Looking back on his career, Mandy Patinkin says he's not proud that he was once a very spoiled actor who thought he needed more fame.
In a recent New York Times Magazine profile, the Homeland star talks about some of his past career regrets, including how he was fired from Mike Nichols' '86 flick Heartburn and why , on his first starring television gig, he wouldn't listen to his bosses.
"I struggled with letting in other people's opinions," he says. "During Chicago Hope, I never let directors talk to me, because I was so spoiled. I started off with people like Milos Forman, Sidney Lumet, James Lapine, unbelievably gifted people. So there I was saying, 'Don't talk to me, I don't want your opinion.' I behaved abominably. I don't care if my work was good or if I got an award for it. I'm not proud of how I was then, and it pained me."
After exiting the CBS medical drama, Patinkin later signed onto Criminal Minds playing BAU Special Agent Jason Gideon. His departure from the show after Season 2 over creative differences made headlines at the time and again last year, when the actor told the New York Times that the show was "the biggest public mistake" he ever made.
In the new interview, Patinkin suggests he shouldn't have taken the role in the first place. "It wasn't the right fit. I made a choice I didn't want to make. I pushed myself, thinking I needed more fame, more economic security," he said. "When Criminal Minds came along, I had just survived the discovery that I had prostate cancer, so I guess I had that vulnerability. I'll never forget sitting on the bed in my cousin's house in L.A. reading the first script, and I schmoozed myself, I brainwashed myself, thinking, It won't be like that as it goes along. I didn't listen to any piece of myself, and I paid the price. I never expected to work in television again."
Of course, Patinkin did work again, landing the Emmy-nominated role of Saul Berenson, theMiddle East Division Chief of the CIA on Homeland, which returns for its third season onSept. 29 .
"One of the greatest gifts that Homeland has given me is it's affirming on a daily basis," he says. "I'm always with the script, walking around with this stuff 24/7, so my head's in a good place. The role is about listening, and when you don't listen to yourself, you get in trouble."