Stephen Lang, famous as Colonel Miles Quaritch of “Avatar” and the blind man from “Don’t Breathe”, feels that ageing in Hollywood is like wine — it gets better with the passage of time. The American actor says getting old doesn’t come as a burden in showbiz because one gets “finer” in the craft.
The 65-year-old actor added that Hollywood is opening up to the idea of writing good roles for senior actors as he asserts “there is room for everything”.
“I think so (that Hollywood has good roles for senior actors). I hope so. Personally, I feel that there are some wonderful parts out there for seniors. It is a good thing because the more senior you get, ideally speaking, the finer you become as a craftsman. So, hopefully they continue to write roles for us and hopefully I will continue to get some of them,” Lang told IANS over phone from New York.
“Many actors who I consider to be great artists are not kids. They are seniors. There are some fine roles out there. The whole paradigm is changing and there is room for everything. (In addition) there are so many platforms for viewing as well; so there is really room for everything,” he added.
Before heading to showbiz, the New York-born Lang showed his acting skills on stage and received attention with Broadway plays — which later paved the way for him into the TV industry.
His portrayal in Broadway play “Death of a Salesman” led him to its TV version. Lang’s resume is full of credible projects like “Gettysburg”, “Public Enemies”, “Conan the Barbarian” and “Tombstone”.
His roles as antagonist in James Cameron’s film and “Don’t Breathe”, which was aired on Indian TV on Sony PIX, has earned him fame as well as critical acclaim.
He is set to reprise his character in the upcoming parts of “Avatar”.
Asked what attracts him to twisted characters, Lang says it’s their uniqueness.
“I don’t know what attracts me to these kind of roles. To me, the role is different and I (will do) if they are being offered to me, they are unique, and they have a point of view that I think is good. I guess one of the things that I felt about the blind man in ‘Don’t Breathe’, and I know I have said this about other characters that I have played over the years, there is a common thread, which is if I don’t love them no one will.”
For Lang, loving the character, despite its flaws, works.
“If I love them enough, other people will kind of understand what it is about them (that attracts me) and they will like the character… It is concerning to people because they are so damaged, there is so much that is wrong with them… I do believe that part appeals to (the audience). It is really an interesting experience when you know in your head that this guy is off the charts but your heart still goes out to them.”
At present, the actor is working on “Mortal Engines”, being produced by Peter Jackson and helmed by Christian Rivers. But he is mum on how the project is turning out.
“It is another world… World of transition and adventure. It is a very difficult and fascinating character, which I am not at liberty to talk about… Then I will go back to work with ‘Avatar’,” he said.
(Sugandha Rawal can be contacted at [email protected])