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Mandy Patinkin: I behaved abominably and was so spoiled

UPI News Service, 08/22/2013 

Mandy Patinkin admits he earned his reputation for being difficult, but says it was partly because he previously saw direction as criticism.

The 60-year-old singer-actor and Tony Award-winning performer, who has battled depression in the past, had a short-lived stint on "Chicago Hope" in the 1990s, but left because the medical drama was taped in Los Angeles and he couldn't stand to be away from his family in New York.

He also quit "Criminal Minds" in 2005 because he was so disturbed by the content of the show, which followed cases investigated by FBI criminal profilers.

Patinkin seems grateful to have been given another chance in television, this time playing the role of Saul Berenson, acting director of the CIA, on Showtime's celebrated drama series "Homeland."

"I struggled with letting in other people's opinions," Patinkin told The New York Times Magazine. "During 'Chicago Hope,' I never let directors talk to me, because I was so spoiled. I started off with people like Milos Forman, Sidney Lumet, James Lapine, unbelievably gifted people. So there I was saying, 'Don't talk to me. I don't want your opinion.' I behaved abominably. I don't care if my work was good or if I got an award for it. I'm not proud of how I was then, and it pained me."

Patinkin said his goal to always strive for authenticity stems from his relationship with his beloved father Lester, who died when the actor was 19.

Patinkin said his family and father's doctors told Lester he had hepatitis because "cancer was a death sentence then," however, Patinkin always regretted not being "able to talk the truth with my father at the end."

"It just destroyed me. I was forced to lie to my father by doctors and relatives," Patinkin told the Times. "I made that choice and agreed with them, and I will never, ever get over it.

"If I hear a lie in my life with my children, with my wife, my work, my audiences, I want to annihilate myself, vaporize myself and wipe myself off the face of the earth. Never again will I subject myself to not trying my damnedest to tell the truth. That's my gift and my curse."

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