"I was an actor myself. The process of acting is extremely painful. I know that doesn't sound logical to most people, but all good work is self-revelation. That's true for performing artists as well. If I can help them to feel any more secure, and any more unafraid of releasing whatever part of themselves they have to, I understand that I can help them that way. They feel that. I don't even have to articulate it."
About This Interview
In his three-hour Archive interview, Sidney Lumet (1924-2011) speaks of his work as an actor on the stage before he became a director in television. He recalls his work on the television series Danger (1950-55) and You Are There (1953-57), both "live" dramatic shows of the time. He discusses the use of blacklisted writers on these shows and how the material they wrote often reflected the era of McCarthyism. He also discusses other television dramatic anthology series he directed, including Omnibus, Goodyear Playhouse, The Alcoa Hour, Studio One and Kraft Television Theatre. He describes his direction of the well-known television special The Sacco-Vanzetti Story and The Play of the Week: "The Iceman Cometh," both of which aired in 1960. He speaks of his transition to a feature film director with "12 Angry Men" in 1957 and his work on such other feature films as the Paddy Chayefsky's satire, "Network" (1976). Dr. Ralph Engleman conducted the interview on October 28, 1999 in New York, NY.