Patrick Wilson: “I like the mystery of acting”

Patrick WilsonPatrick Wilson moves easily from playing the bad guy (The A-Team), a down-and-out superhero (Watchmen), douche-bag (Barry Munday) to his latest role as a caring boyfriend in Morning Glory. As he said himself, I get great roles and few of the hassles.”

He talked with about his career, getting recognized and being typecast.

On being recognized:
“She says, ‘Hey, I know you. I’ve seen you before.’

“I say, ‘Yeah, well, I’m an actor.’

“And she says, ‘No, that’s not it. I think I’ve seen you at my gym.’

“I get a lot of that.”

On the path his career has taken:
“When I got into the business I didn’t have any grand plans. I grew up singing in my mother’s church choir, but as a kid I never really studied drama. I did musicals in high school, but I never dreamed I’d be singing and dancing on Broadway. I just knew I wanted to act wherever I could. And because of my training I look at musicals the same way I look at Chekhov. I’ve never looked at any aspect of the business as selling out, as being beneath me. I was up for anything.”

On being typecast:
“I’ve never yet been typecast. I get to play all sorts of things. I get great roles and few of the hassles.”

Theater actors being afraid of film?
“I teach a master class at my alma mater and I’ve found that theater actors are scared of film because they hear they have to be ‘smaller.’ But it’s not about being small. It’s about being open. Nobody says Daniel Day Lewis is a ‘small’ actor. He’s swinging a big stick – but it’s focused.”

On being known, but not famous:
“I’m at the stage now where I don’t want people to know too much about me. With the iconic stars – Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, Robert DeNiro – I knew almost nothing about their personal lives. It’s like Meryl Streep. I don’t really want to know how she does it and I’ve worked with her twice. I like the mystery of acting.”

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