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Fred Melamed

We must agree to live in this world, with all that is unfair about it, without knowing why, if we wish to have a God in our lives.

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I haven't appeared on stage in quite a long time and I don't have any immediate plans to do so, but I'm always interested in going back.

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It probably goes without saying that I enjoy the potato pancakes, delicious hams and so forth that maddeningly turn up at this time of year.

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I am tolerably ignorant about Judaism, and much of what I do know about it seems hard to swallow, because it is so grounded in legalism, and adherence to rituals.

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I have two young children with autism. What could they have ever done to deserve that? What kind of a God allows the innocent to suffer? It's a mystery. Yet still, I believe in God.

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Well, because I have twin seven-year-old boys, I enjoy the gift giving stuff a great deal. We do both Hanukkah and Christmas, so it is a costly, though extremely pleasing proposition.

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I always think of the character as being me. But me wearing a 'coat', which may be a different way of speaking, moving or regarding other people. To me, acting is pretending, just like kids playing, only you pretend as if it were really, really real.

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I don't really know of the Jewish tradition of comedy, only the Jewish tradition of not keeping your mouth shut. Complaining about all that is hard, unfair or ridiculous in life-having strong feelings, and not being able to suppress them. That, to me, is Jewish.

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Though I acted in hundreds of productions, appeared at the Guthrie Theatre and on Broadway in Amadeus, I discovered in my thirties that I didn't really like stage acting. The presence of the audience, the eight shows a week and the possibility of a long run were all unnatural to me.

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Most of the time when I receive a script, it says something like 'Rosenberg is the fat, slovenly Mayor, who doesn't want the kids to use the skateboard park', or 'Stein is a pompous, rotund attorney, imposing to all.' It would be so freeing to get a script where my character is simply described as 'A Man'.

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