I was once told that when you make a plan, make a plan that will change. Life is full of surprises. When I got into writing I never thought I would be interviewing some of the most talented and fascinating people that create outstanding entertainment. Today I have the pleasure of speaking to the very talented and handsome Tony Denison.
What inspired you to become an actor?
Actually, no one thing inspired me. When I found myself on stage for the first time and I spoke my first line–the feeling of belonging suddenly came upon me with the revelation I really LOVE this place and feelings growing inside me. Then a little while later with the advent of my sobriety, it seemed that these feelings grew larger still and there began in my life a coming together of emotional, visceral and spiritual forces which suddenly all made sense. I had been traveling and seeking the whole of my life for something that made sense–an awakening if you will—and now in my life I have the opportunity to explore within myself every single day—whether it be in my personal life or in my professional one—or both at the same time. T.S. Eliot, said it best; “We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and to know the place for the first time.”
You made your television debut on the drama Crime Story playing Ray Luca. What are some character traits you have in common with your character Ray Luca?
That’s an incredibly tough question to answer. I guess the best response would be that Ray put the whole of himself in everything he did, and I can only hope that when someone comments on a particular performance of mine they might say the same thing of me in any given role. If they do, then I have succeeded in serving the material through the portrayal of my character. I never played Ray to be liked or hated– I played him to be understood.
Is there a role you wish to play that you haven’t yet?
Yes, I would Love to play a lawyer and also a cowboy in a western.
Which role that you have played has been the most challenging?
I suppose every role is a challenge but I guess the obvious answer would be that when I play characters like Ray Luca, I strive to make each character completely different from one another.
Do you have one wonderful or humorous memory from your career you can share?
There are so many of both. I couldn’t even begin to list them. I think the simple answer is when I get a chance to perform with an actor whose work I admire I always think how blessed I am to be in a scene with them. The first one was in Crime Story when I worked with Joseph WIseman. It was surreal to be sitting across from him in our first scene together. I mean, come on, this is the man from Dr. No, The Unforgiven, VIva Zapata and so on and so on and so on…
If you can go back in time what would you tell your teenage self?
I would tell my teenage self to not believe anyone who tells you that you can’t. Listen to the song THE IMPOSSIBLE DREAM and ANYTHING YOU CAN DO, twenty times a day.
What other career would you have chosen if acting didn’t work out?
Lawyer, psychologist and maybe even an archeologist.
Are there any new projects in development that you are working on you can talk about?
I’m currently working on ALL RISE for CBS Television and am putting together some projects that I would love to produce.
Who are some directors you would like to work with?
Martin Scorsese, Katherine Bigelow, Nancy Myers, Barry Levinson, Peter Weir, Mimi Leder, David O’Russel, Christopher Nolan.
You are working on a film called Dirty with Chaz Bono. How is it working with Chaz?
He was very nice…good actor unfortunately we didn’t have any scenes together but his work came out well in the film.
What advice do you have to give to struggling actors?
Stay away from the naysayers and remember that there might be lots of people that are your “type” whatever that means, however, YOU ARE INCREDIBLY UNIQUE AND THERE IS NO ONE ON EARTH LIKE YOU…what you bring to a role is completely YOU!!!
I heard you love to cook. Who taught you how to cook?
Just picked it up. Don’t do it as much as I use to but love every time I do.
If you can sum up in two words what your life journey has been this far what would they be?
Thank you for your time but before you go what are some words of wisdom to all the readers?
It’s possible that the secret of life is to
Love, Laugh and Learn every day—and if it ain’t the secret—it oughta be!