lunes, 15 de diciembre de 2014
"There is no such thing as a neutral word... Either you are speaking life... Or you are speaking death..."
I heard somebody say that once. And I've never forgotten it.
I've had a lot of death spoken into me over the years. Harsh words. From multiple directions. Aimed in my direction. And at some point in there I guess I grabbed the baton. Started speaking death into myself.
There are things I've said to myself, about myself, in my car/apartment/shower that I wouldn't dream of repeating in public. That if I saw written in a book or heard on TV I'd think, "horrible." "Abusive." "Not okay." Words that speak - that have literally encouraged - death.
If I heard a parent say to their kid the things I used to say to myself on a regular basis, I'd call the cops. See to it that child was removed from the home.
And that's just what I've said out loud.
In my head it's a whole other story.
In my head I host a perpetual chorus, a gaggle of voices - some strident, some seductive, some sounding like specific individuals and others like nobody in particular - that can be relied on to say the exact wrong thing at the exact wrong time. Disabling me. Unmanning me. Reminding me of my place (small, in the shadows) in the scheme of things.
I know this is true for other people too. Because I've heard them make the same complaint. They've got voices in their heads they can't get rid of. Try as they might. Bigoted. Belittling. Shaming. Voices that sound suspiciously like their parents or their peers. Like a former teacher or boss. Or maybe an ex. Or exes plural.
Well if you're one of those people I've got bad news for you. I don't think those voices are going away. I don't think there's any cutting them off or tuning them out. I think they're there to stay.
So what to do?
The picture I always picture is a bank vault, stacked floor to ceiling with coins, all of them slicked with something black and shiny. Viscous. And each of these coins represents a word. And that word is death.
And there are thousands of them. These coins. Saved up over the 40+ years I've been alive on this planet.
And this vault - this account - is in my name. It belongs to me. Interest constantly accruing.
But there's a second vault. Same dimensions but nearly empty. Just a handful of coins lying in the corner.
And these are made of gold. And they speak life.
Some of these gold coins were put here by others. The rest were put here by me. But their number is few.I've come to believe it's my duty - my responsibility - to fill this second vault. My duty to speak life into myself until these gold coins balance and finally outnumber the coins in that other vault. The ones that speak death.
Okay. Great. How is that done?
Every day, several times a day, I say nice things to myself.
I talk to myself.
I talk to myself about the things in my life that I appreciate. The people and the experiences I'm grateful for. What I'd like to see happen for me and for those I care about.
I speak words that are warm. Generous. Forgiving. Words that speak less to "self-esteem" and more to self-compassion. I speak to myself like I'd speak to a cherished friend. Or like I'd want that cherished friend to speak to me.
I do it in the car, I do it in the apartment, I do it in the shower.
You can call it prayer. You can call it positive affirmation. You can call it cornball.
I call it life-saving. Or maybe life savings.
When I first started this practice I didn't even necessarily believe most of the loving things I would say to myself. But belief isn't necessary. Repetition is.
Repetition, for me, is the key.
You see I'm fairly positive I didn't come into this world believing that I was too much or less than or not enough. I don't think I came into this world with a hateful chorus echoing in my head. It was by virtue of repetition, because I heard these lies over and over again, that I eventually came to believe - or at least be open to the possibility - that they were true.
Well if that's the case I can play that game too. I can use the same principle - repetition - to balance the scales.
So I've been saying nice things to myself. Lots of them. All the time. Things that won't be revealed here because they're private. They belong to me and me alone.
But I'll tell you something miraculous. Some of the things I've been saying to myself (most of which I didn't, at first, believe to be true) I've started hearing in my head. Unsolicited. It would seem I've added a few new members to that mental chorus. Because now, when the more veteran members start in with their nagging/limiting/discrediting, someone answers back.
It's like I'm creating a new theme song for myself. Slowly but surely. An upgraded mental playlist offering support and assurance instead of sabotage and upset.
(On a side note, this is pretty much the same thing I do as an actor. When I get a new part I take the lines - written by someone else, about a character and a story completely unrelated to me - and I memorize them by repeating them out loud. With every repetition these foreign words and phrases become more and more familiar, gathering weight and meaning and texture until they're a part of me. Personalized. Ready to be spoken and brought to life when the cameras roll.)
I'll be honest with you - I'm not always in the mood to say nice things to myself. Sometimes I'm tired. Sometimes, yes, it feels a little silly. Sometimes it feels like I'm just going through the motions, like there's nothing behind the words as I say them. No energy. No passion. No enthusiasm. Sometimes they're just... words.
But on those days when I find I'm not in the mood, when it feels like I can't be bothered to give breath to my loving thoughts and wants for myself and others, I think of the death vault. Its dark coins stacked high. Four decades' worth. I think about how long it's going to take me to balance that out. How many deposits I'll need to make in that other vault, the one that speaks life. I remind myself that I've got my work cut out for me. And that I'd better get to it.
Then I open my mouth to speak. And when I speak, I speak life.
lunes, 8 de diciembre de 2014
sábado, 22 de noviembre de 2014
martes, 18 de noviembre de 2014
“I'd like to believe the industry is more LGBT-friendly,” openly gay actor Wentworth Miller, who stars as villain Captain Cold on CW's “The Flash, told TheWrap, “I see LGBT characters on TV and I can think of actors who are out and paying the rent. Again, mostly on TV. Most out actors I can name are either exclusively or primarily associated with television. I don't know why that is, why I can't think of more out movie actors. It feels like change might be coming more slowly on the feature side.”
viernes, 14 de noviembre de 2014
viernes, 7 de noviembre de 2014
In the comics, Captain Cold is driven by three things: money, women, and the desire to beat Barry Allen. How much of that is a part of what we see in your first appearance on the show?
The only thing stronger than Snart's acquisitive streak is probably his competitive streak. So when The Flash shows up and Snart realizes it's no longer business-as-usual, he makes it his business to adapt. I think it's been a long time since someone challenged Snart. And after he gets over the initial shock, it's game on.
Also in the comics, Barry and Cold reluctantly had to work together at times. Will we see that play at all or is it purely one versus the other?
I don't know. And even if I did I probably couldn't reveal that here. It's a cool idea though. Some of my favorite scenes on "Prison Break" were when my character had to work with people he couldn't stand in order to get the job done. Stick a bunch of dogs in a barrel and roll it downhill, and you can pretty much guarantee there'll be something onscreen worth watching.
What was the most surprising thing about working with Dominic again and in such a different capacity?
I think one of the most surprising and useful things about working with Dom again was that we still had our old shorthand. Even after five years apart. He and I have a way of communicating what we want from a scene and how we're going to get it that would take forever to hash out if I was starting from scratch with an actor I'd never met before. And in TV, where there's never enough time, getting to the essence of a scene quickly is key.
I may be guilty of having done the 'gay gasp' when I heard you were playing Cold. What's the reaction been that you're aware of about your part in the show?
Couldn't tell you. I don't read entertainment journalism and I'm not online scrolling through the comments. I hope I'm well-received. But that's not up to me. So I'm not losing sleep over it. One of my acting coaches told me, "You cannot give people what they want. You can only give them what you do. If what you do is what they want, you're in business. If it's not... move on."
There are so many gay characters on TV now, even more so than when Prison Break was on the air. What do you make of where we're at when even a show like The Flash will have gay characters??
Obviously it's important for folks in the LGBT community - kids especially - to see themselves reflected onscreen. I can remember watching "Melrose Place" in college and paying special attention to the "Matt Fielding" character. Did that help ease the pain of coming out? No. Did I squirm a little wondering if my friends who were watching the show with me were connecting me to Matt? Yes. I also knew the actor was straight. But I did appreciate seeing some evidence that Hollywood was willing to tell Matt's story. It wasn't my story, but I felt a connection. Some representation. We've come a long way since then and I'm sure we'll go a long way still.
Wentworth, "The Flash" is certainly part of this current explosion of comic book-based live-action prime time TV shows -- with more seemingly announced each week. As an actor who's worked in a variety of genres, what's exciting to you about getting to work with this type of material, and being a part of that larger movement on TV?
You know, I'm a fan of the genre and happy to be part of a show that's been so well-received, but to be honest, it's never been a particular dream of mine to play a superhero or comic book character. The enjoyment I get from playing Captain Cold isn't about riding a popular wave. It's primarily creative. I find the material supports almost any choice I might want to make as an actor. There are dramatic moments, comedic moments, I can be subtle, I can twirl my moustache... That's satisfying for me. It keeps things interesting.
Captain Cold occupies a very distinct and very prominent place in the Flash rogues gallery. What are the qualities in the character that were attractive to you?
Captain Cold is a bad guy with shades of gray. And I like that. The writers have shared some of his backstory with me - which we may or may not get to - and I thought, "Ah - there's a reason he is who he is. Or reasons plural." There are beats in my first episode where I'm an out-and-out bad guy and there are beats that hint at something else. The character's got dimension. Depth.
And did you do much research into the source material to prepare for the role?
I took a look at the comics but there's a lot out there. It's a little overwhelming. So I made the choice to let the powers-that-be tell me what I need to know. They'll guide my course.
Speaking of research -- DC chief creative officer and "Flash" executive producer Geoff Johns is probably the most famous Captain Cold fan. How much have you discussed with him about the character?
He's been great. And Kai Yu Wu, who co-wrote my first episode, has been a real asset as well. They were both on set, making themselves available, and whatever questions I had they were happy to answer. It was actually out of my back-and-forth with Geoff that the idea to approach Dom about Heat Wave emerged.
Of course, much has been made about your "Prison Break" brother Dominic Purcell also joining "The Flash" cast as a rogue, Heat Wave. Have you shot any scenes together yet? And how meaningful is it you to once again be on the same show as Purcell?
Anyone tuning in to see the two of us onscreen at the same time will not be disappointed. We've got a lot of scenes together. I just wrapped my second episode - Dom's first - in Vancouver and it was a blast. And a blast from the past. Dom and I played brothers for four years, and we developed a bond that really does feel brotherly. It was a lot of fun to tap into that but also push into new creative territory. This isn't "Michael and Lincoln Take Two." But there are moments that did feel a little wink-wink-nudge-nudge. Let's just say it was a good time.
Given the major role Captain Cold plays in The Flash mythos, presumably you'll be sticking around for a bit -- is there any indication at this point how many episodes you'll be appearing in, now that "the Flash" has been picked up for a full season?
That's up in the air. But I wouldn't be surprised if I showed up one or two more times this season. It depends on availability and what the writers have planned big-picture. Meanwhile, I'm just happy to have a place at the table.
jueves, 6 de noviembre de 2014
martes, 4 de noviembre de 2014
What can you tease/reveal about your villainous role, Captain Cold, on The Flash?
Very little. Sorry. All I can say is that it's a great introduction. Glen Winter directed my first episode and he's fantastic. I totally lucked out there. Glen had insights and camera moves that really helped me sell the character.
How is it going to be different from the Captain Cold we know from the comics?
I don't know if I can speak to that. Because I haven't read too many of them yet. I didn't grow up reading comics. Not because they didn't appeal. They did. But they were frowned upon in my house. Although I did get deep into "Elfquest" for a beat. On the sly. Anyway, I'd never read "The Flash," I'd never heard of "Captain Cold" before getting hired, and as far as playing him on the show, my sense is that the writers have a take on the character that's slightly different than what's come before. So I'm content to riff on whatever they cook up episode to episode.
I know we're going to meet you in this week's episode, but what can you tease about your return in episode 10?
Nada. Not without getting in trouble. Although I will note that I think it's pretty cool they went to Dom for the role of Heat Wave. I've been trying to think of another situation where two actors closely associated with one show were recast on another show, playing two new characters, and I can't. It feels really unusual. Special.
What new problems will your villain present to Barry and the STAR Labs team that we haven't seen from any other villains yet?
To be determined. But I'd like to imagine that Snart's impact on Barry - and vice versa - could potentially be very personal. Barry's clearly got some father issues, and from what I'm told Snart does too. So they've got that in common. And maybe that will express itself in some way. Or I could be making all that up.
There are so many remakes coming to TV these days. Could you ever see Prison Break coming back? Or even doing a movie at some point?
It's funny - Dom and I were just talking about that. We were saying there could easily be another "hidden chapter," a stand-alone, like at the end of PB's final season with Sara in trouble. I've got people coming up to me everyday - people who were kids when the show first aired - and they're just starting to watch the first season on Netflix or DVD. To them it's like the show is still present tense. It's amazing how many times I get asked when it's coming back.
What was it like reuniting with Dominic as Captain Cold and Heatwave? Is the brotherly bromance still alive?
100%. Which works well in that you can really tell Captain Cold and Heat Wave have spent time in the trenches together. But these are very different characters from "Michael" and "Lincoln" and that's been cool to explore. Also, Dom makes me laugh. He can be very, very funny. I hope one day he gets to give people a taste of that onscreen. They'll be surprised.
Tell us about Leonard Snart, what kind of person he is and what his motivations are. How dangerous is he with that Cold Gun?
Snart's a master criminal at the top of his game, and I think he's been there awhile. And he's a little bored. A little complacent. Then he meets The Flash, who upends everything. And I think Snart appreciates that. On some level. I think he knows The Flash is going to keep him on his toes. Hence the need for new tricks. Like the Cold Gun.
Talk about his dynamic with Barry and going up against him in an epic showdown.
Snart's formidable, of course, but long-term I suspect The Flash may have the upper hand. For one thing, the show's called "The Flash." Also, The Flash has heart, which I believe counts for a lot in the comic book universe. If Snart has a heart, it's buried deep.
Did you read the comics to understand Leonard more?
I took a look at one or two comics but there's so much out there. The character's been around for decades. And then once I met Geoff Johns - one of the show writers and probably the authority on Captain Cold - I thought, I'm going to let Geoff and the powers-that-be tell me what I need to know about this character. My feeling is that they're going to respect the history but also give it a fresh spin. So I'm going to take my cues from the scripts.
He’ll eventually be teaming up with Heat Wave. What are they after?
They want what all villains want. To be top dog. In whatever arena they find themselves.
What was it like reuniting with Dominic?
Like riding a bike. We hadn't seen each other for five years but it was like not a day had passed. I know his rhythms onscreen, he knows mine. And that helped with the characterizations. Captain Cold and Heat Wave are supposed to have history. Built-in chemistry. And that's not something Dom and I have to worry about bringing to the table.