From “Law and Order’s” Detective Mike Logan to “Sex and the City’s” Mr. Big, Chris Noth keeps stretching the boundaries of his acting career.
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"When I lived in West Hollywood, there was a little cigar bar off Sunset that I used to go to, just a very small room with red leather chairs and an interesting group of guys. It was always a great occasion to relax and chat without anything particular in mind. Or I like to smoke at night, by myself with a book-or when I'm writing something, listening to a piece of music. It does relax me. It allows me to free-associate in my mind about my life and what's going on around me. It seems to be a way to sort out confusion-to step aside and take a time out with a cigar."
With a new movie due in theaters, a hit series renewed for another season and theater projects in various states of development, Noth has a sense of perspective he feels it's taken him this long to earn. His goal is to hang on to it, to apply the knowledge he's gained so far to get him to the finish line.
"One lesson I've learned as I've gotten older is that I can't go play basketball without stretching first," he says with a smile, bundling up for the winter weather. "I was taking a yoga class to stretch my aching back and the instructor said, ‘Your muscles contract.'
"Well, as you get older as an actor-and as a person-you contract emotionally and spiritually. You have to keep stretching out and not let yourself contract. And I think that's a metaphor for my life."
Contributing editor Marshall Fine's work can be found on his Web site, www.hollywoodandfine.com.