Part II (see Part I)
It was one of my favorite experiences. I really liked, “Breaking the Waves” so I said okay to reading the script. But then when I read the script, I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t see how we could make that into a movie and into a musical so I said, “No.” But Lars wanted me on it and he convinced me that I would be in good hands with him. And I was. He was very helpful. There are a lot of good people in that movie, like Catherine Deneuve, Björk, they are all remarkable. There have been a lot of stories about what a nightmare it is to work with Lars but I didn’t have that experience at all. I’ve been with directors who are cruel to actors. They are mean with their crew. He is so far from one of those people. Lars is incredibly sensitive. It was a great experience.
Have you just wrapped “The Boy”?
We were supposed to have finished filming but now we’re going back to Colombia for more shooting. The movie stars Rainn Wilson who is really good and Mike Vogel plays a mechanic. My role is to play father to a boy who is really wonderful [Jared Breeze]. We live in a rundown motel in the Colorado Mountains that the father runs. The world has passed us by. It’s beautifully shot and tastefully done and it’s a creepy, scary movie.
Do you have any weird fan stories?
Yes, I’ve had to hire private investigators for death threats. One experience that my character on “St. Elsewhere” had gone through, prompted a guy to write to me. He said he thought that I was the only person in the world who could understand. I was kind and polite but wrote back that I wasn’t really the right person to be talking to. That he could get a lot more help from someone who knew how to handle these things. That angered him. He felt betrayed and threatened my life. That is really scary when you have kids, a wife.
Speaking of your wife, how do you think your marriage has lasted so long? Are you a good husband?
I must be good enough because she’s still with me.
Do you enjoy fatherhood?
I love being a father. Two of my kids were on “The Boy” with me. My daughter was a still photographer on the movie. She’s great. She does stills and they liked her so much she got more work. I have twin boys in college and one came down for spring break and had a part in the movie.
What’s next for you? Will you be doing any more theater?
I recently did a play in New York at The Roundabout, “The Unavoidable Disappearance of Tom Durnin.” It was with a wonderful cast and I really enjoyed it. I don’t get to do theater very often. I did “The Seafarer” on Broadway a few years ago. I did a play with Mary Louise Parker called “How I Learned to Drive.”
Have you ever forgotten a line onstage?
Of course. I’ve had a lot of opportunities to forget lines. When we were doing the opening scene of “How I Learned to Drive” I was up there feeling like things were going good. Then, as soon as I thought that, I totally forgot my lines.
Did Mary Louise Parker jump in to save you?
No. I mean she is one of the most professional, hard working actors, but no, she didn’t jump in. This was opening night. I had to stop and apologize to the audience and say I needed help. The nearest help was all the way across the theater so the audience had to wait for me to get my lines brought over.
Did you go out and get drunk that night?
No. I didn’t. After that nothing went that bad. I mean that was the worst thing that could happen and it happened. The next night we all did an amazing job, so in a weird way maybe that helped. The play won the Pulitzer so, I didn’t interfere with that.
“McCanick” opened March 21, 2014 and is playing in New York City at Village East Cinema. It is available on VOD and iTunes. Crime drama. Rated R. 96 min.