From Casey McCall on "Sports Night" to Nate Fisher on "Six Feet Under," Peter Krause tends to play the everyman.
From Casey McCall on "Sports Night" to Nate Fisher on "Six Feet Under," Peter Krause tends to play the everyman. In his new film, Civic Duty, Krause turns that everyman identity on its head as Terry Allen, who starts out as an Average Joe in a media-saturated world and eventually turns into a paranoid vigilante after becoming convinced that his young Muslim neighbor is a terrorist. The film — which is both a tense thriller and a political statement about prejudice and paranoia — opens in limited release today.
I recently sat down with Krause to talk about the film — which he also produced — and its message, life outside of Hollywood, and why he almost said no to his new TV pilot. In person, Krause is fiercely intelligent, quietly thoughtful, and refreshingly unafraid to express his political opinions. Here's how our conversation went:
I didn't realize you lived in the Bay Area. What's it like being away from the LA crush?
I should have done it long ago. I really love what I do. I love being on a sound stage. I even love the city of Los Angeles. But in terms of a home, I'm much more comfortable in a rural setting. I know I'm sitting here in a suit right now, but I'm usually wearing a pair of bib overalls and a hat to keep the sun off my face.
So, about Civic Duty. Almost six years past 9/11, do you think there are still people like Terry? Or do you think we've turned off the media more and become desensitized?
I think that it's exhausting, obviously, to stay in a heightened state of panic. I'm not sure that it's anything except a function of nature, that it's the way we are as animals that we can only remain that vigilant for so long before we start to go crazy or batty. I think we also have a built-in mechanism — nobody wants to live in that world. Nobody wants to live in paranoia, they really don't. I do think that there are fewer people out there who are this afraid. I don't know if it's becoming desensitized or if it's just because of a lack of terrorist activity that that sense of paranoia is diminished.
Lots more about Civic Duty, his acting roles and his upcoming projects, so read more