Jeffrey Wright
LOS ANGELES - SEP 28: Jeffrey Wright at the HBO's "Westworld" Los Angeles Premiere at the TCL Chinese Theater IMAX on September 28, 2016 in Los Angeles, CA (Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com)

Reflects on His Acting Journey and Recent Success

Emmy and Tony Award-winning actor Jeffrey Wright is once again receiving praise, this time for his portrayal of a frustrated author whose satirical book becomes an unexpected success. In an with , Wright shared insights from his early acting career and the lessons he learned from working with iconic actors like Harrison Ford.

Wright began his academic pursuit of an MFA at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts but left after two months to gain hands-on experience in theater. “I left grad school after two months, but I learned it the old apprentice way, just working on the stage,” Wright explains.

Wright primarily focused on theater while slowly building his film career. He recalls his first film role in a historical quasi-documentary about the White House, where he played a carpet painter. Although this film is now hard to find, it marked the beginning of his on-screen journey.

“I was just out of school. I was like 21 years old or something like that, because I'd gone back home to Washington, D.C., and I got this little film and it was going to be no speaking role, just this thing,” Wright reminisces. His next project was “Jumpin' at the Boneyard,” an independent film featuring Tim Roth, Sam Jackson, and the late Alexis Arquette. Wright recalls the excitement around Jackson's performance in “Jungle Fever,” which was being edited at the time.

Wright's film career gained momentum with a small role in the legal thriller “Presumed Innocent,” directed by the legendary Alan Pakula and starring Harrison Ford. Reflecting on this experience, Wright says, “I play a young district attorney. I got the job because on my resume it said that I had a political science degree from Amherst College, which I do. And so I got that gig, and it was two weeks rehearsing and on set. It was a really wonderful introduction to a film set.”

Working alongside Harrison Ford and Alan Pakula left a lasting impression on Wright. “At one point, Alan Pakula calls out to Harrison. In between takes, he calls out ‘Harrison' and Harrison answered, ‘Sir.' And I said, oh, there's a level of decorum here and there's a level of respect here that maybe I wasn't quite aware of,” Wright recalls. This experience taught him that acting could be an honorable profession, demanding respect and dedication.

Jeffrey Wright's journey from theater to film highlights his dedication to his craft and his ability to learn and grow from each experience. His current success with his latest role as an author in a satirical demonstrates his versatility and continued relevance in the industry.

For more insights into Jeffrey Wright's career and acting philosophy, visit the original Deadline interview.

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