Sunday, November 21, 2010

What’s Up, Denis O’Hare? The Elling Star on His Peculiar New Play and Camping It Up on True Blood

Your role on True Blood this season was pretty wild.
It’s one of the best sets to work on because the people are incredibly cool and the material is so rich. From the outside, the show can appear to be camp, but it’s a pretty tough acting job. You really have to bring all your skills. It was incredibly emotionally draining. Quite a few of the show’s fans are showing up at the theater, which is great.

As an actor who’s very open about his sexuality did you enjoy playing a gay role on True Blood?
In a strange way you can’t really say Russell is a gay character because ancients didn’t have the same understanding of sexuality as we do. I thought of him as a pagan warrior who was bent on taking over the world. That was the most important thing: The fact that he had a [male] lover was a little incidental.

Do you have any favorite credits from your many film roles?
A Mighty Heart. We shot it in India and it was such a cool project. Michael Winterbottom is one of the great directors of this century. Angelina [Jolie] is really cool and nice to work with, too. She’s as down to earth as she can be given the weird world she’s been forced into. I also loved doing Charlie Wilson’s War because I got to travel to Morroco and hang out with Phillip Seymour Hoffman.

Do you have anything planned after Elling finishes its run in March?
Not really, I've been focusing on this. I don't know about True Blood. My character's not dead [Russell was buried alive in a cement tomb]. For all I know, I'm going to L.A. to get out of the cement!

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