Q&A with...Alan Alda, actor and author headlining a Westport Library fundraiser
Published 12:00 am, Saturday, May 13, 2017
WESTPORT — Alan Alda, a world-renowned actor and writer, is set to headline the Westport Library’s BOOKED for the Evening to promote his new book, “If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face?: My Adventures in the Art and Science of Relating and Communicating.”
He has appeared in performances from Broadway to the silver screen, including “M*A*S*H,” “The West Wing” and “The Aviator,” earning six Emmys with 34 nominations. In just one year, 2005, he was nominated for an Oscar, a Tony and an Emmy and he published a bestselling book.
Alda was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame in 1994.
A champion of science advocacy for decades, Alda helped found the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University, which seeks to facilitate communication between scientists and the public. He serves as a visiting professor at the Long Island school.
Born in New York City, Alda started acting at an early age and went on to graduate from Fordham University. Following graduation, he took his acting talents to the Cleveland Playhouse and then to Broadway.
Alda, 81, is married to his wife, Arlene. They have three daughters and eight grandchildren.
Alex Giannini, the manager of experiential learning, said the library is “very excited” to welcome Alda as the honoree for their signature fundraising event.
“He’s obviously a pop culture icon, but more importantly, his is a distinctive voice that spans generations,” Giannini said. “It’s going to be a really interesting night, and I can’t wait!”
Q: What do you want readers to take away from “If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face?: My Adventures in the Art and Science of Relating and Communicating”?
A: I hope people take away from the book a fresher way to relate to the people they communicate with.
Being more aware of what the other person is thinking and feeling while you talk to them is not only essential — it’s fun.
Q: Do you consider yourself more of an actor or an author? Why?
A: I’m an actor who writes and a writer who acts.
Q: What inspired you to write books?
A: I love writing and I had things to say that I thought were worth reading. Naturally, I hope other people think so, too.
Q: What was the most formidable acting experience for you and why?
A: There are little moments in plays and movies, often shows that most people never heard of, that are fun to remember. But I think the most powerful experience I’ve had is acting in Louis CK’s “Horace and Pete.” I think it’s a brilliant series.
BOOKED will take place at 7 p.m. on June 5 at the Westport Library.