What do you read for solace? For escape? For sheer pleasure?
For solace, I love a book that opens up my perspective. The other day I realized I buy a new copy of “The Untethered Soul,” by Michael A. Singer, in every city I visit. I don’t know if it’s because I forget that I own it already or I just need it again when I’m on the road and missing home. I own at least four copies. I also love Singer’s audio lectures, even just to put on in the background. For escape, I love popcorn thrillers that you can read in a weekend, like “Sharp Objects” and “The Woman in Cabin 10.” For pure pleasure, I love a good rock ‘n’ roll/rock bio or oral history. I recently read “Meet Me in the Bathroom,” by Lizzy Goodman, which follows the Strokes, Interpol and the whole early 2000s NYC rock scene. It is so much fun to relive that incredible time in music, particularly because I was there for more than I should admit.
What are your favorite books about acting or about Hollywood?
My favorite acting books are Stella Adler’s “The Art of Acting” and “Sanford Meisner on Acting.”
Which writers – novelists, playwrights, critics, journalists, poets – working today do you admire most?
Right now, I admire the writers on “Jessica Jones.” Melissa Rosenberg and her team, the level of material they write for me, and their imaginations so consistently blow me away. They have my full attention and admiration right now.
How do you like to read? Paper or electronic? One book at a time or simultaneously? Morning or night? Do you like reading on set?
I can’t read on set because I have too much to stay focused on. Often you hear about people on set living this “hurry up and wait” kind of work life. But for me, specifically on “Jessica Jones,” it’s more like “hurry up and hurry up.” I get to be fully immersed all day every day and it is crazy exciting! But it’s not a reading environment. On set, if anything, I’ll knit because it’s mechanical, a meditation and doesn’t pull focus from the work. In terms of how I read, I am hard copy all the way. I love having a book in my hand. There are already so many digital distractions in our lives and for me, reading on a screen and getting alerts and text messages totally ruins it. I like to read in the park, or I like to get in bed early, get cozy and get lost in a good book.
What book might people be surprised to find on your shelves?
Stacks of knitting and crochet books.
What’s the best book you’ve ever received as a gift?
“Don’t Forget to Sing in the Lifeboats,” by Kathryn and Ross Petras. A friend gave it to me and it has been kind of life-changing. It is this little book of inspirational quotes and wisdom, and it’s such a pick-me-up to read a few pages a day. I’ve since given it as a gift a few times and I often post pages from it on my Instagram stories. People seem to love it!
What kind of reader were you as a child? Which childhood books and authors stick with you most?
I wasn’t a big reader as a kid and I often think about that. I was told that I had poor reading comprehension, but now I recognize that is not true at all. I just wasn’t interested in what I was given and I had too wild an imagination to sit still long enough unless it was something I really loved. I didn’t fit in the box. So, I think it’s important to encourage kids to read whatever interests them, outside of what’s on a curriculum.
You’re organizing a literary dinner party. Which three writers, dead or alive, do you invite?
Gillian Flynn, Hemingway, Stephen King. I feel like no one would know what to say to each other, but how fun?
Who would you want to write your life story?
I think I would feel more comfortable writing my own.