Click HERE to read a beautiful interview to Robin, on the magazine "New York Moves", 2006.
If you prefer to read the transcription directly here, click on Read More.
Thank you to Van for finding it.
New York Moves (2006)
Hollywood stars are often accused of being superficial and vain. Meet the beautiful, intelligent, and talented Ms. Tunney, who single-hand-edly balances the scales.
Article by Zoe Stagg
What makes Robin Tunney a consummate human being is her sense of perspective - her surefooted and pragmatic approach to everything she comes across. Always with her feet on the ground, she possesses intelligence, curiosity, and seemingly limitless energy.
She'd spent the night before studying poker techniques she'd Tivoed for her latest adventure: the high-stakes World Series of Poker. This was big time. Burning the midnight oil seemed to have no impact on her energy level. "It's an opportunity to meet a whole different cross-section of life, and they're all coming to Vegas to get their luck on!".
While Tunney is not contemplating a career switch, she participated in an array of celebrity poker shows to benefit her charities, The Children's Health Fund and St. Jude Foundation. Earlier she played on Celebrity Poker Showdown and won $200,000 for the Children's Health Fund based out in New York City. "Any charity I get involved with is for children. That's what gets me the worst. I think it's so sad that there would be a child who needs an operation or a child who is ill and can't go to the doctor and can't afford medicine". Her philanthropic endeavors have given her real insight into the general state of healthcare in our country. "While America is the best place to be rich and sick, it's the worst place to be poor and sick".
"I think we're as much a product of our failures as we are of our success. The idea is that you grow and try not to make the same mistake twice"
Her uninhibited enthusiasm for humanity makes it easy to forget her status as a seasoned actress who stars in TV's top show Prison Break. She has just completed a string of high-profile projects, including Open Window, Hollywoodland and the serial killer docu-drama, Zodiac. She refers to her varied film career as a product of her low threshold for tedium and makes no reference to credits next to the likes of Academy Award Winners Adrien Brody and Ben Affleck. "After The Craft, I was offered every teen horror movie. The idea of bank-rolling on a certain success wasn't that appealing".
On her own since the age of 18, she credits her success to her sensible upbringing. "I think it would have been impossible if I hadn't had some experience with the value of money". Her mother was a strong influence on her, and the inspiration for her independent and seemingly fearless nature. "My mom always made all of us feel like there was absolutely nothing that we couldn't do. She didn't make the world seem scary". While she muses that the world is a little scarier now, she doesn't let it dissuade her from anything she wants to do. "I don't think you can go through life terrified. Your life is for living!".
Her firm sense of optimism shines through, despite the gritty subject matter with which she is associated week after week on Prison Break. Her role on the show has given her a chance to reflect on the serious subject of crime and punishment in America. "Spending time in an actual prison for nine months of my life certainly changed my perspective. Obviously our prison system doesn't work; people aren't being rehabilitated. It's really hard to be rehabilitated under those conditions." Having come to believe that a lot of crime is committed out of economic necessity rather than pure evil, she would like to see society intervene more to help criminals go straight. She thinks about this for a second. "God, it would be great if we could spend all this money we're spending on the war, on our own society."
She exhibits a mercurial tendency by zipping from topic to topic, peppering anecdotes with tidbits she's collected from the New York Times" - only pausing briefly to give her aging dog a pill before changing the subject. "When I moved to the Lower East Side in 1992, it was kind of a dangerous, bad neighborhood. Now it's where everyone goes to go to clubs". Though she loves the space of her new house in L.A. - marveling at things only a true New Yorker would make such a spectacle of, like her gutters - she still has a major soft spot for the City. "I miss my friends, I miss people watching. The best outfits, the best looking people from anywhere in the world live in New York". The City is so charged, I love the fact that I lived there." She recalls the credit card nightmare that is one of New York's boutique-lined streets, not something I expected a celebrity to balk at, but she was singing every New York woman's tune. "You don't have to plan to shop. Walking through SoHo and down Elizabeth St. like a minefield. There were definitely times when I'd buy a $500 pair of boots, and then have to live on a slice of pizza!".
"... Democracy so far has been the best, most successful answer, and we still have a lot of problems. I don't think you can go through life terrified. Your life is for living!"
She admits to a life-long fondness for vintage shopping - a skill she acquired in high school out of necessity before it was hip - and she proudly boasts about scoring a Chanel suit for $140. Like anyone who's lusted after a pair of designer jeans, she's as shocked as the rest of us about the going rate for looking good. "There's a funny kind of creature in L.A. It's the 17-year-old that you see with the $2800 Balenciaga bag, and diamonds on their fingers, and they have on the new Chloé flats that are $600, and you think, what do you have to look forward to? Who are your parents and how bad do they feel?". She laughs at the paparazzi-courting starlets that parade their wares through the tabloids each week and cites venerable actresses like Jessica Lange and Meryl Streep as her role models. "I gotta tell you, it's rough to have on the short shorts and the heels and the coordinated outfits all day so you can look chic walking down Robertson! Hard work!
I think we're as much a product of our failures as we are of our successes. The idea is that you grow and try not to make the same mistake twice". Without getting specific, she recalls parts she was disappointed she didn't get, and projects she's disappointed she did, but she's learning. "Life is a game of chance, like poker. The idea is that you should only play great hands, and don't get anxious. You're never going to win on the flop!".
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