Episode 1: A Working Actor’s Working Faith
This is a listener-supported podcast! Thanks for your help!
Tony Mockus, Sr. has been Catholic his entire life, and an actor for almost as long. He has worked with countless great performers including Henry Fonda, Elizabeth Montgomery, Robert De Niro and Kevin Costner. In this interview he discusses his seven decades on the stage and screen, the life-changing experience of being wounded in Korea, the role of the Holy Spirit in artistic performance, and his love of St. Anthony.
Tony Mockus, Sr. interview
4:54 How Tony prepared to play St. Paul in the Truth & Life Dramatized Audio Bible
7:24 Spiritual wake-up call: wounded by a mine in Korea
13:30 The Holy Spirit at work in an actor’s performance
23:14 Life with St. Anthony
26:39 Tony’s early years in Cicero, Illinois; digression into the decline of the variety show and the nature of Northern Virginia culture
31:25 A Jesuit priest at Tony’s high school forces him to try acting, with great success
36:44 Tony and Thomas both played the lead role in The Man Who Came to Dinner as high school seniors, several decades apart, but Tony’s production also included a teenaged Bob Newhart
39:00 Tony’s first professional acting jobs as a teen
43:22 The spiritual influence of Tony’s mother and grandmother
46:12 Traveling in the show Mr. Roberts, with castmates like Henry Fonda; Tony’s formation from his Jesuit education and mother and grandmother allowed him to discern what to embrace and what to avoid in the traveling show business lifestyle
48:50 A brief move to New York, then back to Chicago where he starts to work as a leading man and gets married
53:19 Evangelical work for radio with the Pacific Garden Mission in Chicago
56:52 Keeping one’s moral integrity in choosing roles
59:17 Tony starts working in film and television
62:17 The fun of playing the bad guy
63:07 The Untouchables (1987): Working for director Brian De Palma; funny story about Robert De Niro
1:11:29 Two great actresses Tony worked with; generosity and professionalism on set
1:15:15 A funny David Mamet story; politics in theatre
1:21:32 Acting with his son, Tony Mockus, Jr.; advice to young Catholics who want to be actors
1:25:08 This week’s excerpts: J. R. R. Tolkien, Jacques Maritain
Theme music: “Franciscan Eyes”, written and performed by Thomas Mirus.
All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a current donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!