Raul Esparza Talks Literature & LAW & ORDER
Stage superstar and small screen standout Raul Esparza opens up about his favorite novels and literary side in general as part of a new interview in promotion of a discussion of THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO by Alexandre Dumas led by the triple-threat performer earlier this week in Bryant Park as part of Word For Word Book Club summer reading series.
Discussing his passion for the French literary classic by Dumas, Esparza recounts: "This is the first book I remember my father giving me to read. It was, he said, his favorite book growing up. It's an easy read. I was a boy in middle school. I fell in love with the world and the drama of it. I used to act out the story. It's a swashbuckler so it appealed to the tree-climbing dreamer in me, living close to the beach in Miami, imagining my own treasure islands and daring escapes and intricate 10 year old revenges. I also had a Spanish teacher who used to insist that we learn to be on time like the Count of Monte Cristo; this is a harder task for a Cuban boy than it would seem to be on the surface, but the idea of arriving melodramatically as the last b ell tolls the exact hour always appealed to me in theory."
He continues, "I've read this book over and over in my life. As a boy. As a teenager. In my 20s and 30s. It changes, like all great writing, depending on when you come to the novel. It's not an adventure story to me anymore. It is in reality a much darker kind of epic, dripping blood and acid and regret. But, of course, as a child, I had no idea this was the core of the novel all along."
In remarking upon his current reading list and whether they are hard copy or e-reader, Esparza reveals: "I read too many books at once. For today: Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner (old school), Wild by Cheryl Strayed (iPad, wish I'd bought the hard copy), Religion for Atheists by Alain de Boton (old school)."
As for his favorite novel? "The Waves by Virginia Woolf though I don't think she would have been a fun teacher at all, and I couldn't possibly ask anyone to come discuss this painful masterpiece for an hour under the trees in a park. We'd never get past the first ten pages, or we'd sit around midtown in a deep existential funk."
And, what about a literary career of his own? "If I weren't an actor, I might just be a writer. (I had figured I'd be a lawyer, but I'm not. I just play one on TV.)," he amusingly adds, referencing his LAW & ORDER: SVU character and his popular role on the long-running NBC series.
Check out the original article on the matter here.