A few weeks ago, The New York Times Magazine ran Peter Dinklage Was Smart to Say No, a story about Peter Dinklage, the 4-foot-5 actor who, after years spent saying NO to playing stereotype elves and leprechauns – and consequently often living in poverty – won both a Golden Globe and an Emmy for his character Tyrion Lannister in HBO’s Game of Thrones. A quote from Dan Kois’ interview with Dinkelage really made us think:
“I feel really lucky,” he said, then added, “although I hate that word — ‘lucky.’ ”
When I asked him why, he mulled it over for a moment, looking away. Then he focused back on me.
“It cheapens a lot of hard work,” he said. “Living in Brooklyn in an apartment without any heat and paying for dinner at the bodega with dimes — I don’t think I felt myself lucky back then. Doing plays for 50 bucks and trying to be true to myself as an” — here he put on a faux snooty voice — “artist and turning down commercials where they wanted a leprechaun. Saying I was lucky negates the hard work I put in and spits on that guy who’s freezing his ass off back in Brooklyn. So I won’t say I’m lucky. I’m fortunate enough to find or attract very talented people. For some reason I found them, and they found me.”
It made us wonder if there’s much difference between being ‘lucky’ and ‘fortunate’, and if our luck, or blessings, are made – with fierce persistence – or just….found…
…or if life is always a unpredictable mix of the two.
photo: Peter Hapak
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