From 1965 to 1974, I served the best possible apprenticeship for an actor. I learned firsthand how a truck driver lives, what a bartender does, how a salesman thinks. I had to make a life inside those jobs, not just pretend.
At 13, I was a big, totally uncoordinated, hopeless football player. I responded to somebody elses rules, and I stayed just good enough to get a scholarship to Columbia, which was looking for scholar-athletes.
Call me old-fashioned, but I believe that morality is not just a matter of opinion.
I come from an Irish Catholic family, and hell-raising is part of the DNA.
My grandfather was a really, really tough no-nonsense factory worker who emigrated from Ireland in about 1900 to Bridgeport, Conn. He had a big effect on me. Those guys who took a great leap out into what they knew not were the ones who were the real stars, the real heroes.
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