The Challenges of Being 'A Serious Man'

Actor Michael Stuhlbarg on starring in the Oscar-nominated film "A Serious Man," the Jewish experience in America, and his love-hate relationship with acting.

BY: Sara Shereen Bakhshian


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Do you feel that you are constantly learning in your craft?

That's the way I think about it. It's like a continuation of study, school, you know. Applying the things you learned to the next job that you get and surprising yourself along the way. You're learning about people with the hope that [you] can apply that learning towards telling stories in a deeper, more profound way.

You mentioned that you've been acting since you were a child. What keeps you going through the hard times and the good times?

It's a day-to-day thing, you know. Sometimes I love it, sometimes I hate it. It's a hard way to live your life not knowing what you're going to do next, but I keep doing it because people keep asking me to and I keep throwing myself into situations where I want to do it. You have to take care of yourself and surround yourself with people who you love and if you're lucky, find another [task] to keep you busy in your down time. That's been a hard one for me.

What keeps you happy?

I don't know, I think it's just my genes. My mom and my dad are ebullient people, and I think I carry that with me. I get a kick out of talking about this stuff and I find a lot of joy in it. So, I try to share that wherever I go and allow myself to enjoy it when people ask me questions.

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