Richard Kind, the renowned actor known for his roles in Spin City, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and the recent film A Tailor Near Me, has voiced his opinions on the ongoing actors’ strike and the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on the entertainment industry. In an interview with Michael Tucker, the writer of L.A. Law and husband of Jill Eikenberry, Kind shared his thoughts on the challenges faced by actors in the digital age.
Regarding the actors’ strike, Kind highlighted the evolution of technology and its effects on actors’ residuals. He mentioned how the industry started with Betamax and DVDs, where actors received residuals, but once cable TV and streaming services emerged, the issue of residuals became more complex and unresolved. He expressed the need for scientists to be involved in negotiations concerning new technology like AI, so that a fair understanding of reality can be established. Kind pointed out that there is a lack of transparency when it comes to the power and potential of AI in the entertainment industry, and emphasized the importance of knowing the extent of its impact.
Reflecting on his own journey as an actor, Kind reminisced about his first audition where he wasn’t even a professional union member. He recalled being asked to sing from Pajama Game and not knowing what key to choose. Despite this, the director José Ferrer unexpectedly joined him in a duet. Although he didn’t land the role, Kind mentioned his upcoming job in Paris, where he will be taking on the star role in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, originally played by the late Zero Mostel.
Kind also discussed his involvement in the film Oppenheimer, acknowledging its greatness but cautioning about its depiction of the chilling reality of a DC’s kangaroo court. He emphasized that love is an essential element in the films he has worked on, as his performances are a reflection of himself. Regardless of whether people appreciate his work or not, he believes it is an offering of himself that should not be dissected based on others’ opinions.
In addition to his acting career, Kind has been promoting a movie theater initiative called Stage Access. Through on-camera promotions, he introduces films, concerts, and Renée Fleming operas. He explained that Stage Access aims to revive the theater experience, as lockdowns have prevented people from attending such events. This initiative serves as a means for people to reconnect with theaters.
Finally, Kind expressed his concerns about the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike, where he questioned the decision to silence actors and prevent them from promoting their own projects. He found it odd and incongruous that individuals who have spent their entire lives searching for their voice are being restricted by their own union. He challenged the motives behind this power move.
As the article concludes, it takes a lighthearted turn, with Kind playfully mentioning a unique business called Lewinsky’s in Delaware City, with its address being 92 Clinton St. He jokingly suggests that if anyone visits the establishment wearing a blue dress, they might get a discount, poking fun at the infamous scandal involving former President Bill Clinton. Additionally, Kind humorously suggests celebrating Labor Day with a relaxing scotch in the afternoon and, in the evening, enjoying the company of a sexy Italian.
Richard Kind’s insights shed light on the challenges actors face in the rapidly evolving entertainment industry. His perspectives on the actors’ strike, AI’s impact, and the need for transparency provide valuable insights into the future of the entertainment world. As an accomplished actor himself, Kind’s thoughts hold weight and contribute to the ongoing discussions and negotiations within the industry.