Monday, February 7, 2011

Top Ten Tuesdays: Liev the Leading Man

You all know how strongly I feel about Liev's privacy and his right to preserve it.

That's why there's something about watching Liev as himself that feels intensely voyeuristic to me. I do struggle with it. When I watch an interview or see someone asking Liev a personal question, I almost feel like I should be looking the other way. Through not only general comportment but also via his commitment to projects, Liev makes it very clear that his feels his public purpose, his life's work, is to bring the journeys of others to light. He wants to slip into someone else's skin and show us that soul. I want to be respectful of that.

So when an interview comes along where he's not only welcoming the scrutiny but also eager to share his experiences, and you can see a brother-in-arms momentum to the thing, I'm able to ease up a little and enjoy it. Sofia ♥ sent me such an interview today (Thank You, Girl!) and I thought I would share it with you.

Liev is often generous with his time in projects like this, which support Theatre and the Arts. I have stolen my favourite moments because it's an hour long and that might stop some of you from watching it. In addition to the appeal of such illustrious guests, there are other reasons to watch this show. A lot of substancial and profound things are being said.

Here are my Top Ten Liev Quotes from this wonderful interview in 2007 by the American Theatre Wing.
  •  "I love rehearsing. It's the hour sitting in the theatre before you have perform that I personally find unbearable. That's when the effects of the ravages of time really start to show."

  • "The thing that gets me through is the audience. It's that ambiguous exchange of energy that I still don't understand but that I've become addicted to."

  • "The minute you step out there, for me, I feel this palpable... something in the air that is really remarkable and that is not only very satifying, but also informing and is probably why I got into acting in the first place. I feel connected to something. Also, connected to people which I struggle with sometimes."

  • "I think I'm sort of supercharged after a performance for an hour or two which is why there are a lot of stories about alcoholism in the acting world."

  • "I've never thought of myself as Method or... a Sense Memory person. But I'm learning about myself as I go on this play <Talk Radio>. I have physical associations, which I guess is Sense Memory but I don't intellectualize them and I don't psychologize them. I'll, like, ask my body to respond in a certain way and then place that with the character's psychology. And one thing I've been noticeing that's been happening recently - I think my body kind of owns things that I don't necessarily want it to own after the show is done. Like back pain or tension... there are odd little aches and pains and things that I do believe in the fact of... if there is body memory and you put your body in a toxic place." 

  • "Everyone knows that Shakespeare is sort of a galvanizing element of the Jewish Community. (Laughs all around). No, but seriously, I was thinking about this while you guys were talking because I was thinking what the... hell, have I done so much Shakespeare? I think probably a big part of it is that I was always attracted to musical language, rhythms, and in a very real way I think this thing that is Theatre, Literature, Theatrical film, all this stuff has been my education, you know? And I got the sense that there was something expansive about Shakepeare. That there was something that was going to push me farther. You have to find a way to let go of yourself to expand conciousness and reach these characters in a human way. And I just always thought that was not only so much fun but I was learning so much from it."

  • "It's probably evident from my film but I've always liked old things. Like, my favourite thing about the Seder... ultimately, at the end of the day, you're being reminded of your connection to ancient people and there's an immediacy to our sense of relatedness. I love being part of a continuum." 

  • "If the plays are good enough, the audience develops a very personal relationship to them. And so when you work on them, you feel that sense of intimacy ownership in that exchange of energy with the audience that is actually making them kind of more exciting. Great writers keep achieving intimate relationships with the audience and that's why they're fun to act, 'cause you get to be in a relationship with them when you do that play."

  • "It gets annoying, I think, when you're a movie star, that there are a certain level of people who aren't even interested in the play. They're not there to see the play. They're there to see their image of you as the movie star."

  • "I am an actor. You know who I am. Does that make what I'm saying any less vital or any less important? And can I find a way to accept that relationship and work through it as an actor? That's my goal. How do I use that thing you think to open you?"  

I would also like to emphasize something Kevin Spacey said which flooded me with a sense of relief. Sometimes, when I'm writing my posts on here, I speak of the characters as though they're real people. That's because to me (in the moment) they are. If I didn't feel that way, if there was nothing at stake for me, I wouldn't be writing about them. But, I do worry sometimes that people think I cannot distinguish from reality, or that my Dork Ratio is a solid 10/10.

When I say "Paul looks at Reagan with disdain..." <Spring Forward> I do realize it's Liev as Paul.

Anyway, I know Liev didn't say it but I felt better hearing Kevin Spacey say:

"I come from a school of thought that there's way too much infotaynment and way too much information about people. I used to think the word celebrity meant you celebrated someone's work. I don't think it means that anymore. I'll tell you when I feel the most satisfied. It's when people refer to the character that I've played as three dimensional. When they talk about the character and use the character's name rather than my name. Then, I go, well, maybe I got close to doing my job that time because that character came through."

So, here's the SHOW. I urge you to make the time. If you like the Theatre, I guarantee you won't regret it.

1 comment:

  1. I'm very glad you liked the panel! I especially loved the idea of being carried by the play, and just letting it take you, because if the writing is good, and the connectiveness is there, you don't have to worry. You'll always be in the right place...yeah, I loved this kind of stuff.

    I also loved Kevin and Liev's pseudo bromance lol They riffed off of each other really well and I'd love to see the two of them do some theater or movie work together, ne?