New at the AV Club – Random Roles: Peter Gallagher

We were supposed to chat at 9 AM EST. Unfortunately, no one told this to Peter Gallagher, who believed we were to be chatting at 9 AM PST, so while I’m anxiously awaiting his call, he’s still snoring away. When he finally woke up at around 7 AM his time, he became aware of the discrepancy in the scheduling – thanks, I believe, to several frantic messages from the publicists at the USA Network – and called me, all apologies. “I never would have set up an interview for 6 AM my time,” he assured me. “Maybe for the Wall Street Journal, sure, but you’ve got to have your wits about you for the Onion!”

When I told him that this was my very first interview for the AV Club, you could hear the smile on his face (and, honest to God, I think I really did hear his eyebrows rise in amusement) as he said, “Well, then, we’d better hit this one out of the park, then, hadn’t we?”

105 minutes later, our conversation came to close. Talk about hitting a homer…

Three highlights to inspire you to click over:

1. “When I started my film career, I played a guy in The Idolmaker who didn’t speak English very well, and first they want to know who did your singing and dancing, and then you think, ‘Oh, now you’re gonna have to show people that you can speak English, too!’ And then they start going, “Oh he’s too nice,” so you do sex, lies, and videotape, and then it’s, like, ‘Oh, you bastard!’ The thing that comforts me through all these transitions—I don’t think they’re necessarily very permanent—is what Robert Altman always used to say to me: ‘Nobody knows anything, and there’s nobody at the top.’ It feels like you’re on a bus that’s mildly out of control and careening around corners. You just have to stay on the bus. Hopefully you’ll end up someplace you can thrive.”
2. “(‘Sex, Lies & Videotape’) was one of the most beautiful, constructive, productive rehearsal periods, and because the budget was so low, there was nobody looking over our shoulders. And because Soderbergh is such an extraordinary artist, he was not blinded or crippled by the kind of insecurities or need for control or something that some people might have. He was very open. (In the scene) before I punch Jimmy (Spader), looking at those videotapes, there was a four-page scene that Steven had written. And Jimmy and I said, ‘Uh, why don’t I just punch him?’ He said, ‘Oh, okay.’ And we did. Boom. ‘You’re right, that’s better. We’re done. Should we shoot some pool?’”
3. “I will have you know that I was actually asleep, like, almost every time that camera was on me (in ‘While You Were Sleeping’), showing me in a coma. I thought, ‘If I’m gonna be the ‘you’ in While You Were Sleeping, baby, I’m gonna bring my A-game.’ Which was scary, because you don’t know what kind of sounds you’re making, or how much drooling you’re doing when you’re out like a light.”

Now get clicking…

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