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The West Wing

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The Pledge

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The Great Santini

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Law & Order

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If you have trouble seeing the QuickTime videos click here.
In "The Glass House" with Stellan Skarsgard (photo by Peter Iovino)


I've been a professional actor for over thirty years now and have moved between film, tv, and theater. Along the way I've been nominated for both the Golden Globe Award and the Academy Award. In 1980 I was the recipient of the Theatre World Award. Over the years I've appeared in numerous feature films like "The Great Santini," "Caddyshack," "Ironweed," "The Pledge."

I've always thought of acting as an art form, commerce, and a spiritual path. One of the reasons I got into Zen was to find a way to integrate all of that. Acting has paid my bills, given me a chance to explore interpretive expression, and opened up all sorts of training, study, and worlds I've entered in order to prepare for roles. Some of the folks I've studied with include firefighters, journalists, lawyers, gymnasts, baseball players, and priests, to mention a few, all in an effort to bring verisimilitude to my performances. I have no qualms about being in silly comedies (i.e. "Caddyshack" or "The Hot Chick") and have been fortunate to be in great dramas (i.e. "The Great Santini" or "The Pledge").

It's fun moving between those two styles of acting. In theater I've appeared on Broadway four times. "Mass Appeal", "The Fifth of July" "Side Man," which won the Tony Award for best play, and finally in the 2004-2005 season, "Reckless," with Mary Louise Parker. Also, I did the lead in "A Few Good Men" in the National tour and have been in numerous Off-Broadway and regional productions. In 2005 I was fortunate to work on a play at Roundabout Theater with director Doug Hughes entitled, "McReele." Theater has always appealed to me because it's spontaneous and demands great concentration. There is no stop and start as there is in film. You enter, act for two or three hours, and exit. It's a big leap of faith. When it pays off there is nothing like it.

In a way the rehearsal process in theater is even more interesting than the performance. It may not be as fun but all of my experience, beliefs, and creativity is called upon to journey into the heart of a character. Rehearsal is like finding a new solar system to hang out in and performance is about establishing the orbit of the characters around the play.

Acting on film is very demanding because it's usually done out of sequence and is extremely repetitive. It's not unheard of to do one scene thirty or forty times in a day. Each take has to be the first and only time you're performing a scene. Aside from input from the director and other actors there is no immediate feedback like you get in theater so your faith and technique are severely tested everyday.

We've included some of my favorite scenes from my film and tv work from over the years. Just click on the links and download. I've put up some photos of my stage work as well.

If you have trouble seeing the streaming videos click here for help with Quicktime or try the downloads for modems.

Frozen River
Frozen River
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Michael Clayton
Michael Clayton
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Ghosts of Mississippi

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Caddyshack

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Against The Law

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Swing Vote

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