Actor, producer and humanitarian Danny Glover has been on screen, stage and television for more than 25 years. I was recently invited to a Q&A session with him for his upcoming movie, Age of Dragons. This is a remake of the Herman Melville novel “Moby Dick”. I am a long time fan of Danny Glover and still watch his Lethal Weapon reruns on cable.
Danny Glover freely answered our questions. When asked about how he identifies with Captain Ahab, Danny says: “Certainly, the idea of not simply just playing someone who is physically mantled or dismantled, or physically just torn apart, the idea of it is emotional part of it which is what – which really attracted me to it, the idea of the kind of emotional torture as opposed to the physical – I’m trying to find the word – I’m going to say, it’s just that he’s crippled by that; he’s crippled emotionally”
From listening to Danny, he really wants to connect with the pain the character is feeling on an emotional and physical level. He wants you to be able to look in his eyes and see the torture.
When Danny is asked, what would you say is the key to your versatility as an actor?
“Well I don’t know, maybe I don’t take myself seriously – could be part of it. And I think when I see the play mapped out on the board and the Director and Writer, Athol Fugard; that’s A-T-H-O-L Fugard, F-U-G-A-R-D. Athol Fugard said that the one thing that he appreciated about me was that I gave whatever I had to give to the moment itself, to the truth of the story; that’s what I gave, you know, all of that.”
Eventually, I got a chance to ask him a question.
April Decheine: Hi, I’m wondering – your role looks like it could be really strenuous. Do you follow some sort of exercise and eating habits because you look – I mean you’re in incredible shape?
Danny Glover: Well I’m – the role itself is in some sense it is, you know, a great deal of what we do as actors; I mean in some ways it’s child’s play, you know, I work with my grandson in it. He plays a certain role. I had to find somewhere where I lived inside his body. I had to find somewhere where I feel that this body and his physical torture and emotional torture comes at some point.
I want to walk with this man who feels this pain physically and emotionally all the time and you have to contort your body in such a way to find the story – the script in that. And also find (incentive); I’m trying to feel this physical pain, it’s painful to drag that leg around and yet it is in some sense it drives me – the fact that I dragged that leg around and dragged that body around keeps me upset and moving toward my obsession.
And so I try to find the place where the physical – where I’m going to do something – the physical is (unintelligible) the pain – and it does feel painful, it does feel awkward in a sense. If you’re walking on sand, you’re walking on sand. It’s the physical pain of walking on sand is different than the way you feel physically if you’re walking on grass or if you’re walking on sidewalk or walking on dirt.
Because walking on the sand and having to lift your legs in a certain way and the weight of your legs from walking on the sand for a long time. And those are the kind of things that I use for my own kind of like memory. I want to be physically in pain when I do that and you got to be in shape to be physically in pain, you know what I’m saying. To experience that, change your body so your body reverts back to what it is.
Imagine someone who is already, really physically in pain and imagine they’re alive when it’s constantly in pain so that every movement whether because of age or by some accident or by some physical abnormality. But to be physically in pain was a portion of that.
Hiding behind that pain, feeling that pain and watching other people recognize and know that you’re in pain. That everyone is spying on you, everyone looks at you with contempt because of that, because you could have a certain (unintelligible) because of what you experienced as well.
You experience something that no one else as a dragon (unintelligible) has experienced, you (fault) and survive; at least they think you have. You survive whatever his wrath was.
Age of the Dragons – Premiere: Syfy Original Movie
It hunted his family. Now it will become his prey. Syfy presents Danny Glover in Age of The Dragons Saturday July 30 at 9/8c.