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Liev Schreiber talks to Vulture about his career and family life with fellow actress Naomi Watts. The article's theme is boxing, which the actor has done for decades. How am I just finding that out!? It's true what they say, that a man is never too old to learn something new.
Anyway, the author of the report, David A. Keeps, still managed to penetrate the guard of Schreiber and punch him straight in the nose. Here is a short preview of the story:
“Good,” he shouts when one of my swings passes his swatting mitts and finally connects with his nose.
Schreiber's diet: “I grew up vegetarian, and when my grandfather first gave me some pastrami, I remember thinking, Holy sh-t, where have I been? So I’ve always been skeptical about nutrition, but this is really working.”
Why he plays bad guys all the time: After earning a master’s in drama at Yale, Schreiber briefly relied on his brawn, toiling as an assistant to one of his brothers, a brick mason. By comparison, he says, the physical labor of “pretending to be intimidating is not a bad job.” Despite his deft wit and a sweet silliness that emerges when I ask about his sons, Sasha, 5, and Kai, 4, with actress Naomi Watts, Schreiber makes a convincing thug. “I have Slavic fat pads that make me look like a chipmunk and arched predatory eyebrows,” says the actor, who is a stew of Russian and Middle European bloodlines. “With that, you’re not going to get funny. That’s why I play so many bad guys.”
Why he signed up for Ray Donovan: “Theater is consistent. You ride your bike to work. You get most of the day off so you can see your kids. My problem is that after three months I go mad. One of the reasons I never thought I could do a TV show is that I hate doing the same thing over and over again.” But that’s also why he signed up for Ray Donovan: “Part of me always feels like things should be hard.”
His life after meeting Naomi: Schreiber never wanted to leave Manhattan. “When we met, I said to Naomi, ‘I am really crazy about you, but I don’t know that I can live in L.A., and is that okay?’ ” That was in 2005. She rented her house and went to work on The Painted Veil. “Naomi forced them to hire me. She wanted to continue our relationship, and the only way to do that was to take me on the road with her,” Schreiber says with such a delighted twinkle in his eye that I ask if he’s busting chops. He’s not, he insists: “We wanted to be together, and I’m decent enough to handle that role. It wasn’t, like, total nepotism.”
Describes himself as a "manny": Thereafter, he followed her around for three years, “traveling the world and being manny [man + nanny] to the children.” Together, they seem to be the rare celebrity couple that people genuinely admire. “I get photographed a lot with my children,” he says. “People see me take them to school, and they seem to like that.”
Why the couple is not married yet: They have not married, Schreiber confirms. “It’s complicated,” he says tersely, “and it’s private, too.”
On parenting: “It has made me a better person in fits and starts,” he says. “I had been a very selfish person most of my life, and that shifts quickly and dramatically. It’s painful and fascinating and ultimately really wonderful, but I am particularly lucky because I have exquisitely beautiful, talented, brilliant children,” he says, grinning. “If I had had ugly, stupid children, it would’ve been difficult to turn that corner.”