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Sam Rockwell on acting, Philip Seymour Hoffman, & playing Hillary

Larry King NowApr 06 '16

Actor Sam Rockwell – of ‘Moon,’ ‘Iron Man 2,’ and now ‘Mr. Right’ fame – unpacks his attraction to off-kilter characters, remembers the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, and surprises Larry with the presidential candidate he’d most like to play.


*Posted Online on Ora.TV on April 6th 2016:

“I like the darker stuff. I grew up watching ‘Taxi Driver,’ ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest,’ ‘The Deer Hunter,’ and you know, ‘Stripes’ and ‘Meatballs,’ and ‘Tootsie’. Those were the movies I grew up watching.” —Sam Rockwell on his favorite dark movies

“Yeah, I think that’s what was great about those movies, like ‘Kramer vs Kramer.’ They were all anti-heroes. —Sam Rockwell on how flawed heroes make a for a better story

“My parents were actors and that’s how I got into it. I kinda took it for granted and then I trained with William Esper, which is where I met my acting coach Terry Knickerbocker. That’s when I kinda realized, you know, I had to take it seriously.” —Sam Rockwell on how he got started in acting.

“I guess [acting] is a version of you that you are trying to express to people. It’s a version of you that maybe people haven’t seen, you know? You’re living truthfully in these imaginary circumstances, probably more truthfully than you are in real life. I think there’s this misnomer that actors are good liars and actually, I think it’s quite the opposite. You’re more truthful probably when you’re acting than you are in your real life.” —Sam Rockwell on what he likes about acting, and playing another person

“[Philip Seymour Hoffman] was a great director. A great stage director. He knew a lot about theater. He was a dear friend and a good guy, beautiful. He had a real, kind of insatiable appetite for acting, and anything. He was always very wise and very powerful. He had a real emotional power.” —Sam Rockwell on working with the late Philip Seymour Hoffman

“We did this skit-- it was with my mother. She was in an improv troupe and we did this skit and I played Bogey in ‘Casablanca.’ It was just a skit. It was my first play when I was ten years old.” —Sam Rockwell on his first theater role

“My first break was probably ‘Box of Moonlight’ with John Turturro and Catherine Keener. It really helped me get some attention in the New York Times. That sort of sprung things out.” —Sam Rockwell on his first big break

“[Diversity] is always an issue. Whether it’s Black, Asian, Hispanic, Women, you know? It’s always an issue. I think we are doing the best we can. I don’t know if we are doing the best we can, but I think we’re trying.” —Sam Rockwell on diversity in Hollywood

“If I was to play one of these candidates, I think i’d have to be Hillary, right? Go for the whole drag thing? I’d get more accolades that way. I’d be cute right?” —Sam Rockwell on which presidential candidate he would like to play