Keith Carradine, who broke out as the star of the President Lyndon B. Johnson-- teasing 1967 hippie musical Hair, grew up to earn an Oscar, an Emmy nomination and the job of President Conrad Dalton on the hit Madam Secretary talks to DC about the show that airs on AXN every Tuesday at 10 p.m., lessons learnt and more.
Q What was the biggest reason for you to agree to be a part of a female led, inspirational show like Madam Secretary?
Socially relevant mass entertainment that also reinforces gender equality? No brainer there.
Q What kind of research did you do to play this part?
I have relied on our writing and tech advisers to confirm the authenticity of our scripts. Beyond that, my task is to bring those parts of myself that apply to the playing of this character.
Q A lot has changed in American and world politics since the first episode of the show. How cautious is the team in projecting real life issues on-screen in Madam Secretary?
Caution is less a concern than accuracy in representing all sides of any issue the show addresses.
Q Most of your family is a part of the acting industry. Tell us about your biggest critic in the family and do you guys take advice from each other in choosing work?
My late brother David was the most honest assessor of one's work, although his love for us all probably prevented complete frankness. We tend to be each other's' biggest fans, anyway. Nothing gives us more joy than to applaud each other's' turns.
Q How have things changed for you over the years? The most important and relevant lesson learnt on this journey?
I used to have more trouble with rejection. Now I'd have to say that love is the only vein of precious metal worth mining for. If one has that the rest is gravy
Q The show is popular across the world, including in India. Have you visited our country? Your views on India and Indian content?
I have not yet been to India. I hope to one day. My view from afar is of a vast, culturally rich country that has given enormously to the world of art, literature, music and philosophy.
Q What is your most memorable moment from the show?
Probably Dalton's brain tumor and brush with mortality-challenging material but gratifying to play.