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A day with Gregory Harrison

A day with Gregory Harrison


© Courtesy of Gregory Harrison collection - A day with Gregory Harrison
© Courtesy of Gregory Harrison collection
After the initial avalanche of “it’s great,” and “nice meeting you,” I could immediately see today was not going to be boring: past his perfect white-toothed actor facade, Harrison has a curious nature combined with vast general knowledge and an opinion about everything under the sun.
At first glance, Harrison is actually happy, a rare commodity in Hollywood, where fame is fickle and happiness is often sought with money and drugs, and ultimately lost in the swirl of power an success. Harrison preferred to stay clear of Hollywood “hotspots”; 10 million dollar houses aren’t really his thing. But they could have been...His career began in the ‘70s, when as a teenager, he decided he would be an actor. Not for money or recognition, but for the love of a craft and to escape routine. “Even at 15, I knew that I hated routine,” he said. “My definition of hell is to go to an office everyday and work from 9 to 5!” People who do that are scared of change, they need security; I don’t even want to be in the same room with the same people everyday.”
You can feel his artistic temperament. “Since I was young, I’ve always loved to sing,” he confirmed. “My father was a poet and I really appreciated poetry; I wrote many a poem for girls! During my military service, I spent a lot of time playing guitar and converting all my poems into songs. After that, I came back to California and sang in a bar before starting to audition in Hollywood.” (Note: The actor wrote the music for For Ladies Only).
As a young man, Harrison jumped into the Hollywood cycle without knowing how far it would go. His career skyrocketed after he played in Logan’s Run in 1977. TV series like Trapper and other movies like Razorback, North Shore, and It’s My Party would shortly follow. “I always try to reinvent myself by moving past my fears, and I prefer a challenge rather than what’s comfortable,” he said. He now juggles between Broadway, movies, and movie production. “I like being involved, but my first love it acting.”
When choosing a part, he doesn’t hide that he is drawn to complex characters, or as he puts it “good guys who have a dark side.” “I like playing bad boys, but only when there are consequences for their behaviour,” he elaborated. “I’ve played a lot more bad guys than good ones throughout my career, but I want the moral of the story to disapprove of such behaviour.” He also has a soft spot for certain greats, like Scorsese, David Lynch and the Coen brothers. “When I’m preparing for a part, I watch anything that could inspire me, research, movies, and I love living with the idea and thinking about all that,” he said. “You’re never sure of the result when you’re on TV, whereas on stage, that’s what you bring, the result. On stage there is no editor, in movies of TV, there is always an editor that can change your style or your performance. And sometimes, it can be frustrating or better. I like the impact of TV, though. It reaches the audience faster.”


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