A Video Chat with Eric Bogosian — Actor, Dramatist, Director, Author — But Not a Poet
Introduction to Eric Bogosian. 4:25 min. Photo: Raymond Elman. Music mix: Marleau
Eric Bogosian (b.1953) is an Armenian-American actor, dramatist, monologuist, novelist and historian. He grew up in Woburn, Massachusetts, setting for the book and movie A Civil Action, but left his blue-collar roots to attend the University of Chicago.
Bogosian is the author of six produced plays, including Talk Radio at the New York Shakespeare Festival, which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and subsequently adapted to film by Oliver Stone, garnering Bogosian the prestigious Berlin Film Festival Silver Bear. In 2007, a Broadway revival of Talk Radio directed by Robert Falls, starred Liev Schreiber. SubUrbia, directed by Robert Falls and produced by Lincoln Center Theater, was adapted to film by Richard Linklater. Other titles include Griller (Goodman Theater); Humpty Dumpty (The McCarter); Red Angel (Williamstown Theater Festival) and 1+1 (New York Stage and Film). Bogosian’s one-person drama, Notes from Underground has had several productions, most recently starring Jonathan Ames at Performance Space.
Between 1980 and 2000, six major solos written and performed by Bogosian were produced Off-Broadway, garnering him three Obie Awards as well as the Drama Desk award. His first two solos, Men Inside and Funhouse were presented at the New York Shakespeare Festival. His third, Drinking in America, was produced by American Place Theater. Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll, Pounding Nails in the Floor with My Forehead and Wake Up and Smell the Coffee were all produced commercially Off-Broadway by Frederick Zollo.
Bogosian has starred in several films, including Talk Radio, Under Siege 2: Dark Territory and Wonderland. In addition, he has been featured in films by such major directors as Woody Allen, Robert Altman, Taylor Hackford, Atom Egoyan and Agnieszka Holland.
Bogosian is the author of three novels published by Simon & Schuster: Mall, Wasted Beauty, and Perforated Heart. All of his dramatic work is in print, published by Theater Communication Group. In 2015, he published Operation Nemesis: The Secret Plot that Avenged the Armenian Genocide, a history of Operation Nemesis which involved a group of Armenian assassins who set out to avenge the deaths of the one and a half million victims of the Armenian Genocide. The paperback version of Operation Nemesis was released in February 2017.
Another February 2017 event was the beginning of the second season of the hit Showtime program “Billions,” which will now feature Bogosian in the recurring role of Lawrence Boyd, who runs the investment bank Spartan-Ives and is one of the most highly respected figures in the world of finance.
Bogosian is a Guggenheim fellow and the recipient of two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts.
The videos below are organized by topic and run between 16 seconds and 5 minutes. Click on any video. You must be connected to the Internet to view the videos.
OVERCOMES CHALLENGES: 0:56 sec.
You grew up in Woburn, Massachusetts. Was that during the time period covered in the book A Civil Action?
BREAKS THE RULES: 0:16 sec.
So you must be a Red Sox fan.
OVERCOMES CHALLENGES TO SUCCEED: 3:04 min.
What was your first awareness that you were a creative person, and were you first drawn to performing or writing?
OPEN TO CHANGE: 3:02 min.
How did a sheltered kid from Woburn, Mass., wind up at an intellectual place like the University of Chicago?
CREATES A UNIQUE PERSONAL BRAND: 1:54 min.
Has your book about Armenian assassins been submitted for history book awards?
UNDERSTANDS THE AUDIENCE PERSPECTIVE: 0:50 sec.
Reading your book, I had trouble keeping track of the difficult-to-pronounce Armenian names, which caused confusion.
VALUES LEARNING DISCIPLINE: 1:54 min.
Have you received any response from Armenian scholars?
CRITICAL THINKING: 4:19 min.
Most people in this country know about the Jewish Holocaust, but most people do not know about the Armenian Genocide. When you were a kid, were you aware of it, and did you want to shout, “Hey, how about remembering my holocaust?”
INSIGHT & INSPIRATION: 1:10 min.
Did you have much interaction with Spalding Gray?
RESILIENCE: 1:20 min.
How does poker impact your life?