What is William H. Macy’s Advice to Actors?

William H. Macy has had quite a career since receiving an for playing the hapless Jerry Lundegaard in the Coen brothers’ masterpiece Fargo. He has won two Awards, and has been nominated every year for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series from 2014 to 2018 for his role as Gallagher in Shameless (a role that is significantly different from his in Fargo). While speaking with Vanity Fair about how to “make it” it in acting, Macy shares the advice he would give to actors, both new and trained.

Macy starts his answer by referencing an old Bette Davis joke about taking Fountain Avenue in Hollywood to avoid traffic, but follows it with some genuine advice on paying attention to detail. He says, “They say Bette Davis made it up, I don’t know, but somebody said, ‘What is your advice for a new actor in Hollywood,’ and she said, ‘Take Fountain.’ That’s excellent advice. But since that’s already been taken, I would say the only way to be correct in the large things is to be correct in the small things. Let the large things go hang. It’s boring, but be on time, and learn your lines. Put the rest in God’s hands.”

More: William H. Macy: “This may sound pretentious, but I am getting better at what I do every day”


About Author

In college, overachiever Christopher McKittrick double-majored in Film and English because he loves to read, write, and watch movies. Since then Chris – who was born and raised on Long Island, New York and currently lives in Queens – has become a published author of fiction and non-fiction, a contributor to entertainment websites, and has spoken about literature, film, and comic books at various conferences across the country when he’s not getting into trouble in New York City (apparently it’s illegal to sleep on street corners...) For more information about Chris, visit his website here!

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