Monday, March 3, 2008

Brian Dennehy: Man, Actor, American

“ I'm a huge fan of Knight's. The thing I like most about him is that he's in the tradition of great American success stories. This was a guy who is incredibly smart about basketball, maybe the smartest basketball mind of all of them ... and he was driven and successful. Great American traits. When you think about it, what's the difference between Bobby Knight and Vince Lombardi? Why is one guy a God, and the other guy is regarded as a crazy man? ”
— Brian Dennehy

For Mr. Dennehy, however, success raised as many questions as it answered. ''Lopakhin has gotten to the place where triumph very quickly turns to ash, as it does for everyone,'' he said. ''It did for me; three or four years ago I had an ashen taste in my mouth. I had done a lot of movies, made a lot of money, and it didn't really mean a hell of a lot. I mean, it's better than a sharp stick in the eye. But when I started doing theater again, I realized that what is interesting to me is the work - not celebrity or getting tables at restaurants, but new challenges. I'll do the movies and hope some of them will be good, but an increasing amount of my time is going to be spent doing things I'm not sure I can do. Otherwise, what's the point?''

\It's an unbelievable blessing. Kids don't give a shit about your self-absorption. They don't care that you're preparing for a part, and your career is not exactly working, and you've got this phone call to make and this trip to take. They say, "Hey, I'm the most important thing!" And that's good. Because actors are too damned self-absorbed to begin with, and when you get old, you really become self-absorbed. They're not interested! I am constantly reminded of the fact that the future is out there ahead for them. And I want them to have the love and the security and the preparation that they'll need for it because I've got a feeling it's going to be a tough ride in the next 20 or 30 years.

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