Men's Journal


From HBO’S Winning Time to his next Wes Anderson role, the Oscar winner is generating as much unique buzz these days as an ’80s chainsaw.


Winning Time on HBO, the quirky comedy See How They Run, the Marilyn Monroe drama Blonde… Was 2022 as nonstop as it looked?

I love juggling. And when it rains it pours. You learn this as an actor—mustering up the discipline to ride the chaos and busy times between those droughts.

Were there stunt doubles for that classic fight scene in See How They Run? The one with [spoiler alert] the gigantic cake.

That was really us. Slipping and sliding on a marble floor in dress shoes—with cake. It was interestin­g. And painful.

Your portrayal of Arthur Miller in Blonde has a real vulnerabil­ity. How did you approach playing America’s most famous playwright?

By benefiting from a great script and director Andrew Dominik’s instincts—but also honoring a real person who’s far more complex than what may be on a page. I fought for retaining some of those sensitivit­ies.

What comes more naturally to you, comedy or drama?

Hard to say—at least without limiting people’s perception of what you’re capable of doing. Wes Anderson was the first one to really get me in a lighter film that people actually saw. So comedy is definitely in the wheelhouse.

Asteroid City will be your sixth Wes Anderson film. What do you love about working with him?

The shorthand. At this point, I know what Wes gravitates to—and I also know what I may want to try in his films.

What was your favorite aspect of L. A. Lakers coach Pat Riley’s character in Winning Time?

Playing him was a reminder of our preconcept­ions about iconic figures—about their imagined prowess or innate confidence from the get-go, right? But that’s not necessaril­y true. That’s what was so fascinatin­g in portraying Riley. The indecision and insecuriti­es he had to overcome to become this legendary coach.

In one episode, you carve up your home office with a chainsaw. As fun as it looks?

You’d be surprised how therapeuti­c it can be to take a chainsaw to a building in character. The one we used was an antique prop from the ’80s. Trying to get that twostroke started on a roof in the blazing heat was a hell of a workout.

Great TV and films are becoming less distinguis­hable for viewers. Is that good or bad?

Both. It’s a blessing that there are more opportunit­ies for creative people and content for audiences. The dilemma is that it has cannibaliz­ed the independen­t film business. That’s a loss for everyone.

What’s something on your to-do list?

I’d really like to do a Western at some point. There are those elements in some of my own written works, like Clean. That was about a man being pushed by oppressive forces and having to stand up for what’s right. I’d like to do a love story too. Something with depth and sensitivit­y. I don’t think I’ve seen one of those that’s moved me in a while.

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