017: An Actor's Spiritual Path to Success and Happiness | Linus Roache
October 3rd, 2017
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IM 007: An Actor's Spiritual Path to Success and Happiness | Linus Roache
October 3rd, 2017
Andy Wang: [00:00:00] Today on Inspired Money.
Linus Roach: [0:00:02.7] It was gonna mean a risk. It was gonna mean that I might not earn the amount of money. It might mean big life changes. And I thought about it enough to say I'm prepared to pay the cost for that. If that's what it means, I'm prepared to pay the cost. If it means we have to tighten the budget or sell something I’ll do it because that's actually what I want and so, I put that out. I put it out to my manager. I did write it in terms of an e-mail and I did put it to my agent and then I just kept hoping. [laughter] I just put it out and kept hoping.
Andy Wang: [00:00:38] This is Episode 7 with Golden Globe nominated actor Linus Roache.
[background music] Welcome to Inspired Money. My name is Andy Wang a Managing Partner at Runnymede Capital Management. Each week we bring you an interesting person to help you get inspired, shift your perspectives on money and achieve incredible things. From making it to giving it away, Inspired Money means making a difference, creating something bigger than oneself and maybe, just maybe, making the world a better place. Thank you for joining me.
Andy Wang: [00:01:19] Thanks for tuning in. You'll find today's show notes and guest links at inspiredmoney.fm/007. Inspired Money is brought to you by my company Runnymede Capital Management, a fiduciary investment adviser. We help individuals, families and companies with their investments and retirement accounts including 401(k) plans. Educate yourself for free by subscribing to our blog at inspiredmoney.fm.
Male 1: [00:01:59] [background conversations] Wanna do a camera rehearsal or do you want to try it? I’m ready to go. Okay. All right, guys. We’re gonna try a picture on this. Let’s gather everyone, please. [background noises] Okay, guys. Pictures up.
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Andy Wang: [00:02:09] Great acting begins when an actor is so believable that we forget we're watching an actor acting. The sincerity of the performance is so convincing that we accept them as the character that they're portraying. It doesn't feel like rehearsed lines. It's honest. It makes us care. It compels us to want to see what will happen next. No, I am not an actor, but I'm told that when you play a character in theatre, TV or film you should know your character as well as you know yourself so, you can just exist and live. It's easier said than done but that's how you make it feel like real life. Our guest today can do just that. He's performed on stage, on television and on the big screen. You may recognize him as Executive ADA Michael Cutter on “Law and Order” and “SVU” or Dr. Thomas Wayne from “Batman Begins.” Now, don't embarrass yourself by saying Batman Returns. Yes, I totally did that. Today's guest was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for playing Robert F. Kennedy in “RFK.” More recently, he was King Ecbert in the history channel series “Vikings” and he's currently filming Season 7 of “Homeland” where he plays White House Chief of Staff, David Wellington. In this episode you'll learn how to prepare for a performance. I think even the non-actors can benefit from these insights and routines because really, isn't life just one big performance? How you shouldn't tie your self-worth to your work. We'll explore all sorts of things like wealth, fulfillment and happiness. Linus is not just a great actor but after hitting many of his professional goals by age 30 he began to wonder if this is it. He took a break and explored the spiritual aspects of life that included meditating for at least two hours a day. So, we'll explore this, too. I think it's totally relevant because being healthy includes physical health, mental health, spiritual health and financial health. I have so much fun every time I talk to Linus and today is no exception. Let's get inspired with Linus Roache. [background music]
Andy Wang: [00:04:38] Linus, thank you so much for joining me on Inspired Money.
It's a pleasure to have you on the show.
Linus Roache: [0:04:44.1] Well, it’s my pleasure, Andy. Thanks for asking me, yeah.
Andy Wang: [00:04:46] I’d like to start out, if you're ready just to jump right in, I’d like to start with the first question. What's your earliest childhood memory of money?
Linus Roache: [00:04:59] [laughter] Well, I think it was… I do remember being very attracted to it. [laughter] As a kid, I remember being quite sort of, possessive at an early age and calling it – I knew the difference between paper money and coins. And I wanted the paper monies as I called them. I wanted more paper monies because I knew they were of greater value. So, that's one of my earliest memories and then also I think with Monopoly, I managed to get ahold of the Monopoly money and I used to really like holding onto that. So, and the other thing I remember is from quite an early age I wanted to be independent with my money. I remember the pocket money I’d get in the UK. It was like, 50 pence. So, that's probably the equivalent of… oh, God. What is it now? I mean, it was actually, nowadays, it’s a fair amount. Probably, about a few dollars but that was my pocket money for the week. And I remember thinking well I don't want to be reliant on my parents giving me this money. I want to find ways to make my own money. So, I started cutting lawns, painting windows, picking tomatoes, doing all kinds of things to get my own money that then I could buy stuff that I would own. So, that's one of my earliest memories going from early childhood through to early teens.
Andy Wang: [0:06:27.3] Interesting and that it was all self-motivated that you wanted to be entrepreneurial and make some extra cash.
Linus Roache: [00:06:33] Well, I wouldn't necessarily call it entrepreneurial. It was quite sort of, traditional. It was, you know, I wanted to go out, earn a wage, have my own money and not be beholden to anybody else. I wanted to be independent. And I do remember someone saying once, “Neither a borrower nor a lender be.” Quotes from Shakespeare and that sort of stuck in my head. Of course, in life I've gone on to do both but at that point in my childhood it was like, I want to be free and know that what I have is my own and it wasn't entrepreneurial and that I was out there creating little mini businesses, but I was willing to work, and I was willing to put in the hours, and get paid the money for the hours.
Andy Wang: [0:07:20.3] At that young age did you have specific ways that you wanted to spend that money or were you saving that money?
Linus Roache: [00:07:27] I would do a bit of both. I was saving and then you know, it was even things like cigarettes and girls, you know, spending money on buying presents for girlfriends and things like that. But I had a post office account at a very early age, which was like, you know, literally, had about sort of £50 in it. But I was very proud of seeing the stamps go in every time I would take a bit of cash and it would build up.
Andy Wang: [0:07:56.8] I'm impressed. You were a very mature young man.
Linus Roache: [00:08:00] Yeah. Well, maybe it was maturity. I think some of those ethics came from my mother. She was an actress, but she also was quite diligent in
these areas and we had a nanny. My parents divorced when I was 10 and I lived with my sister, and my mother and we had – she was a nanny, but she was almost a part of our family and she lived with us, and cared for us, and she had very, very traditional almost, Victorian values. A very wholesome God-fearing woman and, you know she sort of, gave me a lot of the ethics and the principles I think that mattered to me. Interestingly, enough, my sister who was only three years younger had a completely different relationship to money. She had no problem borrowing from anybody and everybody, and not paying people back, and has consequently gone on, you know, to never really have her own job and build her own life in that way and has become reliant on others, which is kind of fascinating that the two of us grew up in the same environment and have two very different responses.
Andy Wang: [0:09:14.6] Well, that nature versus nurture debate is always there. [laughter]
Linus Roache: [0:09:20.1] Absolutely. Absolutely, yeah.
Andy Wang: [00:09:22] Yeah, but what I find interesting is that looking at your relationship to money from a very young age, right, sort of, provides a little clue into how that can develop into adulthood. So, listeners are certainly hearing your accent. You have a very extensive acting credits list. I recall seeing you as – I think your on “Batman Returns” and…
Linus Roache: [0:09:50.7] “Batman Begins,” actually.
Andy Wang: [0:09:51.9] “Batman Begins.” Okay.
Linus Roache: [0:09:53.0] Yes. [laughter]
Andy Wang: [0:09:53.5] Too many Batman at this point. [laughter]
Linus Roache: [0:09:56.1] Yeah, yeah.
Andy Wang: [0:09:58.3] So, “Batman Begins,” that’s right and you played I think, Bruce Wayne's father.
Linus Roache: [0:10:03.2] Yeah, Thomas Wayne. That’s correct. Yeah.
Andy Wang: [0:10:05.7] And people may know you from “Law and Order.” playing the character of the D.A. Many people are surprised that you are English and that you have an English accent because watching you on American TV, you portray an American very well.
Linus Roache: [00:10:23] Well, thank you for that, Andy. And probably one of the only ways I can, you know, get work in the US is around that. [laughter] Yeah. You know, it's been very interesting for me. I've always had an affinity with America. I've always been attracted to it and, you know, the opportunity arose. Life’s circumstances arose for me to come and try and live here and I was fortunate to do it at a time when my career was in a place where my work, if you like, wasn't dependent upon me staying in one place or being in the UK. I was being offered work in Canada and all over the world really so, my wife and I decided to try and live here and we grew to love it. And obviously, I grew to gravitate towards wanting to work here more because I wanted to stay in the country and so, things have developed from there. Interestingly enough, now, many years later I'm kind of interested in being able to go back to the UK and I went back this year and did a TV series and it was really nice. It's been really nice to go back and work with my fellow countrymen and play an Englishman and, you know, it's great and I feel very fortunate and lucky that I'm able to straddle both sides of the Atlantic like that, you know.
Andy Wang: [0:11:45.0] That's very cool. Well, the world is certainly getting smaller and smaller every day.
Linus Roache: [0:11:49.4] It is.
Andy Wang: [0:11:50.2] Linus, can we take a step back?
Linus Roache: [0:11:52.1] Yeah.
Andy Wang: [0:11:52.9] Acting is very much in your blood. You mentioned that your mother, an actress. I know that your father is a very well-known actor in the UK. Can you talk about your youth and how you – you've been surrounded by actors and how you got into acting and a little bit about that process?
Linus Roache: [00:12:15] Yes, sure. Yes. Well, as you say I mean, I definitely grew up in an acting family and it was – they were both very successful in very different ways. My father in a very popular probably, the first ever soap opera and he's still in it, by the way at the age of 85…
Andy Wang: [0:12:33.5] It’s incredible.
Linus Roache: [0:12:33.9] Playing the same character, yeah, for 53 – 54 years or so. My mother, more in the avant-garde cutting edge world of BBC dramas and cutting-edge material so she was a very highly respected actor's actor. And I grew up in this environment of sort of, Bohemian, creative, interesting people all around me. Some of them a little crazy, and would drink a lot, and there would be wild parties, and lots of, if you like, sort of, madness around but it was also, you know, very exciting. But interestingly, when I went to school because of my parents there was a pressure on me to be in school plays, for example and I really pushed back against it and I didn't like being forced to do something. But I do remember this one time, there was a school I was at. I was probably at about the age of nine or 10 I think, and this teacher got us to do this little exercise. It was like an improvisation and I remember launching myself into this improvisation of playing a kid who didn't wanna go to school and I was so immersed in it immediately and what happened was I could feel everybody in the room responding to what I was doing. I knew that they got the state that I was in; it was making them laugh. They were connected to me in it. And I remember having the penny dropped in that moment. Oh, my God. This is something I can do. This is something I can excel at, something I can be good at. And the opportunity arose to do little bits of child acting through my parents actually in my dad's show and then I got a little part in “The Onedin Line,” which was a TV drama through the BBC and I did those and I loved it. I absolutely just felt completely at home. It excited me. It thrilled me. And then again, I went on to school and they wanted – there was more pressure to be in plays and I was pushing back against it and at a certain point, it became clear that this was the path I wanted to follow, but I wanted to do it very seriously and so, I became quite dedicated to the fact that I was gonna get through school and then I was gonna get to drama school as quick as I could. And I was very hungry. I mean, my mother was, being an actress, she was a little dramatic sometimes. She had this theory that the theatre might not exist anymore. That film was gonna take over, and videos is gonna take over, and there'll be no theatre left. So, I was like in a race to get out there as a professional actor before the theatre was dead. And you know, I basically, I played for drama school when I was 16 and they said, “You're just too young.” So, eventually I went on and did a little bit more higher, not higher education, but sort of, college education – well, high school really, equivalent in England and it was there in boarding school that I thought the first time I started to do school plays because I was away from home in a boarding school. I had two years before I was gonna be able to go to drama school, and I started to do little plays at school, and I won a few awards. And I went to the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain. I had a place there for a summer and then I got myself into drama school and kind of, the rest is history, really. I just was very, very dedicated, focused and I kind of had belief in myself, but at the same time I, you know, was always wary of it's really hard and you can't take anything for granted and I'll be very lucky if I get a job and so, I had a sort of mixture of both, which just probably reflects the reality of the business. You never really do know that you're going to get another job. [laughter] [overlapping conversation]
Andy Wang: [0:16:35.8] That is a very challenging part of your business, not knowing and not being in control of your fate in many ways.
Linus Roache: [0:16:46.3] That’s absolutely true, yeah.
Andy Wang: [0:16:48.7] I mean, as a kid I understand the resistance or push back you’re right to following that path because that was your parent's path. That commitment
when you, when did that disappear? Was that a process or do you think it happened like, in a specific moment?
Linus Roache: [0:17:10.6] The commitment to what? To…
Andy Wang: [0:17:12.2] The commitment to learn about acting, to go down that road, to go to study theatre and acting and to no longer have that resistance anymore.
Linus Roache: [00:17:24] Well, no. The resistance really was to being… it's a bit like, the relationship to money, you know, not wanting to be beholden to anybody else. I wanted my own money. I wanted my own career, my own ownership of my craft. I didn't want to be defined as the son of these two actors. I really was worried that it was gonna be seen as nepotism that I would only be valued because I was the son of my father. That kind of thing. So, once I realized that I had it in me, and it's what I loved, and it's what I wanted I kind of, followed my mother's lead on go for the classics, the traditional path towards understanding the craft of acting through theatre and that's when I started reading lots of Shakespeare, and wanting to do Shakespeare, and getting myself to drama school. So, it was very clear. It was more – that the resistance was… just to put in context for a moment. My father's success will probably not be appreciated by many of the listeners because he was in the UK and still is, but it was literally, a beginning of what you could call celebrity. He was one of the first actors to become known in people's living rooms, you know, in a way that, you know, it was almost the fame shocked to the level of the Beatles, in a sense because everybody watched the show. There were only two channels when it was aired and it was on twice a week and everybody went home at 7 o'clock at night to sit down and watch it. And he was a young good looking. He was the sort of, juvenile lead and his fame was pretty extraordinary and I remember going to events with him and people were screaming, and clamoring to touch him and it was like rock star status. And although I sort of, liked the world of that in one way I needed to separate myself from that and wanted to be my own man. So, it was… and it was tricky because in the beginning of my career and I was making choices that would define myself in very different terms to my father and yet, the publicity that would come my way would often be Linus Roache, the son of William Roache. It would always be “Coronation Street” star’s son, you know, as the headline, not Linus Roache's wonderful performance of such and such. [laughter] This was really me trying to find myself and I suppose it's just a natural part of, you know, becoming a man. And it took me a while to get over it and say well, it's, you know, what the hell. It's not a problem. You know, I've actually worked with my father in his show for a little bit as a kid and it was wonderful. And I went back many years later. In fact…
Andy Wang: [0:20:25.7] You did that when you were 11?
Linus Roache: [0:20:27.5] I did that when I was 11 and then an interesting thing happened. There was a certain anniversary period – I can't remember. It must have been the 30th maybe and I'd just been out of drama school and they offered me the role of his son again in the show, and I could have gone back, and had a long contract, but I had to say no because I couldn't… for the very reasons I just said. I needed my own career. I needed my own journey and so, I didn't do that. I'm very glad I didn't. But many, many years later at the 50th anniversary we actually cooked up the idea of me, going into the show as his now, long lost other son, which you can get away with in a soap opera.
Andy Wang: [0:21:12.0] [laughter] You could have all kinds of storyline.
Linus Roache: [0:21:14.6] Exactly!
Andy Wang: [0:21:15.8] You could die three times and come back.
Linus Roache: [00:21:18] Exactly. I'm making – I'm gonna come back. So, we actually did get to go do that and it was great fun and we did it with my half-brother as well. And I'm looking forward to going back again. I'm sure we'll cook up another opportunity.
Andy Wang: [0:21:30.1] What a unique family reunion.
Linus Roache: [0:21:32.1] Yeah. You know, it was a family reunion. Exactly. So, I think really, you know, it was really about just being wanting to define myself rather than being defined by them. That was the movement in me.
Andy Wang: [0:21:43.6] Yeah, independence in your career and it's just like part of your financial independence.
Linus Roache: [0:21:49.4] Yeah, I think so.
Andy Wang: [0:21:50.5] Linus, what was it like growing up with your father’s celebrity?
Linus Roache: [00:21:55] Well, you know, it was both sort of, interesting, and exciting, and often frustrating because I didn't like the limelight to be honest. I mean, you know, you couldn't – literally, couldn't go anywhere with him without people hounding him and you can’t walk down the street without being recognized. So, my parents, you know, they were very different types of actors and I supposed I gravitated very close to my mum, and I really appreciated her talent, and I went more in her direction, and followed her lead if you like. But over years now, and now being very close to my dad later in life I really admire, appreciate and love what he has done and also, really respect his attitude, which is something I'm learning from now. He is defying age by basically, not relating to age and he still goes to work as an actor playing the same role, but he goes with a freshness. He's going to do his best to try and be better than he's ever been before. And he really gives himself to the work beautifully and I take it as a great life lesson, you know, his whole attitude. And you know, he's had to ride some very difficult storms in his life. Multiple events that have been very deeply, deeply challenging to him, but he's managed to embrace them all, and let them be, and have the courage to sort of stay in the middle of the storm, and see it through, and come out the other side. And he's very grateful for what he has and he's very generous and very beloved because of that. So, he has a beautiful attitude that I'm, you know, I think I'm embracing as I'm getting older in life as well. I'm sort of, embracing more of that same attitude.
Andy Wang: [0:23:54.3] Yeah. Can we dig into that just a little bit? I mean…
Linus Roache: [0:23:56.9] Sure.
Andy Wang: [0:23:57.8] I'm hearing that – it's very inspirational the fact that he's been on the show for as long as he's been playing the same character. I think many actors would never – they'd never want that role for such a long time because they feel like they're not able to do new things and venture into new territories.
Linus Roache: [0:24:20.5] Absolutely.
Andy Wang: [0:24:21.5] But like you said, there's a metaphor to an approach to life. Is it a positivity or like, what are some of the key points when you look at his approach to his career and going through difficult times in his personal life? What are the key factors that you see?
Linus Roache: [0:24:42.9] Yeah. Good question. I mean, he has an innate trust I think, in the fact that life, he sees it as good, and wholesome and there is a spiritual element to him. He is not sort of, overtly explicit about it, but he's always had a sort of, I suppose a respect for and a connection to the deeper dimensions of life. And he lives I think, by some very simple sort of adages. He tries to be just good to other people, to give and he's also able to let things go. I mean, when I say that I mean, you know, life throws everything out you and are you able to just be bury it in all of its intensity; meaning, all of the pain, and the sorrow, and the joy, and just let it all be and he's… yeah, he is very trusting. And even as he's got older right now, for example, you know, would you believe it. After all these years he's up against it financially because the equivalent of the IRS are after him and he has to deal with all of that and it is challenging for him, but he has his very philosophical well, you know, life is full of abundance and I look forward to more abundance, and you know, what will be, will be. And so, he’s very humble, I suppose really, deep down, you know. It's a humility in the face of it all that I mean, he's won over time, but I think he's also had some of it in him as a person his whole life. Basically, people always talk of him as a very kind man, you know. He wouldn't want to hurt anybody and that is very much, you know, who he is and how he lives.
Andy Wang: [00:26:43] You mentioned that that’s influencing you as you get older. Like, what kind of changes have you made in your life?
Linus Roache: [0:26:51.0] Changes I've made in my life? Well, I mean, I've made a lot of changes in my life. I mean, one thing I'm looking back on now and saying well, I wasn't scared to take a few risks. I mean, I set out to be an actor. I set out – I had certain goals if you like. I was fearful that I wouldn't achieve them, but I look back and by the age of 30 I’d actually hit and ticked a lot of the boxes that I'd wanted to achieve. You know, I’ve had a major TV show. I had a movie that had gone international. I was being invited to Hollywood and doing all of that. I had done lead roles at the Royal Shakespeare Company. You know, I had been on the West End. I'd actually done a lot and then I had a crisis moment in about around the age of 30 and I said, “Well, is this really is it?” Is this it for me that basically, I just keep on doing this? Having more success and more of these things. And I started to feel like, it wasn't going to be enough for me to be honest so, that's when I got interested personally, in the spiritual aspects of life, and meditation, and just started asking questions like, well, who am I really and what does it mean? I even question, did I really, really want to be an actor. So, I took a risk and I walked away from it for a while.
Andy Wang: [00:28:18] I think you’re on “Priest” and then there was a BBC wartime drama “Seaforth.”
Linus Roache: [0:28:22.9] That’s right.
Andy Wang: [0:28:23.8] And then you stopped acting for a while. What was the culmination that led to taking that break?
Linus Roache: [00:28:30] Well I think, like I say, it was a couple of things really. It was this moment of realizing that I’ve achieved a lot of things and some how I knew deep down that more of that wasn't necessarily going to be my fulfillment. So, I was getting quite clear about that, that you could throw an enormous amount of success at me and I wasn't necessarily going to be happy, which was interesting and I knew that.
Andy Wang: [0:28:54.4] Very interesting.
Linus Roache: [0:28:55.0] And then the other aspect of it was and I'm just totally frank about this. I was frightened of success. I couldn't say that to you 20 years ago. I could say that you now, but I literally, felt overwhelmed by suddenly being out of control because it was like, I mean, I don't know how some of these young actors now who just shoot to fame handle it. They must just be very good, centered people or some of them not, but you need a lot of self-confidence and a lot of trust in yourself I think to handle that amount of complexity when it's coming at you because to me it was like, come here move, to L.A., do this, get an agent, get a lawyer, have this, have a manager, we’ll do this, do that. I couldn't see straight in it all. I literally couldn't function, and I thought well, you know, no one's forcing you to do that. [laughter] You don't have to be an actor. So, I just thought, well, okay. I’ll tell you what. I'll stop and so I did. I just put the brakes on and I took a couple of years, and you know, I was not stupid. I knew I had a movie, “Priest” at the time that was a calling card if you like. If I wanted to go back I'm pretty sure I could get some work. But I just took the time, if you like to reflect and be outside of the industry and spend a lot of time with people who knew nothing about the industry that I was in. And I would – at that point was totally defined by the industry I was in. I was an actor and I was defined by how well I was doing. And when I walked into a room it was like, I judged my value. My self-worth was valued on the work I've done and the work I was about to do. And it just felt a very fickle, and brittle, and not a stable way to exist and I didn't have the deeper confidence that I knew I needed to find.
Andy Wang: [00:30:50] I think that, yeah. The majority of people, they cannot really relate to the complexities of celebrity or even your world as an actor. I mean, every time you're up on stage, you're up on screen there are reviewers who are writing. [laughter] Did he do a good job? Did he do a bad job? Yeah, most people can relate to that.
Linus Roache: [00:31:12] Well, I don't know if most. I don't know, Andy. I mean, let's look at you. Maybe, there must be situations where you have to walk into a room, and you've got to do a presentation, and you're representing the company you're representing your father, and your brother, and the family and you know that you're being judged in that moment. Do you make sense? Is it landing?
Andy Wang: [0:31:32.2] That is absolutely true and there is an element of that, but I think that when you're an actor and you have like, the New York Times is writing a review. [laughter] Like, it's just so much more public that it sort of takes it into a different realm.
Linus Roache: [00:31:50] It's true. It's true and I think it's taken me a long time to get to a point where I care less and less about that. And that's allowing me now just to, you know, about what am I finding now the strengths if you like. I'm actually enjoying my 50s a lot because you get to a point where you get over yourself a little bit and go, “You know what? It doesn't really matter.” [laughter] The New York Times says a stunk. I don't care. If I did what I really wanted to do. If I’d actually committed to what I was trying to achieve. Maybe I didn't hit it. I'll learn from that. It's like, you just rock and roll with it a little bit more and you're not so caught up with what does everybody think of me, you know. And there's a bit more freedom in that. A little bit of, you know, you couldn't care less, which is actually, is kind of, what you need to do from the beginning and I knew that as a young actor. The more you could actually say I don't care what people think the better you were and the better reviews you got actually because you weren't trying to solicit a response. You were just doing your thing and that's – but yes, it is challenging. I've just started on a TV show “Homeland” last week and you know, there I was, first day, back on the set and producers are there and suddenly it's like, wow! You know, I got to deliver. I got to deliver. And your mind's going like, whoa. Did I do that good? Did I do… and you've got to stay cool. You’ve got to stay calm and you got to deliver but then that's my job. That's what I've learnt to do. And you know, I heard this quote, I was watching the U.S. Open the other day and they quoted Billie Jean King saying that pressure is a privilege and I thought what a great quote because I sometimes used to see pressure in bulk in the face of it and step back but now, I actually say, no. If I've got pressure then it means I'm in a privileged position to be under pressure that can make me rise up and do my best, you know, under that
pressure. And because of that pressure and even sometimes now, I actually like a bit of pressure. It’s…
Andy Wang: [0:33:57.0] Now, that’s… I love that.
Linus Roache: [0:33:58.4] Yeah. You need it. Otherwise, you don't or it doesn't actually get you up to do what you need to do. So, you know, I'm not too much stressed; that's different. I think stress is something else. I’m into healthy pressure, which is to do your best, be your best and you know, deliver it. It gives you a sort of, focus. [overlapping conversation]
Andy Wang: [0:34:16.8] Right, it drives you to perform even better than you thought you may have been able to.
Linus Roache: [0:34:23.6] Absolutely, and that's where excellence lives, I think, often and that's what I still look for in the art of acting and the craft of acting is you do a lot of work, you do a lot of study, you do a lot of research. You actually, you know, you learn what you need to do, but in the end, the talent or if you like, the execution of it lies in, can you just let all that go and can you just really live it? It's like, you know, when a tennis player is hitting that volley back they haven't got time to think about it. It's become – they've put in the work, but then they “bang!” They're there for it. They're there for that response and it's quicker than thought, you know. So, you know, you're sort of looking for that place and that's what I love about the craft. I'm still in love with the craft of it. Now, I'm never bored and I think that's what my dad has as well. He still loves it and still trying to do his best because every moment, if you're living it, you know, for real and it’s alive then it's never old. It's never boring, you know.
Andy Wang: [0:35:24.0] It's always fresh.
Linus Roache: [0:35:24.6] Always fresh, yeah.
Andy Wang: [00:35:27] Linus, that experience of like, peak performance, it's kind of cyclical because it's not something that you turn on and you're just at this level all the time? For example, in tennis there are those pressure moments when it's, you know, when it's 5-4 and you’re serving for the set and you have those big points. For you, it's you show up at a set. You show up at the set of “Homeland” and you know that you need to perform the best that you can. Are there things that you do to tap into getting your mind into the right place?
Linus Roache: [00:36:08] Yeah, there are actually and I think, you know, with experience, one of the things, particularly with going back onto this job recently. I thought a lot about the role and I thought a lot about the function of the role in a research, but I also just thought about me in that situation. I actually sort of, premeditated, if you like what I was going into so I wasn't surprised that it was pressured, you know. And it wasn't really that pressured. I mean, they're lovely people. They’re great people, you know, and they all want you to do well. So, what am I talking about? But nevertheless, you feel under the, oh, you know. It's got to be good. And you know, when the camera turns on you and it's your turn, the pressure is on you. So, it's good to sort of, if like, you can't recreate it but because I've been there many times I can actually sort of, just sort of, close my eyes and think, well, you know, what I need to be prepared but then I have to have the courage to just respond. And the other thing is, Andy, just to be totally frank. Sam Waterston said this to me on “Law and Order” one day at the very beginning and I was really keen and trying, you know, trying to nail every moment and I remember one scene I didn't quite get it, you know. It just wasn't quite what I wanted it to be and Sam just turned to me and he said, “You know what? You get over yourself in this job.” Because you have to because you're on to the next thing and you can't be spending too much time focused on what just went down, that wasn't perfect. It's like, try and learn from it, and move on, and keep that sort of, fluidity as you go forward. So, the preparation for me is about I suppose not being shocked when I walk in the room that I kind of know the environment and then I do little bits of prep – little bits of mind prep now, little things. Sometimes I got a little saying in my head. Something that just puts me in a zone before the camera rolls or something like that that will just get me in the right mood or the right zone, if you like, to be able to respond. And then you know, I have to be able to respond to who I'm working with and when you're working with great actors, you know, to be honest it makes it a lot easier because you're just with great people and you work off each other. It's not an isolated job acting. You're working off.
Andy Wang: [0:38:27.2] Right, it's a team. It’s a team sport.
Linus Roache: [0:38:29.3] Yup, it is.
Andy Wang: [00:38:32] Are there any routines that you go through because I know that like, I've heard interviews of golfers, for example and when they have to – they're walking up to the green and they're gonna make their putt they actually make the same repetitions over and over again because it's like, they're turning their brain. They're trying to turn there, I think they're sort of, conscious brain off. And it's like, they put their glove into their back pocket. They're gonna sort of, circle around the ball two times and then it's almost like in robotic mode.
Linus Roache: [00:39:05] Yeah. I approach each role differently. So, I will have different preps for different roles and I did a role in the UK this year and to be honest, I didn't need to do any prep. I just needed to turn up and I needed to respond in the scene and that was it. That's all. I learned my lines. I knew my intentions. I knew what I wanted from the scene, all that basic stuff, but I didn't need to do anything. I did a movie this summer opposite Nicolas Cage. It was really extreme far out crazy psychopathic character. One of the maddest things I've ever done. And I just needed to be so prepared to go in there and kind of, I needed to keep myself in a place of sort of, volatility almost. And I didn't want to disconnect from people on the set, but I found, you know, I needed to be a little more isolated and then you know, going on to “Homeland,” it’s slightly different. I have a little sort of thing I say to myself at the moment. Anyway, that's what I'm doing. I say this little thing in my head before the camera rolls and it just sort of, helps me sink in and listen because I think, you know, they’re off old adage but a lot of great acting is more about great listening. So, yeah.
Andy Wang: [00:40:30] Can we go back to your… the break that you took from acting? I read a quote that you said that you realize success as an actor alone wouldn't make you happy. And you talked about needing to get away from the industry and sort of, look at yourself and gain confidence. How did you find that confidence and what was your sort of, spiritual path while you were away from, you know, acting on the set?
Linus Roache: [00:41:03] Okay, right. Well, a lot there. I mean, without going into… [laughter] without going into enormous detail. I did go quite seriously into a spiritual path, which was, you know, I had an Eastern background, if you like, but it was a modern-day teaching, if you like. But the focus on meditation as a vehicle to knowing oneself was a big part of it initially, anyway. So, just the revelation that you're not your mind, you're not your thoughts and you're not your feelings. I mean, they're a part of you and they're a very beautiful and important part of you, but they don't necessarily define you. To find out for one's self, which I believe I did after many, many, many hours of meditation, and many retreats, and much guidance, finding access to a deeper part of oneself that is, if you like, almost beyond this world and definitely not moved by the torrent of neurosis and self, you know, doubt and all these things there’s something underneath that is actually profound, and strong, and eternal. It was quite a revelation. I mean, even as I say, to you now I'm like, wow. Did I really find that? [laughter] Yes, because your mind does well. Did you? But yes, I did. And I sort of, experienced it and I understood what many of the great wise people of this world, and great sages, and spiritual teachers, and masters have spoken about. Now, I personally was very interested in, not just finding that knowledge or that place and experiencing it, but what does that mean in relationship to life? And I always had an instinct even as a very, very young man in my teens that my role wasn't to disappear into the hills and become a monk, and a sage, and you know, disappear from life but was to be engaged in life. I always had an intuition that I was here to engage fully and that's why I was born in the West, but I had some sort of, calling, if you like, to understand these spiritual dimensions. And so, the teaching and the work I was involved with became very much about. I feel like that world of being, knowing who one is beyond time, beyond thought and then the world of evolution, and time, and how do you live in the world and respond within it? And the basic conclusion, which is a very obvious one that most people probably already understand is that you want to sort of live a life of integrity and if you like a full life embracing all of life as much as one can and being humble, but responsive to it and that, if you like, to me now, this is my conclusion. I'm not involved in this particular spiritual path anymore. You know, it takes a lot to be able to fully respond to the world we’re in, and not be swept up in it, and caught in all of its self-concern, and the neediness of it. The need of wanting. I need more. I've not got enough and it's hard to balance the fact that, you know, if you're in this, if you're listening to this podcast, you're actually probably in a very privileged position just simply because you're able to got time to listen to this. [laughter]
Andy Wang: [00:45:04] …and you have a smartphone. [laughter]
Linus Roache: [0:45:05.6] …and you have a smartphone. You know what I mean. And that finding perspective on these things is really challenging and that's, if you like, a practice in itself. And I do think there are times when maybe we do need to retreat and just, you know, put it all down. Put the phones down and go to silence more, and I say that and I'm not doing it enough. You know, I'm not. I need to do more. I did it a lot at a period of time. I did it a lot so I learned a lot from that.
Andy Wang: [0:45:35.0] Are you still practicing meditation?
Linus Roache: [0:45:36.7] Not as sort of, every day I do doodle with that, but yes. I meditate, but it's not the same as it used to be. I used to be, you know, or could say, religious about it. I do two hours a day or at least an hour a day. Now, I do when I'm… I'll sit for periods of time. And my wife and I are now sort of, trying to just find that time where you're not watching television, you're not involved in your Smartphone, you're not involved in the doing and you can just be. Read a book, and walk in nature, and all this sort of, very obvious things, which seem to become harder and harder for people to do. [laughter]
Andy Wang: [00:46:17] Very much so. I wanted to add to what you we're saying. Mainly, that I don't think that it is an obvious conclusion. I think that your conclusions a beautiful one and many people are – many of us are still struggling to figure out like, what is a life? How should one be living? And you know, the fact that you took time off from work that you had the privilege to take time off of work. Go to India and really have some of this introspective experiences and then come back to the acting world and being in anhattan. Yeah, I think that gives you some really interesting insights.
Linus Roache: [00:47:05] No, it certainly did. And I look back on it and extremely grateful for the whole experience and almost you know, sometimes you can beat your younger self up. You know what I mean? You look back and go, oh. If only I should've done this. I should. What a foolish young man I was. And I actually look back on that part of myself and I go, “Good on you. I'm very proud of you for that.” Because you went and pursued something, not halfheartedly. I really, really, really went to find out about it and I found out a lot. I found a lot about myself, and the nature of ego, and you know, these dimensions of ourselves, which are sometimes quite scary as well. And so, as you say, it was a privilege to do it but I'm very glad I did go and do it. And now, I feel more and more sort of, I supposed integrating more understanding of what that meant in terms of being engaged in the world, and responsive to the world, and thankful, and living a lot, trying to live a life of fulfillment, you know. I suppose, you know, it's again, another old thing but being grateful, you know. You forget to be grateful, you know. I sometimes think, oh. I haven't quite got enough because I want to have this, and I need that, and I'm like, God. Actually, look. I've got so much really and it's not about even of financial wealth. It is a sense of wealth and abundance in oneself. Like, for example, I think you were gonna ask me at one point, I saw in a question, you put down what is success? How do you measure?
Andy Wang: [0:48:45.5] Yeah, what is success to you?
Linus Roache: [0:48:46.3] What do you measure?
Andy Wang: [0:48:47.3] How do you measure?
Linus Roache: [0:48:47.8] And I've just suddenly thought, you know like, this year I haven't got like an A list movie or anything that's going to be huge, but I've done work that’s been really interesting, really challenging, really creative and very varied, you know. And I thought well, that actually is what exactly what I wanted to have happen this year. I put it out there and I really wanted it and somehow, I got it, and I’ve been doing it, and it's not brought me enormous financial success, but it’s brought me enough to keep going and doing what I love and how lucky am I to be able to do that and to be able to contemplate what it all means in the midst of it, you know. That's a very healthy and if you like, wealthy way to be. So, I'm very great – I'm becoming – I have to remind myself to be grateful of it. You know, that is a practice. That, I think, that's a spiritual practice right there.
Andy Wang: [0:49:47.9] For sure, for sure. And there is a delineation between fulfillment and money: one does not guarantee the other.
Linus Roache: [0:49:55.5] Absolute not.
Andy Wang: [00:49:56] And I think the idea of gratitude is a really interesting one, too because one, it really takes you to a place of being thankful and sort of, being thoughtful of all the things around you.
Linus Roche: [0:50:11.8] Right on.
Andy Wang: [00:50:12] And I think the really interesting thing is that gratitude seems to open the doors to a lot of other opportunities whereas, if you're not grateful. Maybe that you're just not paying attention and you don't see things, but when you're grateful, sometimes that's when the best things come. And it's funny that it can be money related and that's not really your intention but… [laughter] it’s like…
Linus Roache: [0:50:35.5] No, absolutely. No because I mean, you need money. You know, it's an energy. It's a something that's needed. You can't function without it, but how to not be caught in very similarly to success, if you like, for me, with my recognition as an actor as it’s like, nothing was ever gonna be enough. And money can have the same thing. It's like, nothing. [overlapping conversation] It's never enough. It’s like, wow! You just start to look at that as a cycle of behavior. It’s like, you can get…
Andy Wang: [0:51:06.9] One could be – one could have billions and billions of dollars and be like, terribly unhappy and be miserable.
Linus Roache: [0:51:15.0] …and be a total slave. And you know, you see someone who's got nothing and they're totally free and you know, abundant. They've written great parables about great stories, but you sort of, really appreciate that it's true. So, to how to have a healthy relationship to it. And I suppose, you know, using the money as well to somehow give back at times is important. I mean, I used to do a lot of that to be frank right now. I'd just be honest. I'm not doing a lot of that right now. I don't quite know where to put the money. You know, it's a very challenging time we're living in and you know, I’ve always tried to support political things and I don't really know what to do. [laughter] So…
Andy Wang: [00:51:59] [laughter] You're not alone. You’re not alone.
Linus Roache: [00:52:01] I know. We're all struggling with that and yet, you know, money is energy and can fuel important things. You know, the ACLU needs money and there's a lot of different ventures and actions that need support and there's no end to it. The majority of my emails and mail is everybody else’s. It’s about needing money to help make things happen. So, I appreciate the power of it too, you know. And I don't want to be scared of abundance because you can also keep yourself, I suppose, you know, you attract to some degree what you believe or what you want and if you're scared of abundance it might not come to you. So, how to be able to handle abundance very lightly and with humility and not be caught by it. That's another practice right there and what I hoped that we all can be practicing.
Andy Wang: [00:52:58] Well, thank you. I've taken a lot of your time. I really appreciate you sharing your, you know, your career, and your thoughts, and your spirituality with our listeners. I just have two quick questions. One, you mentioned that on the topic of fulfillment, it's like, you put things out there. It sounds like you're setting your goals for the year or beyond. Do you write them down or is it mental?
Linus Roache: [0:53:28.0] Well, that particular one was just a very mental one and I thought about it quite a bit. I didn't write it down, but I do remember saying it to a few people. Only people very close to me. I don't know how many, to be honest, but somehow literally putting it out there in the universe. And it was like – it literally felt like an intention and I haven’t done that for a long time. But I remember thinking I need, you know, I spent three years in a show that's been a very wonderful show called “Vikings” and it was a fantastic period for me being in this show, and having a wonderful role, and it's seen by a lot of people, but you know, it's not a mega audience. And I just thought I need now to find more variety and I need to – I only want to be in things that I really wanna see. And I don't want to just be taking the next best thing and that was gonna mean a risk. It was gonna mean that I might not earn the amount of money. It might mean big life changes. And I thought about it enough to say, I'm prepared to pay the cost for that. If that's what it means I'm prepared to pay the cost. If it means we have to tighten the budget or sell something I’ll do it because that's actually what I want. And so, I put that out. I put it out to my manager. I did write it in terms of an e-mail. And I did put it to my agents and then I just kept hoping. [laughter] I put it out there and kept hoping. And I look back…
Andy Wang: [0:55:09.1] I think that's the mindset of a real artist.
Linus Roache: [00:55:13] I don't know. I don’t know. I’m actually sort of, slightly amazed myself. I look back on the air and go, wow! That happened. And there were a couple of things that I actually, you know, if you like, I hustled for. There was a movie that I did earlier this year and it was like a bucket list movie for me. I got to work with like, you know, some of my Hollywood heroes, Samuel Jackson, and William Hurt, and Peter Fonda, and Chris Plummer. Amazing people and it wasn't a huge role, but I basically, courted that role with the Director until he gave me the role. And then there was a scheduling issue with another show I had and at one point, it looked like I was gonna have to choose between one and the other and I did. I had to choose. And I had to let that movie go because I’d already committed to the other. And then I just had to just hope that everything worked out and eventually, the two productions worked it out for me to do both and so, it did happen. I could do both. But you have to take risks, you know. And you also got to be loyal at times, you know, I couldn't – as much as I wanted to do that movie I couldn't keep the other company waiting. I'd already said I'd do the job and I had to sort of, say, okay. I'm gonna have to lose it. That's fair enough. I let it go, and lo and behold it came back. So, I don't know how these things work, Andy, but It's a mysterious universe. But I do believe our intention has a role in it because we're part of this mysterious universe so if we are clear in what we want and focused, I think it's not sort of, woo-woo stuff, you know. You're basically are bringing things into being. You build it in your mind. You build it in your ideas, and your ideology, and your mindset, and you start to move towards it. Your energy starts to go towards it. It's not like it's literally just happening like, some being from the sky just came and manifested it for you. You drove it. You sort of, brought it into being. It makes sort of, sense to me in some way.
Andy Wang: [00:57:12] Right, I love that. I love that. We are only mere human beings. I don't think we're expected to understand. [laughter] We just have to embrace the journey. [laughter]
Linus Roache: [0:57:22.0] Exactly, man. Exactly. Embrace the journey. Embrace the journey.
Andy Wang: [0:57:25.5] And do the best that we can.
Linus Roache: [0:57:26.7] Absolutely, absolutely. Yeah.
Andy Wang: [00:57:29] Well, thank you Linus. Where can the Inspired Money listeners find you?
Linus Roache: [0:57:33.1] Well, you know, it's funny. Nowhere. [laughter] Somewhere…
Andy Wang: [0:57:39.3] “Homeland.” On “Homeland.”
Linus Roache: [0:57:40.1] Somewhere in the universe. I'm terrible. I have not cottoned on to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, all of these things. I mean, if they really, really wanna get a hold of me, e-mail you and then send them on to me, if people wanna talk to me. I mean, maybe I should be doing all that stuff, but I'm just not been kind of very savvy at it all and I find it a bit intrusive so, I don't really…
Andy Wang: [0:58:10.5] Yeah, there's a balance. There’s a balance. There's a sacrifice to be made. I mean, on one hand, you could have like, direct contact and feedback with your fans and people who like your work and the programs that you're on, but on the other hand, I think it's very likely that you have a lot less time of you and your wife just enjoying a book. [laughter]
Linus Roache: [00:58:31] Exactly and I think, you know, if things got to a place where, you know, I had the need for like, a personal assistant and that kind of thing then I could imagine sort of, running all that side of it because you’d push, push out your day and you'd spend a couple hours just dealing with all that and responding to people. That's cool. And I like responding to people. I try to respond to everybody who contacts me, but I find messaging and e-mails quite enough. [laughter]
Andy Wang: [00:58:58] Yup, yup. [laughter] Well, thank you, Linus. We really look forward to watching you on “Homeland.” I enjoyed watching you at the end of last season and look forward to what's in store.
Linus Roache: [00:59:10] Well, there's plenty of intrigue. I can promise you that.
Andy Wang: [00:59:14] [laughter] Never a boring moment.
Linus Roache: [0:59:15.3] Never a boring moment.
Andy Wang: [0:59:15.6] Yeah you know, watching that show gets me a little tense.
Linus Roache: [0:59:19.6] Yeah. Well, I'm not watching it anymore because I mean it, but I used to make me tense, too. Yeah.
Andy Wang: [0:59:26.2] Thank you, Linus.
Linus Roache: [0:59:26.7] Thank you, Andy.
Andy Wang: [0:59:27.8] Really appreciate it.
Linus Roache: [0:59:28.6] Thank you.
Andy Wang: [00:59:31] [background music] Thanks for listening. What were your favorite Inspired Money moments? Man, I almost don't know where to start. #1, I love that Linus never wanted to be beholden to anybody else. That made him industrious as a child and carried him through as he committed to his acting career. I found it fascinating that he was frightened by success and overwhelmed by the complexities that success brought to his life. To achieve a lot and then question if it's enough, we sometimes see this in sports. Once a person reaches #1 in the world it can be a struggle because more success does not guarantee fulfillment or happiness. That led Linus to explore the spiritual aspect of life and for him that meant meditation. He was seeking how to be more centered, self-confident and how to trust himself. His “Law and Order” co-star Sam Waterston said, “You know what? You get over yourself in this job.” Great advice. And another important thing is to not care about what people think. Just do your thing. With Inspired Money, money can fuel important things. Appreciate the power of it. Don't be scared or afraid of abundance. Linus’ conclusion to his spiritual quest is a beautiful thing. To live a life of integrity and to have a full life to embrace life while being humble and to love your craft.
Andy Wang: [01:01:03] Coming up next time on Inspired Money.
Kyle Winey: [1:01:06.7] [background music] And my buddy wanted go to Wall Street, too, but the thing was that he actually got a job offer from Wall Street and I got no job offers, period, let alone from Wall Street. And I didn't understand how that was possible cause I did everything, “right.” And I was expecting that therefore I should be delivered the goods. I should have a job offer from places like Wall Street, but my attorney brother did everything, “wrong” and still got there.
Andy Wang: [1:01:38.2] That's Kyle Winey, author of the book, “HACKiversity: The Secrets to Achieving More by Doing Less in College. If you're a student or you know one, you won't want to miss this next episode. Before you go, I just want to thank everyone who's rated and reviewed this podcast on iTunes. If you liked the show the best thing you can do to help us is to subscribe, rate and review by going to inspiredmoney.fm/iTunes. Send me an email with your iTunes username and I'll add you to a drawing to win cool prizes. All the music on today's show is by Jim Kimo West. Mahalo Kimo.
Wanna be an inspired moneymaker? Do something that scares you. Do something that's gonna make you better. do something to give back in a bigger way to the world. Tweet me or e-mail what you're doing. Until next time. Find your inspiration and run with.