From the deep archives: John Lithgow

January 22, 2010

Inspired by running into him at Fela! last week, I decided to post my interview with John Lithgow from my book Caught in the Act: New York Actors Face to Face. The book, published in 1986, was a collaboration with photographer Susan Shacter, who took the fantastic portraits, including this one, which is one of my very favorites in the book.

A little piece of the interview:

“In movies, an actor has to do a great deal more, because directors aren’t accustomed to worrying about it, and their ideas are usually not very concrete. So especially if you’re going to do anything sort of unusual — use an accent or prosthetic makeup or something like that — I feel much better if I get a big head start. For instance, for Buckaroo Banzai I got these rotting pale green teeth and this shocking wig of bright red hair that I went around astonishing my friends with, and I got together with this very sweet little tailor in the MGM costume department with this fabulous thick Sicilian accent. I sat and talked with him for an hour and tape-recorded the conversation to get his accent down.”

You can read the whole interview here.

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