Stephen Lang: What I Read
How do other people deal with the torrent of information that pours down on us all? Do they have some secret? Perhaps. We are asking various friends and colleagues who seem well-informed to describe their media diets. This is from an exchange with Stephen Lang, award-winning stage and film actor most recently seen as Colonel Miles Quaritch in Avatar.
I get my "current events"—a nostalgic term for me from my days at P.S. 178—from The New York Times online and a water-logged Wall Street Journal lying around at the gym. I read Variety and The Hollywood Reporter online as well. I cannot read on the treadmill, StairMaster, or elliptical and am dubious of people who do.
I read whatever my wife recommends in The New Yorker. I do not read the fiction or poetry. I read Smithsonian Magazine and American Motorcyclist cover to cover. When I am waiting in the dentist's office I read Architectural Digest and Highlights For Children. I do not mind waiting.
On the checkout line at ShopRite I read whichever rag I can get my hands on. I read The New York Post and The Daily News on the subway—good sports and I like the jumble.
I rove between the major news anchors. I know they try hard and it is not their fault that they are not Cronkite or Jim Jensen. Al Roker is aces and Christiane Amanpour is queen of the airwaves. I cannot watch Beck for more than 30 seconds—it's like breathing sulphur. Chris Matthews talks too loud. Imus wore out his welcome a long time ago.
I have always liked Ernie Anastos (Fox 5 News New York) and Sue Simmons (NBC News 4 New York)--him for his sunniness and her for her tartness. It was great when she swore on the air. Sorry I missed it. Warner Wolf (1050 ESPN Radio) is still the best for sports.
I will recommend a movie: 44 Inch Chest. Thin story, one set and sometimes the dialogue is hard to understand because accents are smeared on thick, which doesn't matter because Ray Winstone, Tom Wilkinson, John Hurt, Stephen Dillane and Ian MacShane give a master class in character acting. Think Massey Hall Quintet or the 1970 Knicks—they are that skillful, that much fun to watch. Warning: Really really filthy language.