What do we learn if we say that? We don’t learn anything. And there’s no possibility in theater or film for learning, for growth, and for reconciliation if that’s how we play our villains. But if we play our villains going, “Oh, my god, young Afghan boy grows up and sees all this terrible stuff happen because of the Soviet Union, and then because of the United States’ complicity in this kinda stuff, and all that terrible stuff turns this person into a terrorist,” I’m not gonna say terrorism is okay, but I understand how that happens. Then we can learn something. And we can communicate it to somebody else. And we can feel compassion. And we can learn. And we can grow.
This is an excerpt from a talk I gave on acting as a career as part of the Working Professional Series at the Theater Department of Lehman College. It is also available as a transcript and podcast on the Lehman College Website.