Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Max and DPK Interview, Part 2

Part 2 of some excerpts from an interview conducted by Max The Drunken Severed Head with my adopted actor, David Patrick Kelly.

The interview was conducted in Pittsburgh on May 19th, 2007.

Max, The Drunken Severed Head:
Do you get impatient with actors who don't place emphasis on the story but more on their role?

We're all crazy in our own way, and I judge actors that I want to work with again about how they are "in the moment", as we say.

Onstage, or in a film scene, when you're with people and you're looking in their eye, you can really tell what they're about. You can tell everything about them. And you can tell how generous they are or how selfish, A lot of that gets confused because of the roles they're playing. You cut a wide allowance for how people are offstage, because everybody has their own discipline, and their own ways, and their own philosophies.

But when you're doin' the THING, you can tell how people really are. You can tell if they're selfish, or if they're generous. You can tell what kind of an ARTIST they are, and that's how you judge. In the world everybody's crazy in their own way. So you just have to find a way to tolerate and allow people to be what they are.

Then there's certain times where you get to see what people really are. And, that's how you deal with who you keep connecting up with, and who you want to work with again. But impatience, you gotta let that go.

Martial arts taught me a lot about patience. I only started martial arts when I was 35, and it was very meaningful, because it shakes off, it goes back to looking in people's eyes. To me, martial arts, with men and women, in my karate school [smiles] you really get to see how people are.

We're animals with big brains. So we have the perfect ability, that's possible, but we're really animals. And the real nature of people when they're fighting each other comes out. And once again you see how they really are. So that it was a different way to get more TRUTH. It was kind of a goal for me.

I wanted to play Shakespearean generals, so I wanted to have martial arts. And I've been there twenty years now. So it's once again, a spiritual discipline. I call myself a Zen Taoist. Christian is what I am. Meditation is a part of it, Tai Chi, and martial arts, these things give me structure, and some way to stay fit as I get into my creaking years.

And, larger than that, it's a spiritual discipline as well. It teaches you a lot about patience, about your patience with other people. Because it's like an army experience almost. People talk about the army being "the best time of their life". They didn't want to go in, but, "Oh, my buddies," all that stuff. Because you're with people you wouldn't normally be with.

Being in a locker room, and people saying [mocking tone] "Hey! Ain't cha gonna do no more movies man?" or, "Whattsa matter witcher' career?", or something like that... They don't know anything [about me], but still you get to learn something about them. You ask about them and they say "Well, I got five kids, and three wives, and I'm strugglin', but my martial arts keeps me together." And it's true. You get to -- for an actor it's a goldmine. You're doin' this research, you've got different people that you don't get to meet, instead of hanging out with actors all the time. So that's waaay more than you wanted to know about martial arts...

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