Eric Bogosian returns to his roots in show, book

Published on NewsOK Modified: October 2, 2013 at 8:03 am •  Published: October 2, 2013
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NEW YORK (AP) — Eric Bogosian has been looking back on his old angry work lately and laughing.

The former monologist who used to speak about substance abuse and dangerous sex has been sifting through two decades of work for an upcoming book — "100 Monologues" — and a new one-man show, "100 (Monologues)," at the Labyrinth Theater Company.

"Man, I talk about drugs, A LOT. I talk about sex, A LOT. That was what my life was about, which it isn't now," he says. "I don't think a monologue show about being a dad is as interesting as being a guy being on the edge of some sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll kind of lifestyle."

Both the book and the show, which runs through Oct. 19, pull pieces from Bogosian's six solo shows between 1980 and 2000 — including "Pounding Nails in the Floor With My Forehead" and "Wake up and Smell the Coffee" — for which he received three Obie Awards.

"I didn't know what I was doing. And there was something good about that," he says of the monologue style that he now calls a "shoot-from-the-hip, intuitive, crazy thing."

The new show and collection of his monologues correspond with a special project involving many of his actor-friends, including Liev Schreiber, Bobby Cannavale, Vincent D'Onofrio, Jessica Hecht and Jeremy Sisto. All will help record 100 of Bogosian's monologues for online posting starting this winter.

Bogosian is perhaps best known for his 1987 play, "Talk Radio," in which he starred as a shock jock both onstage and in a film version directed by Oliver Stone. TV fans likely know him as a police captain on NBC's "Law & Order: Criminal Intent."

He's written a number of full-length plays — his "subUrbia" was made into a film — and appeared in several movies, including Robert Altman's "The Caine Mutiny Court Martial" and "Under Siege 2" opposite Steven Seagal. Bogosian also has written several books, as well as the upcoming "Nemesis," about a group of Armenian assassins who went after Turkish leaders after World War I.

Bogosian, 60, took a break from rehearsal to talk about the show, the fate of the monologue, how an angry young man became a cop on TV, and an odd fantasy that involves a vampire.

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AP: Why 100 monologues?

Bogosian: One day I was just curious as to how many monologues there were. I counted them up and it was like 99. If I threw in the guy from 'Talk Radio,' then I had 100 monologues. So I called up my publishers and I said, 'You know, there are a hundred of 'em. Why don't we put out a book?'

AP: You left the monologue around 2000. Why?

Bogosian: It's all about real shotgun attitude stuff. Monologues put out one idea really hard and fast. I sort of moved into other realms where I could explore something different, like a novel or a history book.

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