In my fantasies, I always wanted to play the ingenue, but in reality, in my bones, I am so used to playing the grandmother that I don`t feel safe or even sure that I can do it.
On The Practice, I get to do what I love to do, and I am making a contribution that will, in the end, help raise social consciousness, dispel some of the myths about being large, and change the way that people view and interact with large people.
I think the play actually became bigger than me. No pun intended.
It never occurred to me that I`d be on a television show or in feature films but when those came into play my dreams changed along the way.
On a weekly television series, we don`t have a lot of preparation time: most often we get the script two or three days before filming.
Isn`t it amazing how celebrity status preempts even the most ingrained hatreds?
I have lived my life in a culture that hates fat people.
It`s important to me that I look good on television because, let`s face it, I`m single, and you want somebody to watch the show and fall in love with you.
I grew up with a very political legacy.
So to me, fat just seems to be right to the point and the most descriptive way to say it.
I think Ellenor is embarrassed and ashamed and has devoted all of her energy to the law and to helping other people get justice because it`s too difficult for her to face her own struggle for justice.
For a long time, I really struggled with the idea of being an actor because I really felt that I should be in the Peace Corps.
People in this country haven`t stopped hating fat people, but they`ve become more kind to me, since in our culture, even though we hate our fat people, we love our celebrities even more.
The character I play is a wonderful compilation of things I hate about myself and things I love about myself and things that I`ve invented to make her even more interesting than me.
When I meet large women who walk with confidence and are articulate and really have an understanding of how they walk in this world, I love them so deeply for being able to overcome such unbelievable odds.
I don`t even like to be naked in front of myself!
It`s okay to be a fat man. It`s prestige and power and all of that. But fat women are seen as just lazy and stupid and having no self-control.
Both of my parents are professors and everyone in my family has some fabulous degree of something or another and I couldn`t get into college because I didn`t know a language.
My parents have always been offended by my weight, embarrassed maybe. It didn`t fit with their sensibilities.
The way I see it, I can either cross the street, or I can keep waiting for another few years of green lights to go by.
So instead of beating myself up for being fat, I think it`s a miracle that I laugh every day and walk through my life with pride, because our culture is unrelenting when it comes to large people.
I was scared, because I knew that in the political arena, you have to satisfy so many different types of people at once, and I wasn`t sure that I could speak for everybody and be politically correct.
Almost everything I do is related to being fat.
One of the things I did when I was in New York, which has a wonderful deaf community, is I have worked on making Broadway more accessible to deaf people.
Waiting, waiting, waiting. All my life, I`ve been waiting for my life to begin, as if somehow my life was ahead of me, and that someday I would arrive at it.
You can either destroy your spirit or you can accept and love yourself just the way you are.
One of my earliest memories is of my father carrying me in one arm with a picket sign in the other.
I`ve always thought of fat as just a descriptive word.
Handsome, thin, sophisticated men often fall madly in love with larger women, we just never see it on TV.
Parents know how to push your buttons because, hey, they sewed them on.
Instead of hating, I have chosen to forgive and spend all of my positive energy on changing the world.
Nobody else knew what to do with me because big women are old.
I learned how to sign because when I was growing up in California in order to get into college you needed two semesters of language to get into a University of California school.
Years ago women of my size were considered royalty.
When it comes to boys and her weight, I think Ellenor is much more conservative than I am, and she has not had the dialogue I have had about my weight.
I hate overweight, because it implies that there`s a weight standard I should be adhering to.
I placed over a thousand deaf people in jobs throughout my career working for the deaf.