yiddish was a great thrill for me and came about through Joe Papp, the founder of The Public Theater.
I'm not frightened about terrorism. I'm frightened about the roots of what we call terrorism.
I grew up in Synagogue in the boys' choir. We didn't listen to music in the house; only at temple. Then I went to a mostly African American high school on the South Side of Chicago and joined a gospel choir.
Actually, the language in Shakespeare is wonderfully musical. You need to hear the music to connect with the words.
I wanted to go to a liberal arts college, I wanted to have that experience.
I have never been asked to be in a movie musical. Other than 'Yentl,' which I didn't sing in.
I'm a spiritual person, I'm an America, I'm a Jew, and all of those things influence every breath I take, everywhere I go.