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December 17, 2014

Ted Danson in GQ: "I'll Answer to Ted, But Not to Malone."

by Scott Harris, posted Jan 21st 2010 11:40AM
Ted Danson has played a wide variety of roles over the course of his long and winding career. Next month, though, he takes on his most challenging role yet: GQ model.

Yes, the one-time 'Cheers' star is going to the magazine where everyone knows your inseam. But besides showcasing an array of stylish menswear, Danson also took the time to dish to GQ about his role on 'Damages,' his off-screen work with conservation groups and his ground rules for fan interaction. "I'll answer to Ted,' he says, "but not to Malone."Ted Danson has played a wide variety of roles over the course of his long and winding career. Next month, though, he takes on his most challenging role yet: GQ model.

Yes, the one-time 'Cheers' star is going to the magazine where everyone knows your inseam. But besides showcasing an array of stylish menswear, Danson also took the time to dish to GQ about his role on 'Damages,' his off-screen work with conservation groups and his ground rules for fan interaction. "I'll answer to Ted,' he says, "but not to Malone." Here are some other highlights from the magazine's interview with television's premier silver fox (with apologies to 'Mad Men''s John Slattery):

• Despite his reluctance to answer to Malone, he's perfectly happy being identified with the iconic 'Cheers' character, even when working on his new show 'Bored to Death.' "I think there are probably a handful of real character actors in this business. The rest of us are recycling. So now I'm Sam Malone the editor. I'm Sam Malone the billionaire."

• Being so strongly connected to one specific role, though, has posed some challenges in his work to conserve the world's oceans. "Not being a scientist and not being a vice president," he says, "I have to somehow justify the fact that the guy who played Sam Malone is now going to talk to you about fish. Because it's natural to want to discount it."




• The veteran actor credits his role on 'Damages,' and the sage advice of a drama coach, with helping him loosen up on screen. "We read some lines together, and he told me basically: 'You're a nice actor; you know where this is supposed to go, and you're going to take me there. But you're playing an arrogant billionaire who could give a rat's ass about anybody else. Maybe you'll say one line and you won't say the next. F--- 'em.' There's an arrogance and entitlement to my acting style now. It was very liberating."

• In his latest role, he plays a magazine editor who refuses to age gracefully, a mindset that Danson has no trouble identifying with. "The connection I make between all these characters is that I, Ted, at 62, want to be relevant. My joints hurt. I'm slower. But I remember what it was like to run and play with the boys. I want to be one of the boys. And I think these characters want that, too."

• Above all, it's the youthful enthusiasm that keeps Danson going, both in his professional life and his charity work. "You have to be an optimist, right? You have to be critical, then you have to be an optimist. Or else," he adds, sounding very much like Sam Malone, "you're really stupid."

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