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PopEntertainment.com > Feature Interviews - Actors > Feature Interviews F to J > Jeff Goldblum

 

Jeff Goldblum

Is Not Dead Yet

by Jay S. Jacobs

 
Copyright ©2010 PopEntertainment.com.  All rights reserved.  Posted: March 29, 2010.  

The one constant in producer Dick Wolfís Law & Order franchises has been change.  Ever since the first season of the flagship series and star George Dzundza decided to move on, no actor or character was completely safe.  As the franchise expanded (there are currently three Law & Order series, including Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Law & Order: Criminal Intent, but over the years there have been five) talented actors have regularly left the series.  Amongst the many names through the Law & Order turnstile have been Chris Noth, Jill Hennessy, Michael Moriarty, Angie Harmon, Paul Sorvino, Carey Lowell, Benjamin Bratt, Jesse O. Martin, Dianne Wiest, Fred Thompson, Courtney B. Vance, Annabella Sciorra, Jamey Sheridan and Julianne Nicholson.

Yet rarely has one of the series seen a bloodletting like Law & Order: Criminal Intent sees in the first two-part episode of the upcoming ninth season, which airs on the USA Network.  Three of the most important characters Ė including two who have been the seriesí focus since day one Ė are written off the series.  Brilliant-but-obsessive Detective Robert Goren (played by Vincent DíOnofrio), his stalwart partner Det. Alexandra Eames (Kathryn Erbe) and their sometimes frustrated chief Captain Danny Ross (Eric Bogosian) all are ushered out of the Major Cases Squad in differing ways.

Left standing in the wreckage is Det. Zach Nichols, played by Jeff Goldblum.  Goldblum had joined the series just a season ago Ė replacing Chris Noth, who was leaving a Law & Order series for the second time.  It is only the third television series for Goldblum, who is well-known for his movie roles in the likes of The Big Chill, Jurassic Park, The Fly, Independence Day and Into the Night.  Nichols is getting a new partner (of course) played by Saffron Burrows of Boston Legal. 

A little less than a week before the new season premiere, Goldblum was nice enough to sit down for a conference call with us and several other websites to discuss the new season, his career, being part of an ex-Presidentís favorite series and the odd death rumors that swirled around about him last year. 

What continues to challenge you about your role? 

Well, let me see. Itís very challenging because the writing is wonderful and the people around me are the best in the world.  So Iím just trying to live up to that and to make the most out of what are wonderful scripts and wonderful acting opportunity it is.  Plus, my character is always evolving, and itís challenging to try to do my best with it. 

Social media has become a big part of promotion for TV shows and for movies and things like that now.  How does it play a part in your life and with your show coming on Ö? 

Well, Andrea and Farrah could tell you better how it plays a part in the show. You donít mean the content of the show? You mean the marketing of the show?

Yes.

Oh, the marketing of the show.  So I know nothing about that. They can tell you. This is the first timeóIíve been doing it since last year in this kind of way.  But Iím sure theyíre doing much, much more, and they can tell you all about that because I donít reallyóIím so busy, consumed with making the show right now Iím not really staying up to speed on all manner of and forms of marketing that theyíre doing.

You donít have your own account or anything like that? 

I do not. No. 

You have a new partner who is going to be challenging. Sheís clearly as intelligent as Nichols and she has a fairly wide ranging network of contacts. And itís totally different skill set. How do you see them working together? 

Well, I now know. Weíve done several cases together. And we work beautifully together, very dynamically. I think sheís great. Youíre right. She is brilliant and has her own skill set and we just work very creatively together.  As much as anything, even given the dark and horrific and nightmarish circumstances that weíre always faced with, dead bodies and gruesome places and gruesome events, we seem to both get a thrill out of the fun and the adventure of the hunt, hunting down the bad guy.  Then, we get enrolled together and she gets enrolled in my other peck agenda, which is not so beside the point Ė which is finding out what the whole story was and why.  Criminal intent of course.  Thatís why itís named that.  Why, psychologically speaking, the person has done it?  Not only who did it, but why they did it?  Itís not beside the point because when we finally take it to court, thatís very much the point.  Part of it you got to tell a jury hey, hereís theóweíre not going to get a conviction unless they can buy and believe the whole story and the motive and why this person might have done it.  Beside that, itís a personal thrill for meóa personal side and overall contextualizing investigation to deepen my understanding of the deeply criminal types and thereby all of us and me. Iím on a kind of psycho spiritual investigation that fascinates me and thatís infinitely mysterious. She and I become partners in that, and itís absolutely thrilling. 

I have a two-part question here. First, how was it being dead?  And, how was it giving your own eulogy on The Colbert Report? 

Those are great questions. Well, I love the Colbert Report. Iím a fan of that show and him anyway, and when they asked me to do that, I was delighted because they are smart.  I get a big kick out of their sense of humor and I thought they came up with something funny for that and it was delightful to do it. The whole incident was bizarre and engendered a rainbow of feelings in me, of course. It was upsetting. People called who hadnít heard right away or hadóand called up sad. Nobody, thankfully, ran their car off the road or had a heart attack or anything, but there was some trauma. For that, I would dissuade people from doing this.  Iím sorry that it happened and all of that. But it was not of little interest to me to get in touch with, in some cases, people I hadnít been in touch with for a while. [They] said ďoh, my gosh, is it true?Ē ďIím glad youíre alive and it made me think of youĒ and all that kind of stuff. It was trippy, trippy. The first movie I ever remembered getting moved at was a movie called Gigot. I donít know if anybody will know this. Itís a little known movie, I think, from the early 60ís probably when I was a kid. With Jackie Gleason, and he plays a sort of a mute village poor soul and at the end of the movie, everybody sort of mistreats him. At the end of the movie, they think mistakenly heís dead. And then realize how much they cared for him, in fact, and give him a big funeral. He, in fact, is alive and shows up secretly for a moment, peaking from behind a tree and seeing the funeral and getting teary and weepy himself. Then they see him and the whole movie ends in this sort of light-hearted way. But I remember crying at that. It was the first movie I ever remember getting very moved at. So thereís something in that whole situation thatís kind ofóIím sensitive to, I think.  

Well, weíre all very glad to hear youíre still alive. 

Youíre so sweet. Thank you very much. 

I read that Ralph Macchio is going to be on this season. 

Yes.

Can you tell us who else we can expect to see? 

Well, let me see. I wish I had a wholeóI should have been prepared with a whole lineup. Just combing my memory. Now, he was great. He was lovely and what a great actor. Kevin Conway is in an episode that I think will play shortly [before the] end of the season who was absolutely wonderful. Gee, manyóKaren Olivo, who was on Broadway In the Heights and West Side Story. She was in this last episode that we did and just a ton of other people. Thatís one of the lucky things about doing this show. It feels to me youíre like in this anthology series and the casting people are fantastic. You get the cream of the whole acting community showing up. Itís just great.

Now, with the Law and Order franchise, thereís always a turnover of cast members. I wanted to know what do you think of the loss of Vincent, Kathryn and Eric. How will that affect the show or the way you see the show?  

Well, let me see. How will it affect the show? I mean, I think theyíre the best actors around. I love the show with them and I love their characters and Iíll miss them. It wonít ever be the same. All three of them were spectacular and irreplaceable. Thereíll be a different kind of show, although the flavor is something of the Law and Order flavor. It will follow something of the same flavors. But Iíll miss them. I think theyíre just great. I can talk about Saffron and her character and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio and her character. And how excited I am about them. But it will very different. I love these two new actors and characters. I feel lucky to be working with them and Iím thrilled about the characters that they wrote for them, what theyíre doing in the show and how we all play together.  

I have a question. Last season, we saw that like yourself, Zack Nichols is very talented playing the piano. What other ďGoldblumismsĒ shall we see this season or what would you like to incorporate into the character of Zack Nichols that are a part of you? 

Letís see. Gee, I donít know if I have any other show business tricks up my sleeve or any other talents. Iím just trying to be as smart as I can and bring what I know is passion in the writing and in the character and in the real lives that weíre trying to depict. We have a great guy named Mike Struck, whoís on the set all the time, whoís a real and a masterful detective and police person. I realize all the time that to really do that job would be very difficult. You have to have a very particular skill set for it, talent for it, and appetite for it. Iím just trying to pretend in a way that is at least believable. Boy, that would be a tough job, I tell you. 

Yes.  The other question I have is weíre almost about the same age and Iím just curious, if they had an iPod, a thing like an iPod when you were a teenager growing up, what kind of music would you have had on it? You have a very interesting musical background. Iím just curious what influenced you as a kid. 

Well, the earliest stuff I can remember is when the Beatles were introduced when I was a kid. So I was very thrilled about the Beatles, including the first couple ofóI Want to Hold Your Hand and ďLove you, yeah, yeah, yeah.Ē All that. When those came out on 45s, the world had changed in some way and I was very thrilled about it. Then a little later, when the White Album and Sgt. Pepper and Magical Mystery Tour came out, it meant a lot to me. It was a big deal. Early on, too, Motown stuff was big in those days. ďStop in the Name of Love.Ē All the Motown stuff around then was big with me. Then, my parents, we had a hi-fi and they were jazz lovers. They had some Erroll Garner records, a jazz pianist whoís active, whoís also from Pittsburgh as I am. That made an impression on me. I remember hearing Thelonious Monk. Then, my older brother was a big jazz fan and got the Modern Jazz Quartet and was into that. Some Brazilian music. I remember Stan Getz, this album he had from Stan GetzÖ the Astrud Gilberto records. That made a big impression on me. All of those. 

The premiere actually was pretty unique because it felt like a setup for a spin-off series. A spin-off that is actually the series itself. 

Hmm. Yes. Yes. 

Does the atmosphere on the set feel like a new show or does it just feel like a continuation of the show that youíd previously guest starred on? 

Well, letís see. I mean, I know I did eight of them last year and youíre right, it was different. It was all different cast members that year. But the stories and the quality of the writing and the high quality of the production and the crew is still the same. So it feels familiar but I miss the cast members who are gone. I adored them. But it does feel like a new show in a lot of ways. Iím crazy about Saffron Burrows and the character. They wrote it for her and the way sheís doing it. Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio is spectacular and I love her and her character, too. So yes, it feels kind of new to me. 

My next question is a real fan question, which is was the end Martian sequence in Life Aquatic a deliberate homage to the end Martian sequence in Buckaroo Banzai? 

Thatís so funny.  At the time that we were doing it, I remember Wes Anderson talking a little bit about that and saying, ďLet me see.  Did he have anotherówas there another?Ē He mentioned a couple of movies because heís a hipster and a sophisticate and archivist and knows all kind of movies. Yes, he talked about Buckaroo Banzai. He said that he really related to that in some way. Thatís right. 

Öabout the single skip you do in both. 

I do? 

Yes, you kind of do the martial skit. It was very much an intentional fan in both films quite a bit and there wasó 

Thatís funny. 

That you were in both of them made it perfect. 

Oh, thank you so much. Yes, I liked both of those movies. Iím glad to have been in them. 

I actually just last week got in the mail your first series Tenspeed and Brown Shoe, which has just been released on DVD. 

No kidding? I didnít know that. Thatís hilarious. 

It just came out last week.

It did?  Where is it available? Where do you get it? 

You can get it through Amazon.com or Iím sure itís probably available through stores and everything like that. 

Iíll be a ring-tailed monkey. 

So Iíve got to ask you, itís been many years and youíve certainly done a lot of films since then and a lot of TV work, but it was recurring. But it wasnít until Raines a few years ago when you actually went back into a regular TV series as a regular character.  And of course, Law and Order: CI.  How is it different working on a series than doing films and recurring roles and stuff like that?  And do you enjoy one more than the other? 

Iím having as good a time as Iíve ever had right now. There are some obvious differences that Iím sure youíve heard about before. I mean, first of all, for me this is now the longest job Iíve ever had. Iíve never had a movie that lasted this long and I never did a series this long.  So now, into the second season, itís the longest job of any kind that Iíve ever had. Thatís a little different. I see the same people, happily, every day. That feels familiar and family like. Iím enjoying that. And the character, youíve heard people talk about this, but I think itís a very nice creative opportunity where in a series where there, where you get great writers, too. As Paul Schrader told me at the time a couple of years ago when we were doing Adam Resurrected, he thought the best writers in writing was now on TV. If you get great writers and people who care very much and want to do good things, and you kind of write as you go I think thatís a very viable legitimate creative way to sort of see what works. Make it up as you go and elaborate on it and make it more and keep writing the whole novel and the whole huge screenplay as you go. Act it that way. Itís kind of like life a little bit. Itís like making a journey on a dark highway road in a car with only your headlights ahead of you and you canít see the road, but you can see the road in front of you. You can make the whole trip that way. I like that idea. So, Iíve found it very creative so far, but maybe Iím in a relaxed and creative spot myself. Iím always trying to get better. I do like that. I have a work ethic that I think I inherited from my father in a way. He used to get up early every morning and routinely and put in an honest dayís work. I kind of like that. I like having a place to go and feeling like this is not just something I got to get through and make the best out of and hopefully, do my best with. Itís my way of life. I still want to do my best with it, but itís what I do every day. Itís part of the daily, my daily routine. I really like that. I really like it. This particular show, the actors are so good and the writers are so good and the producers caring. Itís a very nice, nice thing for me. I like it a lot. 

Perfect. And could you talk a little bit about your memories of doing your first series that I just mentioned Tenspeed and Brown Shoe? How was that different? 

Letís see. Let me see. I enjoyed that. We only didówhat did we do? Seven, thirteen. What did we do? 

I donít remember exactly but I think there were like two or three disks in the DVD.

Yes. I think we did like thirteen of those. So fewer already than Iíve done of this. Well, Steve Cannell was great. I think heís talked and feels like talking. Heís proud of what we did there and Ben Vereen was fantastic. I remember having a good time with it. I liked it. I remember Bill Clinton. I met him a couple of times. He came up and said, ďYou know youíve done a lot of things, Jeff, but my favorite thing was Tenspeed and Brown Shoe. I never missed an episode.Ē

You have a very unique acting style.  So how does it come in handy on Law and Order and do you get to ad lib at all? 

Oh, thatís funny. Well, Iím trying to do my best on it. I feel like I can make use of the way I am learning, still learning to tackle things. They have wonderful writers. Itís meticulously written, but here and there, we can and are encouraged to do little tweaks and additions and be loose about it in one way or another, yes, which I enjoy also. 

Can we expect to see more piano playing by you this season? 

Let me see.  Did I play withówell, see, less so far. We have a few yet to go. So I donít know what they have in mind for me, but thereís less piano playing so far, except Iím thinking of one episode that we just finished, what did I do?  Oh, yes, I justóI lean over. Thereís a young student, piano student, girl, at a performing arts college and sheís playing something and I say oh, I get interested in it.  While sheís still there, I lean over and play a few notes of something.  I think, hum along with it, do some humming and playing. Thatís about all Iíve done musically this year.

Which one of your characterís traits are you best able to relate with? 

Traits? Traits, traits. Which characterís traits? Let me see. Let me see. Well, Iím thinking of this character Nichols, and I wish I were as smart. Boy, it would be tough. I donít think I could do that job really as effectively as he does it. After many years trying to do it, heís like our consultant, Mike Struck. Theyíre eighth degree black belt practitioners. Theyíre so smart and then, intuitive and creative about it. I like to think thereís some kind of parallel, at least in even what Iím trying to do as an actor, although I still feel like a beginner every day in many ways. I aspire to getting as proficient and smart about and creative with and I do share a passion with what I think Nichols feels for his work, for my work. Letís see. What else? What else? I think he has fun. I think my character, Nichols, has a grand time and an inner secret. Funny fun with it. Thatís also true of me here and there. At least, I aspire to that also. To always finding the enjoyableness in my activities. But I have. Luckily, Iíve found things to do. Acting, for instance. That I do find a blast. So thereís a couple of things. 

What do you feel it is about the show going into the season nine now, that resonates well with viewers? What has kept it going? 

Gee. Well, [creator and Executive Producer] Dick Wolf is a brilliant guy and a passionate and caring guy and attracts terrific people around him, the whole producing team and the writers that he gets. They just do high quality things. Then, thereís something about solving crimes like they do. And New York City. That at least would appeal to me. I canít speak for everybody. What it is, they know more than other people, Iím sure, have thought about it more and know more about it than I do. I know for me, I am in love with New York stories and New York City. I saw recently this documentary that Ric Burns did called New York that gives you 400 years of history about this very unique place where people are put together in the closest proximity from the widest ranging places. The most diverse people stuck together. It creates a hot bed of creativity and spiritedness of all kinds. But trouble, too, problems and challenges and the need to solve them. These New York stories, these crimes and criminal life and trying to keep the streets safe are a part of these New York stories. I love that myself. Of course, the reason I think itís also been successful is because [of] the great actors theyíve had. Iíve always wanted to watch Michael Moriarty or Sam Waterston or Vince DíOnofrio or Katie Erbe, all those people. Jerry Orbach. Iíd tune in to see them any time. 

Okay. Iím going to start out by telling you, Iím a huge fan. You need to know this because I need to ask you a question about whatís going on out there, though. Apparently, there are a lot of strong feelings within the fan communities since youíve joined the cast of the show, and a lot of them seem to feel that itís kind of lost its edge and become lighter. Theyíre sort of addressing it as the Jeff Goldblum Hour. So hereís your chance, if you will, what would you say to these people? 

Oh, well, gee.  First of all, I donítóitís news to me because I kind of donít stay very in touch with all theóIíve been consumed with making the show. I donít know. I mean, everybody has their own opinion. Iím doing the best that I can and I know the writers are tryingóthere are some very heavy and gruesome episodes that weíve done. But itís true. I think part of their idea about my character is that I love. Iím very passionate for the work, for solving these crimes and for particularly investigating the intent, like the title says of having to do with why these criminal people, these people so far off the rails would have done what theyíve done and what that means for knowing about the human being generally and for myself. I think Iím on a very passionate and mysterious and infinitely interesting, at least in my own character kind of mission. That along with it, I have a great time, too. Whatever Iíve been through before. Weíve made up a lot of stuff that hasnít come to the surface, that doesnít come to the surface conspicuously or literally. Iím at a place where I find myself very present, feeling very present and alive and enjoying myself no end. I think I enjoy myself. Even in these gruesome circumstances and I guess, even especially when thereís been shocking loss and all the physical world has been thrown into chaos. It feels like an opportunity to Zack Nichols to find whatís important in life and find the deeper meanings in life in a very enjoyable way. And I like solving the puzzle, too.

The other question that a lot of people seem to want to know is youíve been involved with a lot of things and not in just making films as an actor, but producing different things or being on the festivals, judging and things like that. What are you doing now that youíre working on outside of the show? Anything? 

This is so consuming that I feel like my plate is kind of full and weíre going to keep filming till May, mid May. Letís see. What else am I doing besides this? Well, I play my piano all the time. I like to keep up with that. There are things that I am considering after we finish, but nothing thatís really worth talking about at this point. 

Youíre known for playing quite quirky characters and definitely characters of a different point of view. And among my favorites is the very short-lived, but quite awesome Raines. Could you talk a little bit about how you approach a character and how you use the script to aid in your approach? 

Well, how I approach the script? Okay.

Yes, how you would approach a character and then use whatís in the script and then maybe bring something to the table from your own references to create a character. 

I see. Thatís a very interesting question. Well, I love writers and good writing and literature and stories and a good script. So I try to, as much as anything, figure out what they meant, what this thing is about, and there are many nuts and bolts issues that come up in that vein, in our show or a lot of scripts and stories. What exactly and specifically?  Thatís an important question in the theatrical dictionary, an important word. What specifically do they have in mind for this, are they trying to depict for this? What reality are they trying to depict here?  This is nothing new.  Everybodyís doneóand anybodyís trying to do this, but it constantly fascinates me. More and more, I try to give myself over to and serve what theyíre doing.  Not only that, but who the writer is and what their whole spirit is, and inner dynamic and what the message theyíre trying to [impart], and feeling that theyíre trying, and song that theyíre trying to sing? Iím, in many ways the concierge delivering the message up to the room. I try to do that as faithfully as I can. Then, beyond that, just use my own instincts because itís not math. Itís not a science. Thereís nothing empirical. Is that the right word? Measurable. Finally, thereís no foul line that you can either hit the ball within or go out of. You have to, and everybodyís going to have their own opinion about it. But you have to use your own taste and instincts about what it is. Once youíre serving the script, if you can, and you must, get your own mojo working. However that takes place. Itís different every time. The adventure is a little different every time. Thatís what needs to happen, too. Whatever interests you. Itís kind of like what my character, Zack Nichols, does in an unconventional way. He comes to a crime scene and doesnít really go well, this is what you are supposed to do. This is what you would do. This is what logically leads to a deduction from A to B. He does that too, but as much as that, itís kind of hmm, what interests me?  What do I notice and what in my stomach and blood and soul and fingertips and taste buds am I attracted to here? I trust my individuality there. He does. I try to in the same way that I act. Something like that. 

Letís get back to the show now. Since earlier you said it feels like a new show. How will this season continue with what fans enjoy? And there are lots of little aspects our fans enjoy of CI, while documenting and exploring a sort of changing of the guard. I know that has to be pretty fascinating. 

Yes. Well, who knows for whom it will be fascinating? It fascinates me. I love these characters that theyíve written for Saffron and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio. Theyíre great actors and great people. Itís fun to hang out with them all day because we work twelve, thirteen, fourteen hours some days. You spend your whole life together, doing these characters and telling these stories. People can still enjoy, I would hope the stories, the creative kind of crimes that are depicted. Theyíre interesting in a way. The criminals have interesting intents and the whys and wherefores and inner motives and configurations, endlessly unique configurations of what makes a killer do what they do and how theyíve gone off the rails. What it means for us human beings and what lessons we can learn from it. Thatís in the same vein and endlessly interesting to me. Then, these are new cops, seem to be, however weíre doing it stylistically, a horror in a personally different way. Weíre certainly effective. Each week, we seem to not give anything away, but we certainly seem to catch them. With my particular interest, does seem to sort of uncover at least, the beginning of who these people are and what makes them tick and what made them tick in this situation. What that endlessly and infinitely and mysteriously means for who we are. 

In relation to a couple of the previous questions, as you may or may not be aware of, a lot of the fans are actually really upset about Goren and Eames leaving. So Iím just wondering if you can give the fans any reassurances or encouragement, reasons to keep watching the show. 

First Iíll say to them, I totally understand youíre upset. Those were as fantastic a bunch of characters as Iíd ever seen. Fantastic actors as weíve ever had individually or together. Iíll be watching for all of them wherever they go. I know Eric Bogosian is in a play right now here in New York and havenít had time to see it, but I look forward to seeing it. Likewise, Vince and Katie. As for what weíre doing, Iím doing my best and Iím enjoying it no end. I think the writers, who are terrific, have written different characters but fascinating characters, at least to me. I know in Saffron Burrowsís case, sheís such a special actress. I would encourage anybodyóI would recommend and as part of this grief counseling of the loss of the old show and the old characters, I would recommend that they consider appreciating Saffron Burrows and Serena Stevens, her character. Saffron is such a uniquely beautiful actor inside and out. Wildly intelligent. Wildly intelligent. And so that they know, has passions, if they look her up a little bit, politically and having to do with the world that are very interesting and compelling to me. So fun to be around for me. She brings all of this to the show. Sheís passionate and sheís been a movie star that Iíve been very interested in for a long time. We did a movie together called Fay Grim in Berlin some years ago with Parker Posey that Hal Hartley directed. Iíve loved her in The Guitar and The Bank Job and Troy. So I would encourage people to really get into her and appreciate her. Sheís sexy as can be and does this part theyíve written for her. A very interesting part, this detective from Chicago who has an interesting back story that we can only guess at a little bit and a daughter that we can guess at a little bit. We have to imagine about. A very whole and multifaceted life. Then, let me encourage them to get into Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio. Seeing her every week, I adore her. Weíd done a play together some years ago. But for anybody whoís seen her from the beginning in Scarface or The Color of Money or an eye on the stage here in New York through the years. She is spectacular, as talented deeply, richly talented and an actor as there is. Given to a rainbow of color choices in her paint box. Theyíve written for her just the beginnings already of a character that is veryóthat is not only unique, but multidimensional and colorful and complicated. So I would, as a fan, I would tune in to see those two. Thatís for sure. 

One of my readers wanted me to ask you if we would ever see a sequel to Mister Frost or if you would be interested in doing one? 

Well, you see, am I alive at the end of Mister Frost? No, Iím dead. Iím dead at the end of Mister Frost

That doesnít mean anything. 

Oh, thatís right. Sure, thatís right. Well, I donít know. But thank you. Thatís very nice. Itís a specialty item. I donít think a lot of people, not as many people saw that as Independence Day or the dinosaur movies or The Fly. But people come up to me here and there and it has a devoted following. I loved it. I loved Kathy Baker. Now, thatís a wonderful actor. And Alan Bates, the late Alan Bates, was wonderful in that. Yes. We had a good time in that. We made it in Paris. It was a pretty good time. I havenít seen it in a long time. I saw it after we did it, but I havenít seen it since then. 

We understand that you played a track on Lincoln Adlerís album Short Stories. And weíre wondering if you have any plans to record an album of your own. 

Youíre so funny. I love Lincoln Adler. I love doing that. What did we play? I think I played on BosocoÖ Rosario RosarioÖ Wasnít it ďSong for My Father?Ē 

Yes. 

As I remember it, yes, thatís right. I have no plans to do any recording because itís kind of a hobby for me. If something comes up, Iíd do it but no. I [have a band] the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra we call ourselves. When Iím out of work in LA, we gig around there. On the Christmas break, I did a New Yearís Eve gig when I was back in Los Angeles. In late May, when I get back there, Iíll be looking for a place to hook up with my band again and play. But I donít know. We have no plans to record anything. So nice you could come and tap me on the shoulder. Whereís Lincoln? Is he up in San Francisco? 

Yes. Actually. 

Yes.  Heís fantastic. Anyway, go ahead. Sorry. 

We also are wondering, you debuted in the Tony Award winning musical Two Gentlemen of Verona, and weíre wondering if you would ever consider doing a movie musical. 

Well, yes, I would. I like the movie musical. I enjoyed this last year of Nine. I enjoyed West Side Story that I saw on stage again. Made me think of the movie. Yes. In fact, go seeóyou havenít seen my movie called Pittsburgh

Oh, no. Missed that one. 

Oh. So itís not really a movie musical, but itís about an actor who does, takes a part in a two-week run of a musical. Itís called Pittsburgh. Iím in it. I play the actor so I sing and dance a little bit. And I helped produce it. 

Youíre really an interesting actor to me. Youíre a very analytical observer in the way that you approach a lot of your roles, if not most of them. 

Thank you. 

When youíre keyed into another actor, Iíve noticed, you become more alive. Your energy just explodes. It happened with Geena Davis, obviously, in The Fly. You guys had a tremendous chemistry. Iím wondering, as your character in this series or in any acting ventures that youíve done, which actors have really keyed you up and really brought your best game out and really energized you as an actor? 

You are so nice. Yes. I like what youíre saying because itís kind of the cornerstone of the training that I got early on by Sandy Meisner. A lot of people know Sanford Meisner now. I studied with him and part of his, that some people know thatís sometimes misunderstood or miscommunicated. He teaches a training system whereby the early material is an improvisation of a particular kind that focuses in a big way on interaction. And all good actors are doing it anyway. His is a very good method. I teach a little bit myself. [I] enjoy teaching actors to do that with each other, not only that but other things too. It goes beyond that. But thatís part of his early thing. So I do love the part of acting that has me with other actors and allows you to play with other actors. Iíve been lucky to work with a lot of wonderful actors, but Iíll tell you the ones Iím talking about today, these two are particularly spectacular. Of course, thatís the great thing about Law and Order because itís kind of like an anthology series. Like I said before to somebody, where the cream of New York and the theatrical crop of actors you get every week. So where weíve worked with great actors and itís always fun. But Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio and Saffron Burrows are both spectacular. Working with both of them, I feel like I have to be worthy of them, come up to my best that I can do and feel like they bring something good out of me. 

Do you think that there are crimes that bother your character more than others? 

Yes, I do. The first couple of episodes that depict this killing of my friend that Iím personally involved with. Thatís a horrible thing. I think Iím very bothered and personallyóitís not just a matter ofÖ. Iím always bothered in the sense that Iím passionate and outraged and full of a fierce kind of sense of justice and wanting to solve this thing. More so, Iím a very susceptible, vulnerable human kind of guy that theyíve written. When my friend, and old partner, gets killed, yes, I think it bothers me in a whole different and deeper way. 

Youíre from the east coast? You work out west, but you also go back and work in the east, too. Do you think, eventually, when that day comes that you do retire or settle down or stop working, will you retire on the east coast? Is that your worldview or are you an east coaster or do you like the west coast? 

Thatís so funny. I wouldnít take sides with one over another. Now that you brought it up, I really donít see myself retiring really. It feels likeó 

Many decades from now. 

Yes. Well, who knows? You never know what even tomorrow will bring. I feel lucky to be around today and if I get to work tomorrow, Iíll feel lucky and will enjoy every moment of it. Likewise, when I find myself here, I kind of enjoy it terrifically. I do like feeling the seasons again, although itís tough. Brutal. Winter is brutal and summer gets hot. But I kind of like it. It reminds me of when I was this kid, speaking of this episode, the season change, that happens here. But I like it out there a lot. So, I like coming back and forth and doing things both places. I donít know. Even if I wasnít acting, I imagine I would enjoy being in both places in a way. And other places, too.

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