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Justin Theroux: Don't chase leading man status

Published 08/06/2015

Justin Theroux
Justin Theroux

Justin Theroux warns actors not to confine themselves to a "really strange place" with their roles.

The 43-year-old actor has embodied various characters throughout his career, from an Irish thug in Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle to a troubled policeman in TV show The Leftovers.

He's always managed to remain versatile and it's important to Justin that he never gets pigeonholed.

"The minute you start trying to assume a 'leading man' or 'leading woman' role, your sandbox starts to shrink and you start to get into the confines of a really strange space," Justin explained to The Hollywood Reporter. "We've all seen it happen - it creates this terrible gravity where the material starts to play to the actor's comfort zone and eventually you're painting inside the lines to maintain whatever perception or awards [pedigree] you've built up."

Justin, who is engaged to Jennifer Aniston, also shared the biggest turning point in his career, which is that he's now being offered roles rather than going in and auditioning for them.

Joining him for the interview was Bob Odenkirk, who landed his first big lead role in TV series Better Call Saul. It's a spinoff from hit show Breaking Bad with Bob reprising his part of sleazy lawyer Saul Goodman. While it's considered a success now, the actor was nervous at first.

"The fear was exactly what you’d think: Everyone loved Breaking Bad. Will they even give us a chance? Will they be mad that we decided to try it?" Bob recalled. "I remember when the billboards went up around LA, I thought, 'Oh, my God, people are going to see this.' Only then did it really hit me that I could be in for a worldwide kick in the ass. But by then, we’d shot and everyone was feeling good about it."

© Cover Media

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