It’s a big year for character actor Tracy Letts. He is featured in two high-profile films, both worthy of recognition this awards season. I spoke with Tracy about his role in James Mangold‘s Ford v Ferrari, where he plays Henry Ford II, CEO of Ford Motor Company and his brief, yet powerful, appearance in Greta Gerwig‘s Little Women as publisher Mr. Dashwood opposite Saoirse Ronan. Tracy Letts talks about the process of creating three-dimensional characters, working with directors Mangold and Gerwig, and offers advice for struggling actors.
“…my God, you spend more time promoting these things then you do making them.”
I guess the headline is that you have two high profile movies out this year. Is it as calculated as that sounds, or is this more coincidental?
Tracy Letts: Oh, it’s a total coincidence. As if I have a choice. I’m really lucky that I got a chance to do these movies and that they both happened in the same year and that they both turned out as great as they did. They were great scripts and great projects to be involved with. I was just very fortunate that the offers came my way. But, my God, you spend more time promoting these things then you do making them.
I think Ford v Ferrari was definitely a pleasant surprise to everyone regarding how good it is.
Yeah. It’s a big movie. When we embarked on it, we knew it was a rarity. Because it’s not a franchise film. Ford v Ferrari 2 is not a possibility. This is the kind of movie my parents took me to when I was a kid. I’m 54 years old, and when I was a kid, we didn’t have a lot of kid’s films. We were expected to see the movies our parents went to see. Now they weren’t necessarily going to take us to see The Godfather, but they would take us to see the new John Wayne movie. I’m probably the last generation that got taken to the new John Wayne movie. I think Ford v Ferrari was very much made with that idea. I would take my kids to see it. I have no trouble recommending it to anybody. I will say to anybody, you should go see this movie.