Throughout his career, John Lithgow has consistently taken on unpredictable roles, to the point where he’s become something of a calling card. From starring in “3rd Rock,” replacing Christopher Walken as the maniacal villain in “Cliffhanger,” playing Winston Churchill in “The Crown” and his numerous roles in Shakespearean productions, Lithgow has never been typecast. And, in the later stages of his career, his four episodes on “Perry Mason” allowed him to articulate many of his own thoughts and fears about his particular place in his life.
In an interview with Mumtaj Begum, the 77-year-old reflected on his recent roles as “old men” and how that forced him to explore “variations in age and the fear of age and the fear of getting old and losing your viability. ” But while he might think that an actor with such a diverse career would find that kind of limiting, he actually finds the opposite, saying that his “career is more interesting now than ever.” He added:
“EB Jonathan is a man who used to be on top of the world. He used to have all these connections, he used to win cases, he used to get people out, and he hasn’t for years. He desperately needs this.” [Dodson] case and when it becomes a big case, you feel like you’ve got a big one. And then when it starts to go wrong, and when you realize you can’t even get the simplest thing for your customers, your desperation and panic is another fascinating thing to play with. It is that he is very, very rich. […] it’s the very, very high emotions of fear and the panic of getting old. Unfortunately, I’m starting to get access to that fear, so why not put it to good use?