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“I thought the career was over.” Now Jeff Daniels is busier than ever.

Nov 17, 2017

It’s pretty hard to live in Chelsea, Michigan and not know Jeff Daniels. He’s an accomplished actor both on stage and on screen, he’s a musician who frequently tours, and he founded the Purple Rose Theatre in Chelsea.

Daniels joined Stateside to explain what’s been keeping him so busy.

On his upcoming projects

There will be plenty of opportunities to catch a Daniels performance on screens both big and small in the coming months. He plays a general in the 2018 release “The Catcher Was a Spy,” which follows a baseball player, played by Paul Rudd, who became a spy for the U.S. government in World War II. Daniels will also star alongside Jack O’Connell in “Godless,” a western series for Netflix. The series lands on the streaming service on November 22. “I play a completely dysfunctional bad guy” Daniels said. “It was a joy to play.” Daniels will also appear in “Looming Tower,” an upcoming Hulu series set to land in the spring that takes place in the run-up to the September 11 attacks.

On the Purple Rose Theatre’s production of “God of Carnage”

Daniels founded the Purple Rose Theatre in Chelsea, which is presenting “God of Carnage.” Daniels himself was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actor for the Broadway production in 2009. “The acting style we have at the Purple Rose is designed to be as real as possible and as genuine,” said Daniels. “You don’t see them acting.” Daniels was quick to praise the performance. “There are portions of this production that are better than what we did: funnier, more real,” he said. “I’m so thrilled with it.”

On touring with his son and the Ben Daniels Band

For Daniels, playing music is a love, not just a hobby, but he knows he’ll always be known as an actor. Touring with his sons with the Ben Daniels Band gives him a chance to play with good musicians. “These guys, people, are in their thirties, they’re young, they can play," he said. “And Lucas, my son, is the tour manager, and it’s just— what a way to spend time with your kids, you know? It’s just great.”

Listen above for the full conversation.

Support for arts and culture coverage comes in part from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.

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