He's a comedian who plays a tough guy firefighter on FX's Rescue Me, but Denis Leary is more than fun and flames. The actor let Oprah.com's Screening Room in on some of his favorite things.
Q: Where's your favorite place to travel with the family?
A: We go to lots of places together whenever we can—because with teenagers it's hard to agree on a place. But Ireland, that's where my parents are from, and my kids have been over many, many times. So they've grown up with an idea of their American cousins and their Irish cousins.
Q: What are your favorite cities to do stand-up?
A: The best comedy audiences in the country and this is tried and true, I'm not just saying it, in my opinion are Boston, Atlanta, and Chicago.
Atlanta is known amongst comedians as one of the places where audiences just laugh their asses off. Same thing in Chicago: they come to laugh their asses off, same thing in Boston. ... I don't know what it is. I think those towns are full of people who love to laugh.
Q: What's playing on your iPod?
A: After working on Rescue Me Friday night, I drove down to (Atlantic City) and I picked the music I was going to listen to ... it's my summer tape because I thought I was going to get in the spring/summer type of mood, so it was really corny. It was Rolling Stones, The Carrs, Tom Petty, but this morning I downloaded a new album by the Decemberists. I like them. ... There's a new album called Willie Nelson, Naked Willie that is NOT on my iPod. I like Willie Nelson, but I sampled it on iTunes and I was like, nah, I think I like Willie with his clothes on.
Q: What are some of your favorite songs from Rescue Me?
A: The last two songs for the Rescue Me finale episodes, the last two episodes. One of them is called "Grounds for Divorce," which is a great song by a band called the Elbow. The other is a song called "Puppy Toy," which is a song by Tricky, who is one of my favorite artists. He's considered a hip-hop artist, but I just think he's so cinematic; we've used his songs before on the show, so I listened to those this morning as well.
Q: This might not be a "favorite thing," but what's the best advice you've ever given your kids?
A: My wife and I just try to tell them like, "Put on your boots," "Wear your jacket". But, never drive drunk. I can't say that often enough to my kids. Everyone's got skeletons in their closet, and I've got a million in mine, believe me. I tested the envelope; I pushed it. Whenever somebody in authority told me not to do something, I did it just to find out why they said not to do it. But I never drove drunk. I never drove even after two sips of beer. It's just one of those things I grew up with. To us, that's one of the five important things you can say to them, especially as teenagers. You know don't get in a car with anybody who's had a drink, and don't get in a car yourself if you've had anything to drink. That's just a staple.
Denis Leary talks about Rescue Me
Printed from Oprah.com on Monday, March 10, 2014
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