‘I’ve a tendency to complicate things’
June 15 2014 08:50 PM

IN TROUBLED WATERS? Eric Dane (left) and Adam Baldwin star as naval officers on The Last Ship on TNT.

Actor Eric Dane plays skipper on new TNT series, The Last Ship. By Luaine Lee

He’s battled some turbulent seas, but actor Eric Dane is at last in command. Professionally and personally he’s overcome the odds, which he demonstrates as the captain of the lone Naval destroyer adrift in a world stricken by a deadly virus in TNT’s new series The Last Ship, premiering June 22.

Dane confesses he harbours a “love-hate” relationship with acting. “When I love it, I love it more than anything,” he says. “And when I’m not feeling it, I have a deep disdain for it. I don’t know if I can articulate exactly why, but I think with anything there’s a balance, and you can’t have an intense amount of love for something if you don’t have the polar opposite of that for it.”

Dane struggled for several years doing roles in Gideon’s Crossing, Charmed and X-Men: the Last Stand, until he suddenly caused cardiac arrest as Dr Mark Sloan in Grey’s Anatomy. He was signed for one episode, which turned into 140.

But Dane suffered a rough start. He lost his dad at seven. “He was a Navy man and ended up becoming an architect and interior designer. He was a troubled soul,” he says, seated in an alcove of a hotel hallway.

“He died of a gunshot wound. My grandmother thinks it was an accident. Everybody’s got a different opinion on it. My mother raised two kids.” When asked what his mother did for a living, he shrugs, “My grandparents were OK (financially).”

Now the parent of daughters, two-and-half and four, he says he understands what effect his father’s death had on him. “I never realised how cognizant and aware I was at the time until I had my own kids and I see how cogent Billie is at the age of four and think, ‘My God, this must have been devastating at the age of seven.’ The awareness that I would’ve had at that age must’ve been devastating.”

At first Dane had no intention of acting. “I was a water polo player in high school and my season was short and I ended up getting roped into playing Joe Keller in All My Sons. Dead serious. And I fell in love with it. I was, like, this is the greatest feeling ever!”

In fact, he dropped out of high school a month before graduation in San Mateo, California to try his luck in Los Angeles. “I moved down here with 40 bucks in my pocket and took about three or four acting classes a week and tried to figure out what it was about this thing that I liked so much. I don’t know if it was a result of the studying — the studying I think made things a bit more complicated for me. I think, for me, if I can dummy things down it’s easier for me to wrap my head around it because I have a tendency to complicate things.”

Early on he did complicate things, he says. “I used to party a lot when I was a kid and cleaned up my act when I was 26 years old and I stayed a real good boy for a real long time,” he nods. “I got into a lot of trouble. I don’t have a (criminal) mug shot but I used to play around with some pretty serious stuff. I’ve been in rehab a couple of times.”

Like his character on The Last Ship, who’s searching the globe for a vaccine, Dane was in hot pursuit of a cure for MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), when he was felled by the disease and hospitalised. Tethered to a Dilaudid drip, he became addicted to pain killers and found himself in rehab again.

“It was sort of a behavioural modification centre, it wasn’t a stereotypical rehab,” he says. “It wasn’t a fancy rehab. It was rough. Friends put me there. It was a pretty interesting experience.”

Dane is married to actress Rebecca Gayheart. “The gutsiest thing I did was propose to my wife over dinner and jump in the car and fly to Vegas that night to get married,” he says. “I didn’t want her to change her mind. Now that I’ve got her, ‘Let’s go.’ She said yes and she’s been saying yes for the last nine years. She said, ‘Yes,’ and I said, ‘Check.’ I love that woman.”

Having his daughters has altered his perspective, he says. “Being a father changed the way I look at everything; the way I look at my work. There’s a certain work ethic that comes along with being an actor, and there’s a discipline that comes along with being an actor. It’s not just sitting in front of a camera and saying lines. Every time I get maybe a little bogged down because of the process or the long hours, if I can’t do it for myself, I can fall back on, ‘I’m doing it for my kids,’ and that carries me through.” — MCT


Schwarzenegger is reason of my hard work: Stallone

Hollywood action titan Sylvester Stallone, who has shared screen space with his once rival Arnold Schwarzenneger in The Expendables 3, says the latter is the reason for his “hard work”.

At a recent event, Stallone got candid about his rapport with Schwarzenneger, said a statement. He said: “We both are pretty similar. We worked together and came into the scene at the right time in the movie industry. Then I got older and wiser and realised — thank god for Arnold — he’s the reason of my hard work.” — IANS


Kidman, Urban perform for sick children

Australian singer Keith Urban and his actress-wife Nicole Kidman sang Amazing Grace for sick children at Monash Children’s Hospital here in Melbourne. The couple performed an emotional version of Amazing Grace in front of patients, their families and members of staff of the hospital, reports femalefirst.co.uk. The couple, who married in 2006 and have children — Sunday, 5, and Faith, 3 — had also performed earlier in 2010 at the G’Day USA ball. — IANS


Robert Pattinson lives in Kristen Stewart’s home?

Actor Robert Pattinson is reportedly living in his ex-girlfriend Kristen Stewart’s home so he can spend time with their dogs, Bear and Bernie.

The Cosmopolis star, who split from Stewart following her rumoured affair with her Snow White and the Huntsman director Rupert Sanders in 2012, is back in contact with his former co-star and often stays at her Los Feliz house when he travels to Los Angeles, reports contactmusic.com.

“Rob doesn’t have his own place in LA. When he’s in town, he sometimes stays at the Chateau Marmont and very often at Kristen’s when she’s out of town. This gives him the chance to hang out with Bear and Bernie,” a source told HollywoodLife.com.

However, the source insists the two are not dating. “Rob and Kristen aren’t romantic or anything, but they are still really close and would do anything for each other,” the source added. — IANS



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