Alfred Molina: “My only objective as an actor when I started was to stay employed”

Alfred Molina has had a long and varied career of film, television, and stage roles ever since his first major appearance in the opening sequence of Raiders of the Lost Ark.  While Molina is currently starring as artist Mark Rothko in a production of Red (a role that he originated in London, followed by a Tony Award-winning production on Broadway) through September 9 at the Mark Taper Forum, he spoke about career advice he received from his father, who wasn’t an actor.

“My only objective as an actor when I started was to stay employed. I come from a working-class immigrant family, and my father’s advice to me was ‘Pay your bills.’  My dad used to say, ‘A real man isn’t a guy who can punch anybody out; he’s the man who pays his bills.’ And I remember at the time thinking that was boring, but actually what he was talking about was the heart and soul of living your life — being a decent mensch. So I just stayed employed, and maybe that accounts for my longevity. I wasn’t fussy.”

As it turns out, Molina’s father was chock full of wisdom.  He also made an important point to his son about the danger of becoming too satisfied with your work: instead of pushing yourself, you become content with mediocrity.  He explains, “I remember cooking a meal for my dad, a professional cook, and I asked him how it was. He said,’It’s all right,’ and I said, ‘What do you mean it’s all right? I got it perfect.’ And he said, ‘You never get it right. The day you get it right is the day you die.'”

via The Columbus Dispatch

Leave a Reply

http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Helen-Mirren-The-Audience.jpg
Helen Mirren on Reprising her Role as Elizabeth II in ‘The Audience': “I was determined not to do it”
"When I took my bow at the end, they were not applauding me. They were applauding the queen." - Helen Mirren
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Christian-Bale-Knight-of-Cups.jpg
Christian Bale on Not Having a Script for ‘Knight of Cups': “I never had any lines to learn”
"I never knew what I was going to be doing each day" - Christian Bale on working with Terrence Malick in 'Knights of Cups'
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Larry-David.jpg
Larry David on Who he Wanted to Star in his Broadway Play ‘Fish in the Dark': “Anybody but me”
“It’s one of the reasons I didn’t like acting. I don’t like not being able to interject” – Larry David on acting with a script   Who doesn’t like Larry David? Well, to be honest, Larry David probably doesn’t like Larry David. In fact, David didn’t even want to cast himself in the lead of […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Helen-Mirren-The-Queen.jpg
Helen Mirren on Winning an Oscar: “It’s an indescribable moment”
"It’s hard to say, because you don’t know what would have happened if you hadn’t won" - Helen Mirren When Asked If Winning an Oscar Changed Her Career
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/anna-chlumsky-james-earl-jones.jpg
Anna Chlumsky on Her Broadway Debut: “For me, it was an opportunity to go in the direction that I hadn’t played in a while”
"I think my personality lends itself to ensembles" - Anna Chlumsky