"He Wants To Be A Guy, But Also Wants To Be A Man"
CB: So given that, is everyone, even down to the actors, paying attention to the set design?
RS: Oh, I think so, at least to some degree. You also have to know that for me, I'm just a dumb actor. [both laugh] I don't have any sort of firsthand knowledge, but we kept eyes out, sure…a couple times we'd notice the copyright on something and bring it to someone's attention. But in general, the people who did that stuff were so amazing at their jobs that you just…we seriously didn't have to worry about it. I do remember when I was being shown -- when I had to choose my watch, they had a big pile and I tried on all these watches, and I was like, "How about that one?" And they said, oh, that one shouldn't be in there -- it's not period. And it looked period to me, so I asked, "What about that isn't period?" And there was something about the typeface on the front of it or something like that that didn't…it was something where I was like, "Okay! I trust you!" Those guys are just so good at what they do.
CB: Another interesting thing I find about the show is just how many long scenes there are. And yet, there are so many unspoken moments -- I would guess, not having seen a script, that the number of words per page actually devoted to dialogue is the lowest of any show, at least that I watch.
RS: Sure. Yeah.
CB: There's so much silence, and there are so many lines that are just written in a very, I would say, minimalist way. Do you find that freeing as an actor?
RS: Oh, I do. I mean, as I said earlier, for me, I've found that my style tends toward the natural, you know? I thrive in a scene where I can feel like it's a real situation…and not necessarily real in that it has to be, you know, a true story or whatever. I mean, I'm happy to fantasize, but I like real reactions and real dialogue, and in our real lives, there's a lot of real silence. So allowing us to tape with what's not being said definitely makes it a far more enjoyable experience. There's a lot of shaping that can be done in the silence, and, from a technical standpoint, it's good for the editors, obviously, because they can then design…we can all sort of work together and collaborate on how full or dense or not dense those scenes are.
CB: Sure. Okay, another thing I personally love about the show and that's been talked about quite a bit is how effortlessly it seems to avoid cliché, and surprises even avid viewers. One example of that is again, in "Nixon vs. Kennedy" -- I don't know why I keep going back to that episode.