Interviewer subpage 10

Debra Winger
Actor
“Do you bring yourself to your roles?”

“I don’t know how not to. It’s my body that I’m using and my eyes that I’m seeing through. Actually, I bring a portion of myself to my roles and submerge the rest into the character’s circumstances. Otherwise I would just be me in every part. But it’s still me. Acting is very mysterious. I’m breaking it down now in an effort to answer your questions because you seem like a nice person. I usually don’t talk to interviewers about acting. I don’t need to explain it for myself. I don’t really care how it works as long as it works. The important part is that I am in service to it. I respect and appreciative it. I am in awe of it.”

“Do you ever fear that you might lose your skills if you’re not continuously using them and reinforcing what you know?”

“For me it’s like bicycle riding, a little wobbly in the beginning if I haven’t acted in a while, but it smoothes out fairly quickly. Acting is something that always came very naturally to me. I’ve honed certain skills and I’m always learning new things from the different directors that I work with. But the roles I’ve been offered in recent years are not as demanding by virtue of what exists for women my age. I’d rather wait tables then do bad work or speak lines that don’t move me. So I sort of backed off. It was funny for me to hear people say that I walked away from my career when in reality I was really walking towards my life. With fewer opportunities to do good work, I found that I could express myself in ways that didn’t require the release of a character. I didn’t need to be addicted to the attention of others, let alone the adulation. It’s a trap to get addicted to the feedback. Once you can break that addiction, your life becomes your own again and hopefully you’re better prepared to make the most of the opportunities that do arise.”