You’ve probably seen Jared Harris and not even know it. The son of Richard Harris, the character actor has appeared in over 60 TV shows and films, including The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
You’ve had an incredibly prolific career. Did you set out to have a career where you appear to be in so many places at once? And I know you’re called a chameleon a lot — is that something you actively sought out?
A couple years ago I went in for an audition for a film Danny DeVito was directing. And I walked in the door, and he goes, “I couldn’t wait to meet you! I was so excited to watch you walk in that door, because I’ve seen all the stuff that you’ve done, and I had no idea what you were going to look like. So I was really fascinated to see who was going to walk through the wall. It’s amazing, all the things that you’ve done.” So I said, “Thank you very much.” And he said, “I’m not sure if that really is a compliment.” And I said, “Sorry?” And he goes, “That’s a big risk, buddy.” I said, “What do you mean?” He says, “Well, you gotta hope that it catches up to you.” I said, “I don’t know what you mean.” He said, “Let me explain to you. A successful actor is a recognizable actor. You’re different in everything you do. You start from scratch every single time. It’s damn risky, but good luck to you. It’s ballsy.”
So I hear exactly what you’re saying, and it’s been a hindrance in that sense, in that people can’t put a name to the face. But at the same time, that’s what I love about acting. I love getting into the character and being unrecognizable. I think I just thought that eventually it would catch up, but it seems like it’s taken quite a long time to do that.