Jae-Ha Kim, Tribune Media Services
4:13 PM EDT, April 26, 2011
Raymond J. Barry has one of those faces that people recognize. It's the name that sometimes draws a blank.
"I was shooting a movie in Spokane, Wash., and a woman came up to me and asked if I was her favorite father from 'Justified,'" Barry, 72, said with a laugh. "That's not atypical. I was doing theater in my 20s and 30s and didn't start making movies or acting on TV until I was 44. And I'm a character actor. But I'm very grateful. It's a nice way to make a living, and I don't have to deal with some of the craziness that the younger actors do."
Barry stars as Arlo Givens, Timothy Olyphant's father on the Peabody Award-winning FX series "Justified."
Q: What is your favorite vacation destination?
A: Santa Colomba, Italy. I go there often because my father-in-law (Nobel Prize-winning economist Robert Mundell) bought a villa there with something like 65 rooms. I also love Paris. I performed a play there with an avant-garde theater company in 1960 and stayed there the whole summer. It was a very profound experience. I also went there for my honeymoon about 20 years ago. Some of the things I really like about Paris are the museums, restaurants, coffee shops and the general respect the French people have for beauty.
Q: Do you speak any foreign languages?
A: I wish I spoke French or Italian but I don't. My education is limited in the area of languages.
Q: When you go away, what are some of your must-have items?
A: When I toured way back, I brought no luggage, just a small case with pencils in it and a couple of drawings in a tube. I'd work on the drawings for the duration of traveling. But sometimes I ran into trouble with that. I went to Israel after being in Algeria, and by the virtue of the fact that I had no luggage I was a suspicious person of interest. They questioned me and called the theater to find out if I was legitimate, because who travels with no clothes? It actually was a great way to travel. Every night I would wash my pants and T-shirt in a sink. I had a toothbrush in a little bag with my pencils. I still bring a tube for drawings on my travels, but now I'll also bring a small suitcase.
Q: What is your favorite thing to do when you reach a new destination?
A: I like to unload my bags in my room and head to the nearest museum. In Vienna, I checked out a Gustav Klimt show, and it was brilliant.
Q: Is most of your travel for work or pleasure?
A: It really depends. I do a lot of traveling connected with my work, but I've also got two boys who play basketball. They play in all these tournaments that require parents to travel with the kids to places like New Orleans and Florida.
Q: How has the way you travel changed over the years?
A: These days it's usually to fulfill the needs of some kind of work requirement, and it's not terrifically interesting because it's about hotels and work. Traveling when you're 28 years old is different because you want to go out and check out the women and just explore. I do enjoy observing people wherever I am. I remember seeing farmers in Algeria wearing their robes and just being mesmerized by their weather-beaten faces. They were very elegant in a simple fashion. I performed in Belgrade (Serbia) in the 1970s and remember being struck by their faces, too; they were so incredible.
For more from the reporter, visit jaehakim.com.
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