Adam Arkin

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    • Adam: Amazingly enough, there are lots of people in our business that have done time, and so I sort of had a general handle on what the experiences of people that have been through that consisted of.

    • Adam: (About digital media taking over and transforming various mediums) I think it's fantastic. What it's allowed - and I don't consider myself an expert on new media, but I've become addicted to YouTube and surfing the net for what's out there and what people are doing. To me it's just opened the floodgates for ideas. The technology allows anybody with an imagination and a small budget to be inventive and get stuff out that gets an audience and circumvent the kind of corporate bureaucracy that can squelch so many good ideas before they even have a chance to find the light.

    • Adam: No. You know, I started out doing improvisational comedy with a group in New York and I've always had a kind of appreciation for absurdist humor. My career has been peppered with opportunities to do things that were a little strange and a little off the beaten path. But this is right up there for sure. You mentioned Adam in Northern Exposure. I wouldn't say that Northern Exposure in general was as out there as this, but the character was pretty extreme. I've always enjoyed flexing my muscle when it comes to this kind of comedy.

    • Adam: Well, first of all, I don't think of myself as famous. I've spent time around people that are dealing with what I would call real fame--you know, sort of uncut, undiluted fame--and that's a whole other animal. What I have dealt with in varying degrees is a level of recognizability from being on television. That has had peaks and valleys for me. I guess, in a weird way, I grew up around my father's notoriety and was sort of used to the idea that it doesn't really mean anything about who you are. It's really a byproduct of something. But I'm thankful that with whatever objectivity I can muster, I don't feel like I bought into all of that too much.

    • Adam: I was born in Brooklyn Heights. I was born in Brooklyn hospital and lived in Brooklyn Heights until I was about five, then I lived for a while in St. Louis and central California. I moved back to New York when I was about 11, but by that point I was a Greenwich Village boy.

    • Adam: We all look to have transcendent experiences that lift us out of the everyday, and fear is a good one. But, I think it's the same reason why people want to laugh their heads off.

    • Adam: What I had to say was, in general, I'm not really a fan of any one genre of any kind of film.

    • (on whether he prefers stage or screen, to MTC's magazine, Offstage (2004))
      Adam Arkin: I find the charge I get when I'm doing something that feels grounded in quality is always exciting, regardless of the medium. All things considered, I guess I like returning to whatever it is that I've been away from the longest!

    • (about the episode of "Boston Legal" he directed)
      Adam Arkin: Directing that show doesn't involve a lot of telling people what to do. It's really more like getting a sense of what people's instincts are. They know the characters so well on that show that it's more a question of trying to untangle exactly what the style of a scene is and trying to make sure everybody is on the same page. You're not going to go into a situation like that telling William Shatner how to play his character. The directing on that ended up being incredibly satisfying. It took a little time to earn people's trust on the show, but once I did, it was really exciting. I had a good time and I hope I can do more of it.

    • (about his role on "The West Wing")
      Adam Arkin: I've known a few therapists, socially and I've been in therapy myself. I was trying to model that doctor's bedside manner around those experiences. I owe a huge amount to, first and foremost, how beautifully written that episode was. It was the road map of how to approach that material. I got to work almost exclusively with Brad, so it was kind of a win, win situation. I would have been hard pressed to blow it.

    • (about his role in Lady Killer)
      Adam Arkin: They looked concerned within the context of the scene. I hope that none of the actresses felt genuinely threatened by me. If things are going well and actors are happy in the elements of themselves in order to portray a character more convincingly, there can be unnerving moments.

    • (about his role in Lady Killer)
      Adam Arkin: That was part of the research. I also read a number of articles written about the crime. There was another book written about the same crime. I can't remember the name of it now. I also read additional material that we had access to, including some letters written in prison by John Smith, rambling and threatening letters that really gave a different picture of him than the one he presented most of the time to the world.

    • Adam Arkin: When I was a kid -- I knew I wanted to act from when I was five, and I started studying seriously when I was six and seven. Not with anybody else, but I used to watch the world as if it was a performance and I would realize that certain things that people did moved me, and certain things didn't move me, and I tried to analyze, even at that age, six and seven and eight, why I was moved by certain things they did.

    • Adam Arkin: I've known a few therapists, socially and I've been in therapy myself.

    • Adam Arkin: I think in the case of horror, it's a chance to confront a lot of your worse fears and those fears usually have to do, ironically, with powerlessness and isolation.

    • Adam Arkin: (Speaking of Chicago Hope) "ER" is clearly a phenomenon that really takes place once in a decade, if you're lucky. It was clear that we couldn't compete with that.

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