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Eric Lange stars on FX’s hit show The Bridge, opposite Demian Bichir and Diane Kruger. He plays former FBI agent and serial killer David Tate/Kenneth Hastings. He will next be seen in the films Imagine with Al Pacino and Nightcrawler with Jake Gyllenhaal. Eric is known for his roles on the hit television shows Weeds, Lost, and Victorious.

Maranda Pleasant: What makes you come alive?

Eric Lange: Creating things. I love the idea of creation and creativity. Whether it’s a character, a short film, a piece of music, a painting, or a bookcase—to watch something go from an idea to a creation is pretty much where it’s at for me.

MP: What makes you feel vulnerable?

EL: Silence. There are times it’s the only thing I want and I wonder how I’ll ever go back to the world of noise and distraction. Other times, silence allows me to hear what’s really going on in my head. Part of the reason we’re on our phones or watching television or reading magazines is to give our heads something else to listen to other than our own thoughts. It’s in the silence that I’m most able to hear the tiny voices that tell me I’m not good enough, smart enough, or cool enough. I try to hear them for what they are: my own creations. Sitting with them, letting them speak, hearing them out, and giving them back the silence that I’m now sitting in has shown me that, quite often, they shut up.

MP: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be?

EL: Be kind.

MP: How do you handle emotional pain?

EL: I was lucky to grow up with phenomenal parents who were into talking about things. When something hit me hard as a kid, we’d just talk about it. I’m usually pretty open about what’s going on with me. I’m not a great actor in the sense that I can’t fake it if I’m going through something difficult.

MP: Tell us about your latest project.

EL: I’m getting married in November. I’ve been trying to give as much attention and focus to my life as well as my career. It’s hard because the career is money, but putting that before day-to-day needs isn’t something that can last indefinitely. I’m excited to begin the next chapter of my life with an amazing woman.

MP: How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos?

EL: As someone who makes his living as an actor, my routine varies almost every day. There are weeks I’m working and weeks I’m not. People think it must be great to have all that time off, but you’d be surprised how quickly that grass would become greener. The idle brain is the devil’s playground. I try and keep busy with something, but I also give myself permission to be busy with something that is creative and rewarding, not just the errands to the dry cleaner.

MP: What’s been one of life’s biggest lessons for you so far?

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EL: That the destination you think is going to make you happy, doesn’t. I always find myself thinking, “I’m getting ready right now, but when I get to the party it’s going to be great!” Once at the party, I find myself going, “Man, can’t wait to get in bed tonight. I’m pooped.” It’s like that with my career, too. You reach peaks only to see there’s another greater peak beyond it. Suddenly that one looks like it’d have a much better view. It’s an endless cycle of going toward things that you think will provide you happiness. At the end of the day, right now, right here, wherever you are, you can make a choice to be present and happy and fulfilled.

MP: What truth do you know for sure?

EL: Change is a constant. Anything you get attached to will one day be gone. Love the things you love as best as you can love them in the time you have in their presence. And that change, though I’m often fearful of it, has presented me with some of the greatest surprises I’ve ever received. I’m learning to become friends with it.


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