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Tag: new york times magazine

New York Minute

Alex Witchel profiled Bobby Cannavale in the magazine a few days ago:

Cannavale turned serious. “I don’t come from an intellectual family,” he said. “I fly them in for the opening night of whatever show I’m in, and it’s great, they love me, they’re proud of me.” He paused. “But we don’t ever talk about what the play is about. So I was always in search of people I could talk to. I guess you could pull apart psychologically why it’s always a guy this happens with. My father-in-law” — the director Sidney Lumet — “was like a dad to me, and we talked about this art form ad nauseam.”

That was another way his life changed because of “The Normal Heart.” Jenny Lumet saw the closing performance. “We met in July, got married in December and had Jake in May,” he said. “He was born two days before my 25th birthday.” The marriage lasted nearly a decade, though his relationship with her father lasted until his death, in 2011. Among the films Lumet directed were “Serpico” and “Dog Day Afternoon,” both starring Pacino. For years, before a performance, Cannavale would psych himself up by saying, “Pacino’s coming tonight.”

It does boggle the mind to think of this Jersey boy suddenly hanging out with Sidney Lumet. Not to mention Jenny’s maternal grandmother, Lena Horne. “Sidney was the most down-to-earth guy you could meet,” Cannavale said. “He loved me because I didn’t have anything and he came from nothing. By the way, I didn’t know who she was,” he said of Horne. “But I think she liked that I was a little dirty.” He smiled. “She, like Sidney, would love to say around her friends, ‘Bobby, tell that story,’ and I’d tell some story they would all be charmed by.” His voice held no edge. “Nothing is more charming than poor folks.” He leaned back into the couch. “They were all great, but it was Sidney, that guy,” he said quietly. “To the end, he was like a dad to me.”

Working Stiff

 

Pat Jordan profiles Samuel L. Jackson in the New York Times magazine:

He is on location as much as nine months a year — “I love being on the road,” he said — and the first thing he does in a new town is look for the black community. Sometimes people say, “You’re it.” Sometimes they direct him to black restaurants, music bars or, most important, public golf courses. He plays alone or with strangers. One day in Memphis, he joined a group of 12 black policemen who were about to tee off. One cop said: “Hey, man, you’re Samuel L. Jackson. I like your movies. Now here’s the game. We play for a little something.” Jackson smiled, recalling that game. “Before I know it, I got 16 bets with 12 guys,” he said. “I can’t be thinking, Hey, I’m Samuel L. Jackson. I gotta be thinking of those 16 bets.” (He won 10 of them.)

Jackson told me he has never had an unpleasant experience in public like a lot of actors have who go out in public with bodyguards. “I walk the streets, take the train, it’s real simple. Some actors create their own mythology.” He assumed a self-pitying voice: “Oh, I’m so famous I can’t go places, because I created this mythology that I’m so famous I can’t go places.”

…He goes to theaters where his movies are playing and sits among the audience “to see myself up there.” His “Pulp Fiction” co-star, John Travolta, told me: “Actors go see themselves be someone else because being yourself in real life is not that interesting. I don’t think I’m entertaining.” But Jackson disagreed. “John’s a genuine gentle soul. I love John to death.” Then, speaking in a falsetto, he mocked actors who say, “Oh, I can’t watch myself on screen, it’s too personal.” He dropped the falsetto and began to fulminate like Jules, in ways that can’t be reprinted here. How could anyone expect someone else to pay $12.50 to watch him on screen if he couldn’t watch himself?

 

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