In Showtime’s, The Big C, Oliver Platt plays a husband who has no idea his wife is dying of cancer.
Platt says it wasn’t easy filming those scenes “in the dark. You had to really focus and forget that you knew,” he said. How did he pull it off? “Well, you just do it. It’s your job. You pretend.”
He believes his non movie star attributes have worked to his benefit as an actor. “What I was told early on was that, as an actor, I had a uniqueness: There wasn’t anybody who looked like me, for better or worse, and we don’t need to get into THAT any further, thank you.”
Platt discovered at an early age acting provided a way for him to fit in.”I was always a new kid in school and I figured out this was a way to plug in: I’d try out for a play and then I would have a group of friends, and I also loved doing it.”
Having worked on both stage and screen, Platt has enjoyed a varied career spanning many genres. “I’m drawn to stuff that I haven’t done before,” he says. “But at the same time, when you take a job, especially a high-profile job, you want to have a sense that you’re not going to completely wipe out. So you try and balance things.”
“What I do is far — far! — from the most important thing in the world,” he insists. “But it’s important to me, and I’ve never had any doubt that I was doing what I was meant to do.”
“When I was younger, I had to do a bit of disentangling myself from the acting world. When I got on stage, it became a little too important for me. I needed to turn acting back into a job, instead of a survival mechanism. I don’t take it for granted that I’ll be offered work,” he says. “There’s a sense of gratitude that I’m able to support my family doing this.
Platt takes the roles he plays to heart, each character an opportunity to discover something about himself. “The camera is such an incredibly accurate instrument that it sees way beyond what you’re trying to project,” he says, “and if you’re lucky enough to keep acting, the audience is going to develop a sense of you that you aren’t even aware of.”