Liev Schreiber on liking physicality and turning 50 » Manila Bulletin Entertainment


Los Angeles – Sharply dressed in a gray Tom Ford suit, Liev Schreiber talked to us recently about boxing, Manny Pacquiao, and his birthday.

The star of the hit TV crime drama series “Ray Donovan” said, “I’ve always been an active person. I’ve always been into sports. I’ve been boxing for 18 years. I was a competitive fencer in high school, college and I was a football and basketball player in high school. I just like physicality a lot and it has always been an important part of acting to me.”

Liev Schreiber (Photo courtesy of Janet R. Nepales/HFPA)

Speaking of boxing, can he talk about his friendship with Manny Pacquiao since he narrated one of his documentaries?

Liev confessed, “Okay, I have to be honest. I am not really that friendly with Manny. We’ve sat together a couple of times at fights and we’ve talked or I’ve talked and he’d kind of nodded politely and we met once with Freddie Roach. I just have a deep admiration for him as a fighter and as a human being. I just think he’s a remarkable guy and what he’s accomplished as a professional fighter deserves recognition as one of the greatest of all time.”

So, what is it about boxing that fascinates him, we asked. “It’s the drama,” he answered. “It is that one-on-one combat. But tennis I also like a lot. It’s the same thing. Strategy, player against player. It’s 80% psychological and that fascinates me and when I started to box myself, I think, initially, it was something about fear, about overcoming fear, about understanding fear and about understanding violence.”

“Our reactive nature that I’ve always been interested in stuff like that. I’ve always been interested in behavior and there’s something about flow. It’s the idea of being non-reactive. It started with fencing. I was a pretty high ranked competitive fencer and one of the things about fencing was about just slowing things down, slowing your reaction time down, slowing everything down so that there’s a rule in fencing that your strike has to come off of a riposte so once someone lunges you have to touch their blade before you can attack. “

Celebrating a milestone on Oct. 4 when he turns 50 years old, Liev said, “I will be half a century old. It’s remarkable. You got to remember to be grateful and I hope to spend it around my family and people who I love and who are happy that I’ve made it to that.”

Asked how he gets through broken moments in his life, Liev answered, “We all go through experiences that feel fractured or difficult. That’s why shows like ‘Ray Donovan’ appeal to people because they do tap into that experience of adversity and how we handle adversity. And Ray handles it in a very specific and volatile way that many of us can relate to.

“I am not really that volatile. You just have to remember what’s important and for me, it’s our kids and that takes priority and that creates clarity when sometimes there isn’t. I am grateful for that singularity because things are confusing and relationships are really difficult and careers on the scale of Naomi’s and mine are very complicated. So I’m glad that we had something that is not complicated which is children.”

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