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/2016/06/jeff-bridges-hell-or-high-water.jpg
Jeff Bridges on Creating a Character, ‘Hell or High Water’ and Playing The Dude
"I use elements of myself—I see my parallels with a character—and find similar things in my own personality." - Jeff Bridges on Creating a Character
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/benjamin-bratt-actor.jpg
Benjamin Bratt: “For as limiting as the opportunities are for actors and actresses of color I’ve been very blessed”
"...it's dangerous to keep going down the same artistic path." - Benjamin Bratt
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/watch-keegan-michael-key-explain.jpg
Watch: Keegan-Michael Key Explains Why “Improv actors are at war together”
Check out Key's points on why it's so important for improv actors to have each others' backs in the clip above.
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/norman-reedus-actor.jpg
Norman Reedus on Acting: “If it’s something you really want, you have to roll with the rejection”
Norman Reedus is a fan-favorite star on The Walking Dead and was in the cult favorite film The Boondock Saints. However, in the dozen years between those two gigs Reedus had experienced ups and downs in his career and in many cases he was cast in very small roles in big movies or lead roles […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/frank-grillo.jpg
Frank Grillo on Being Typecast: “I welcome it”
"I hear actors pooh-pooh the idea... people might see them as a certain thing. I welcome it" - Frank Grillo on Typecasting