Julie Harris: I Can Re-Design Myself

Interview with Julie Harris
Conducted by James Grissom
Hotel Wyndham
New York City

I think that actors and writers are both fascinated and repulsed by humanity. I really do. It's a love/hate relationship: We can't understand the cruelty, the apathy, the brusque march through life that so many people adopt, and then we are overwhelmed by the extraordinary kindness and wisdom that these same people can display when the tides turn or a life alters or a hand is extended and we ask Could you help me?

Don't we have the same relationship with ourselves? Love/hate? I can begin my life--I can redesign myself--all over again each time I have a part. I can be whatever anyone asks of me, and I can reach inside and find all of these warring parts of my soul and bring them to the part. I feel so lucky that I can do this, because in a way that religion cannot, it allows me to love and respect and understand everyone I happen to know or meet.

Everyone can do this--everyone can learn to see people in ways that allow us to love them--but actors are required to do this, over and over.

We are so lucky.

© 2014 James Grissom


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