Even when I do roles that are really profoundly abusive, like, I would say, in 'Deadwood' - there's a guy who's a breeding ground for ignorance and hurtful behavior - the fact that people are so taken aback by that is a good thing because they're looking at themselves, and there's a part of me in there, too.
I've continued to write fiction since being in television. TV is a different kind of writing, but it's all writing. It was David Milch of 'Deadwood' who helped me to see it that way. We later collaborated on the short-lived 'John from Cincinnati,' but I'm very proud of the work we did together.
Out of the thousand writers huffing and puffing through movieland there are scarcely fifty men and women of wit or talent. The rest of the fraternity is deadwood. Yet, in a curious way, there is not much difference between the product of a good writer and a bad one. They both have to toe the same mark.
I've been watching more American TV because of all the great TV series that have come out in the last five to 10 years. I'm a 'Sopranos' fan, I'm a 'Wire' fan, I'm a 'Mad Men' fan. I'm a 'Deadwood' fan. It makes me optimistic for the future of storytelling on TV that producers are willing to take that kind of jump.
I've been incredibly blessed with good roles the past few years, but none of them compares to the experience of playing Ellsworth on 'Deadwood.' There are times when I've had as much fun or had comparably great material, but as a body of work, playing Ellsworth tops anything else in my lifetime.
Where now are the horse and the rider? Where is the horn that was blowing? Where is the helm and the hauberk, and the bright hair flowing? Where is the harp on the harpstring, and the red fire glowing? Where is the spring and the harvest and the tall corn growing? They have passed like rain on the mountain, like a wind in the meadow; The days have gone down in the West behind the hills into shadow. Who shall gather the smoke of the deadwood burning, Or behold the flowing years from the Sea returning?
J. R. R. Tolkien
If you are hired to shake up the system, do it. No one will believe you're the boss until you do one or more of the following: 1. Add a new division; 2. Lop off a present department; 3. Add new people or reassign and reward present employees; 4. Get rid of deadwood; 5. Change the method of accounting; 6. Change lawyers, accountants, or other outside services; 7. Ask a lot of questions, and demand answers by a certain date; 8. Get in touch with key people in your industry or city and arrange personal meetings; 9. Improve working conditions; 10. Update present benefit plans.
And just how did you arrive at that remarkable conclusion, Mr. Mayor?" "In a rather simple way. It merely required the use of that much-neglected commodity - common sense. You see, there is a branch of human knowledge known as symbolic logic, which can be used to prune away all sorts of clogging deadwood that clutters up human language." "What about it?" said Fulham. "I applied it. Among other things, I applied it to this document here. I didn't really need to for myself because I knew what it was all about, but I think I can explain it more easily to five physical scientists by symbols rather than by words." Hardin removed a few sheets of paper from the pad under his arm and spread them out. "I didn't do this myself, by the way," he said. "Muller Holk of the Division of Logic has his name signed to the analyses, as you can see." Pirenne leaned over the table to get a better view and Hardin continued: "The message from Anacreon was a simple problem, naturally, for the men who wrote it were men of action rather than men of words. It boils down easily and straightforwardly to the unqualified statement, when in symbols is what you see, and which in words, roughly translated is, 'You give us what we want in a week, or we take it by force.'" There was silence as the five members of the Board ran down the line of symbols, and then Pirenne sat down and coughed uneasily. Hardin said, "No loophole, is there, Dr. Pirenne?" "Doesn't seem to be.