What does it feel like to be on an HBO show—one by Martin Scorsese, no less?
The vibes at the moment are really optimistic. We're on schedule, which is great; they've been devoted to the show from Day 1. So, they're really supportive and so there's a lot of great energy around the set. There's so many wonderful actors on the show: Michael Shannon, Michael Pitt, Kelly Macdonald, Stephen Graham, Vincent Piazza. The list goes on and on. There's so many wonderful New York-based actors who have been doing guest-starring roles in the show. So, it is very textured, and the writing has been fantastic. I really hope people grow to love it because I think there's a lot to love there.
Do you ever worry about being typed-casted as a Jewish character?
Well, I guess it's my job if I feel that way to try to do something about it. Depending on what choices are available to me in trying to make the best decisions I can. I've done a lot of theater work that has been quite diverse. I feel very fortunate to have had many different people think of me in many different ways. So, as an actor that's all you – all I want is diversity. So far in film and television work I have done has not been as diverse, and I hope it grows to be.
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.