House Logo
Explore categories +

John Krasinski (#110 of 4)

Interview: Sanjit De Silva Talks Race, Acting, and His Role in Dry Powder

Comments Comments (...)

Interview: Sanjit De Silva Talks Race, Acting, and His Role in Dry Powder
Interview: Sanjit De Silva Talks Race, Acting, and His Role in Dry Powder

“Finally I’m in a place where I’m doing the kind of work I want to do, and I’m being seen in the way that I want to be seen,” says Sri Lankan-born actor Sanjit De Silva. Landing the part of an American CEO in Sarah Burgess’s new play, Dry Powder, a high-stakes financial drama which opens this week at the Public Theater, is a milestone in De Silva’s decade-long career as a working actor in New York City. “I hope this trend continues,” he adds smiling.

De Silva left his native country in 1984 at age seven, not long after the outbreak of a civil war that would tear apart the South Asian nation for the next 30 years. (His parents each belonged to the opposing ethnic groups in the conflict, which made normal life untenable for them in the country.) After a brief stint in Africa, the family moved to America in 1986. Now based in Brooklyn, De Silva recently spoke to me about his experience establishing a career as an actor in his adopted country, both as an immigrant and a person of color, and about his current role in Dry Powder.

Bittersweet Ramblings on The Office

Comments Comments (...)

Bittersweet Ramblings on <em>The Office</em>
Bittersweet Ramblings on <em>The Office</em>

As I was surfing YouTube a few days ago, I stumbled across the Verve’s performance of their classic “Bittersweet Symphony” at Glastonbury in 2008. In the clip, referring to the rumors that festival founder Michael Eavis was supposedly uneasy about the band headlining, lead singer Richard Ashcroft jokes, “I think he was a bit worried we weren’t gonna be as good as Keane or something like that.” He quickly changes his tack: “God bless to Keane though…Love and peace to all bands. It’s a struggle. Life’s a struggle. And Monday morning may be a struggle for a lot of you in a job that you despise, working for a boss that you despise. A slave to money and then you die.”

Slaves to money and then we die, indeed. And all the while, you step on the same piece of carpeting, answer the same calls, deal with the same assholes as the other random people with whom you share the office. The office, in this case, is a metaphor (always trust the writer who points out the analogies for you; James Joyce said that, or Lady Gaga—one of the two). It doesn’t matter whether it’s a real office in Istanbul, or a shop floor in Kunming, or a studio in Los Angeles. Work is work: You might like it, you might hate it, but, to carry on with life, you have to do it. This has always been the central ethos of The Office, both the BBC and the NBC versions: the meaning in the pursuit of meaning. So, life. To carry on with life, in fact, you have to live. It’s a fucker, but it is what it is.

Brief Interviews with Hideous Men and Rage (via Halloween II)

Comments Comments (...)

<em>Brief Interviews with Hideous Men</em> and <em>Rage</em> (via <em>Halloween II</em>)
<em>Brief Interviews with Hideous Men</em> and <em>Rage</em> (via <em>Halloween II</em>)

There’s a more adept portrayal of human suffering in Rob Zombie’s Halloween II> than in all the lollygagging throughout John Krasinski’s timid adaptation of David Foster Wallace’s Brief Interviews with Hideous Men and Sally Potter’s iPhone-destined, fashion world monologue-a-thon Rage. Throughout Zombie’s slasher yarn, there’s inevitably a close-up, as the killer comes crashing down upon his prey, where the victims’ eyes drift heavenward and a brief, unspoken plea for mercy passes between them and monster. As they meet their doom, Zombie dwells on the mayhem in real time, each brutal pulverizing blow given resonance. You would think this example of pulpy shock cinema couldn’t hope to compare with the more supposedly contemplative American independent cinema, much less surpass the emotional, cinematic, and humanistic impact of a world where academic characters and fashion moguls gaze into the heart of darkness within their navels.