John Benjamin Hickey on Working Two Jobs at Once: “It Could Not Have Been a More Insane Confluence of Events”

If John Benjamin Hickey didn’t already have a middle name, it could easily be “Multitasker.” Currently holding two demanding acting jobs, he’s starring in a production of Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart and on Showtime’s The Big C.

While he plays a journalist with AIDS in Normal Heart eight days a week in New York City, his role as the homeless brother of a cancer patient on Big C requires him to film at least three days per week in Connecticut.

“It could not have been a more insane confluence of events,” recalled Hickey about his landing two high-profile roles at the same time. “The timing couldn’t have been better and it couldn’t have been worse.”

Making the back-and-forth trek between New York and Connecticut certainly hasn’t been easy. “It’s been a lot of people bending over backwards to help make the impossible possible. I have so many people to thank,” Hickey told the Associated Press for a recent story.

Naturally, it also hasn’t been without its close calls. Although the actor usually takes a 6 pm train from Connecticut to be at the curtain two hours later, he wasn’t able to get on board until 6:45 one night. After sprinting to the subway and high-tailing it to the theater, he beat the first act by five minutes. “The only thing I did was I got my script of The Normal Heart out and just started reading it. I could barely concentrate on it, but just looking at the words helped me get to the place I needed to be figuratively and the train got me there literally.”
Having carved out a career as a character actor, the 48-year-old is used to playing troubled men. In addition to his current shows, he’s appeared on three Law & Order series, Alias, Brother and Sisters and In Plain Sight. “I’ve always felt lucky — blessed — to have the career I’ve had. I really love being a character actor. I love being a journeyman,” he said. “It’s always been sort of going where the work was.”

Via ABC News

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