I went to Northwestern in Chicago, in Evanston, and then I ended up trickling down in Chicago theater. I did a bunch of plays, but I was non-equity. For a lot of people, non-equity means you're not yet professional. But for me, if you're in a mainstream theater, you're doing something real.
It's highly dishonorable to ever quit a production. I never have done it, and I can't imagine ever doing it. However, I have been in productions before where, on the first in the read-through, you feel that someone is in trouble, and indeed, actors have been let go shortly after read-throughs. I've seen that happen before.
I was a fan of 'Six Feet Under' and was very sad when it ended, so I was not ready to switch my allegiance to another show. So I was like, 'I'm not watching this 'True Blood.' Then a friend got a bootleg copy of the first four episodes, and by the third one, I was irrevocably hooked.
When you think of Grimm's fairy tales, they are deeply, deeply psychological. They're so powerful, so bloody, and really, really disturbing. Think about five-year-olds reading that stuff. Even 'Little Red Riding Hood' is a really freaky story. Grandma is gobbled up by a wolf, and the wolf is going to eat the girl. That's scary stuff.
I'm 48, and I have been in love with vampires since I was six. I was born in 1962, so I've been through three or four waves of vampires. When I was growing up, we had vampire shows and movies. We were still dealing with Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff and the old Christopher Lee vampires.
Forever I was a big fan of 'Six Feet Under.' So, I got a bootleg copy of the first four episodes on videotape, watched them and was instantly into it. During the first episode, I was like, 'Eh.' By the time I got to the second one, I couldn't watch them fast enough. I got on the phone that night, called Time Warner cable and ordered HBO right then.
I read five books on the Constitution. My favorite was 'Plain, Honest Men' by Richard Beeman. I went on a science jag in the same way. I kept getting in arguments about evolution and being bested. So I read Charles Darwin's 'On the Origin of the Species,' a fantastic book that is not that difficult.
When I did 'Racing Demon' by David Hare, I worked with Paul Giamatti, who had stacks of books in his dressing room. I was offstage a lot, so I would go read in his room. He was reading a four-part series on the Byzantine Empire by Alexander A. Vasiliev. I read two of those during the run of the play.
It's pretty crazy. I was thinking about that today, how 'True Blood' has penetrated so much of the cultural zeitgeist. It's truly amazing; it's incredible! The cover of 'Rolling Stone' is major. What's next, the cover of 'Vanity Fair?' When I'm in a 'New Yorker' cartoon, then I will feel like I have made it.
Probably I have more phobias, fear and eccentricities than I would care to admit. I don't think I'm in danger of losing my mind, but I do often question my own behavior. I have a very bad temper, and it's not always healthy for me and for others. I make my way in the world more difficult, and I could do with a little more yoga.