Probably I have more phobias, fear and eccentricities than I would care to admit. I don't think I'm in danger of losing my mind, but I do often question my own behavior. I have a very bad temper, and it's not always healthy for me and for others. I make my way in the world more difficult, and I could do with a little more yoga.
When you think of Grimm's fairy tales, they are deeply, deeply psychological. They're so powerful, so bloody, and really, really disturbing. Think about five-year-olds reading that stuff. Even 'Little Red Riding Hood' is a really freaky story. Grandma is gobbled up by a wolf, and the wolf is going to eat the girl. That's scary stuff.
I was raised on the brothers Grimm, but my favorite fairy tales in the world are Oscar Wilde's - 'The Nightingale and the Rose,' 'The Selfish Giant.' The latter is probably my all-time favorite.
It's highly dishonorable to ever quit a production. I never have done it, and I can't imagine ever doing it. However, I have been in productions before where, on the first in the read-through, you feel that someone is in trouble, and indeed, actors have been let go shortly after read-throughs. I've seen that happen before.
If you see me in New York, you'll probably see me on my bicycle riding furiously between a city bus and a taxi cab, hitting one of them on the side and yelling at them.
Anybody who knows me has said, 'I had a Denis O'Hare moment.' I suppose in the kindest instance it means standing up for yourself. In the unkindest, it means the crazy guy in the street.
I love monsters, I love creatures, I love beings, I love aliens. That's more supernatural and more the stuff of fairy tales. Fairy tales are as ancient as we are. I love those stories. I think they're really interesting because they always have more than simply the fright aspect. There's something deeply psychological.
I went on a Buddha jag. I read 'Confession of a Buddhist Atheist' by Stephen Batchelor and Karen Armstrong's biography of Buddha, which is a great book.
'The Iliad' is about a war 1,200 years ago that solved nothing and achieved nothing. Most of our wars achieve very little. But whatever agenda I have gets buried in a work this great. If you're being honest, you realize that, as an artist, you're not a policy maker.
Whether it's writing a monologue or writing standup or writing a screenplay or writing a play, I think staying involved in the creation of your own work empowers you in a way, even if you don't ever do it. It gives you a sense of ownership and a sense of purpose, which I think as an actor is really important.
Comic-Con is a special kind of crazy.
I hate singing. I hate dancing. I enjoyed doing 'Cabaret' and 'Assassins,' but I would wither up and die in 'The Music Man.'
I was born in Missouri, but I was raised in Detroit. One of my stock and trades is accents.
Funnily enough, I was a big fan of the show and had been watching it - along with everybody else - and had never imagined that I would be on it. You kind of look at shows and think, 'Oh, I wish I had done that one.' But I didn't really see myself on 'True Blood.'
Generally, it's a great exercise to not get stuck in one medium too long because you begin to lose perspective on the peculiar drawbacks and strengths of the medium. For example, if I'm in the back of the stage and I want you to see my emotional change by a flicker of my eyelid, we're all going to be in for a long boring evening.
I read five books on the Constitution. My favorite was 'Plain, Honest Men' by Richard Beeman. I went on a science jag in the same way. I kept getting in arguments about evolution and being bested. So I read Charles Darwin's 'On the Origin of the Species,' a fantastic book that is not that difficult.
I received a phone call; my agent got a phone call from Ryan Murphy saying he wanted to talk to me... And he basically outlined 'American Horror Story' for me and said that there's a character named Larry the Burn Guy, and I'd like you to play it.
My first paying gig was a play called 'The Voice of the Prairie' at a theater that no longer exists in Chicago called Wisdom Bridge. I played a fast-talking radio huckster - a salesman of crystal sets in the 1920s - and I actually won an award. Look at that! And then promptly didn't get hired for a year.
When I did 'Racing Demon' by David Hare, I worked with Paul Giamatti, who had stacks of books in his dressing room. I was offstage a lot, so I would go read in his room. He was reading a four-part series on the Byzantine Empire by Alexander A. Vasiliev. I read two of those during the run of the play.
Evil is such a simplistic way to describe any character, be it Iago or Caliban, or any character from history.