As thespians, each of us has our own process when it comes to preparing for a role. Some do copious amounts of research on the subject, others shadow the individual they are playing, and some merely show up to set, put on the clothes, and they are that person. All of these techniques can be effective for a performer, but the only way that I’m able to fully and unequivocally disappear into a role is to go full method. But of late, I’ve experienced some backlash and bad press in relation to my personal process. And there's one thing that I want to make very clear to everyone – I am not a monster, I am a method actor.
Rumors persist around la-la land that I am “challenging on set,” but in reality, the opposite is true. I, myself, am a joyous person. I’m philanthropic, quick-witted, and I’m great with names. No, it is not me who is difficult to work with, but some of the characters I play certainly are.
By now, we’re all familiar with the leaked set video wherein it appears I am screaming at a child co-star for upwards of 20 minutes, using language and gestures not becoming of an adult man. And while I do believe that the child actor missing her mark was incredibly unprofessional, it was not I who called her “a useless swath of dogshit,” it was, in fact, Chicago crime lord Tony Ligitano. When it comes to the blowup, I must agree with the bloggers, tweeters, really anyone who watched the video, when they say that Tony’s actions were uncalled for. And then pushing the little girl's father down after he tried to intervene, that was appalling! But really you’ve got to take that up with Tony. That’s on him, not me.
Of course, not everyone seems to understand this, so when that photo came out of me, in physical form only, drunk on the studio lot, urinating on the Director’s chair – the pitchforks came out once again. Naturally, I felt very bad about what had happened. That’s really no way to behave in front of trained professionals, but what I also expressed then and want to make clear again is that it wasn’t me caught with my pants down. That was Danny Fitzgerald, 1970s Teamster, philanderer, and all-around ruffian. Saying Danny has a mind of his own would be something of an understatement, but I do have it on good authority that he’s very sorry for how things unfolded. I’ll ask that you direct any further questions on the matter to him, not me or my team.
Oh how the tabloids had a field day when my wife went to the press with that story about how I was filled with an unfathomable rage and that her and our children were scared for their safety. Don’t make me laugh! What my wife, children, and members of the local police department all got wrong was that it was not me punching holes in walls and breaking glass plates at the dinner table, it was Mixed Martial Arts star Matty “Moose” Patrice. Yes, I agree that the Moose got carried away and I’m sure he wishes he had handled things a little bit differently, but I can’t really speak for him and his thought process at that time. Also, any mentions of erectile dysfunction by my wife in the press are the direct result of my method acting as well. Oddly, I’ve played a lot of impotent men over the years. Many of the scripts don’t specify them as such, but as an actor I can intuit such things.
A question that I often get asked is why I only go method for the roles where I play a destructive, dangerous, piece of shit. My answer is this – anyone can play the handsome doctor or the inspirational football coach helping troubled teens, but escaping into the darker and more sinister roles requires a total commitment that few outside of the industry truly understand. Of late, few in the industry seem to understand either. Going method as a “good guy” doesn’t really present a challenge for me as it mirrors who I am in real life. Though sleeping with my co-star in my most recent romantic comedy may have been me subconsciously going method. I’d have to think more on that.
Look, I’d love to tell you that these very public displays of bad behavior were going to end sometime soon, but it’s not up to me, it’s up to my characters. And most of those guys, they play by their own rules.