For Billy Crudup, acting is existential: “You have to keep stealing yourself”


Tony Award-winning actor Billy Crudup opens up on "Salon Talks" about the process of choosing his next role. Crudup currently stars in "After the Wedding," directed by Bart Fruendlich and also starring Julianne Moore and Michelle Williams. The film is based on the original 2006 Danish title of the same name directed by Susanne Bier.

When Crudup was asked about what he looks for in a character, he described the importance of finding a connection to the person. "Whether it's a creative connection where you can imagine that kind of world, or personal connection is totally irrelevant, you have to be able to see yourself walking around in that person's shoes," he said.

Crudup described his 1998 role in "Without Limits" depicting the long distance runner Steve Prefontaine as one of his most "fascinating." "He's not the kind of athlete that I would have rooted for growing up," Crudup said. "It was that I didn't identify with him. That's a connection. How does a person like that have that kind of confidence? How does a person like that, go about their day and not feel flawed and distressed and filled with anxiety?"

Crudup discussed how he taps into his own vulnerability for a performance. "You have to keep stealing yourself as an actor, and I find that one way to do that is to find characters that I have a creative connection to," he said.

Watch the video above to hear more about Crudup's acting process. And watch the full episode with Billy Crudup and Bart Fruendlich to learn about the mysterious and intense drama "After the Wedding."


About "Salon Talks"

Hosted by Salon journalists, "Salon Talks" episodes offer a fresh take on the long-form interview format, and a much-needed break from the partisan political talking heads that have come to dominate the genre. "Salon Talks" is a destination for information through conversation. Viewers can expect discussions with A-list actors, artists, authors, thinkers, and newsmakers as we explore the full range of the human condition. The show streams live on Facebook and Twitter and each episode is published in full on Salon.com.


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