Well, you have to come back. Let’s talk a little bit of “The Playboy Club.” Had a good time on that show?
It was great. I think I got the job like two days before “Boss” finished. And it's really, really fun character to play. I sort of became obsessed with the history of the Chicago outfit … I loved the opportunity to play in that world again. It's unfortunate what happened to “The Playboy Club.” I think that the show was much better than it received.
The other unfortunate thing is that we shot seven episodes and I think they only aired three. And each of them seemed to get better and better and really find itself. I think the problems was that so many people had a different opinion about what the show was about or could be about.
There was so much talent on that show and we worked so hard. And that's the nature of the beast. I mean, the truth of the matter is that most shows don't make it. And the fact that we even got that far it should be considered a success. It's unfortunate. I’ll tell you what, it makes me very happy to be on cable right now because the network Starz really believes in “Boss.”
How about a few kinda personal questions? Is it true that when you were 16 you quit school and ran off to the circus?
Well, I didn't quit school, but I skipped a lot of days, like 75 days. The circus was near my school. And my school was so enormous. I think we had 3,600 kids in the school. And I could just walk off campus. And I fell for a girl in the circus.
So you weren't in the circus? You just went and hung out with your girl?
I was just in love—obsessed with—this woman in the circus.
I also read and I didn't know this that you appeared in “On Golden Pond,” too? Your first job?
It's so funny that that's on the credits. I'll get letters from people and they'll be like, “Oh you were great in ‘On Golden Pond.’”
It’s bullshit. My mom, at the time, was agreeing just to do films during the summer where the family could be together and so we spent the summer on that lake with my grandfather and with the whole family. And it was absolutely wonderful.
And it just so happened that the director said, “Hey Troy will you sit down there and hold a fishing rod?” because the pier looked empty. In hindsight, I think I might have been the first time my grandfather ever tested me. He drove the boat almost directly at me and then swerved at the last second to see, perhaps, if I would respond, ... like the little boy of the pier would yank his legs or flinch, but I was so nervous because the director told me to just sit still that I didn't move at all. I failed the acting test.
So that was just considered a family vacation during the making of a movie and I happened to be there and they asked me to sit down.
Did you have aspirations to go into acting at first?
No. My parents had a performing arts camp that I used to do, sort of Comedia Dell’arte type stuff. Where kids would write a play and then perform it. But there was no sort of career ambition toward it. However, I did perform in plays, but it just wasn't something that I really wanted. And then in college I ended up doing a play just looking for cheap credit. And in the process it reminded me of my youth and this camp. To a degree, it reminded me of the feeling I had with hanging out with the circus and so I moved to New York and went to theatre school. When I was in school, being on stage in New York I feel like it saved my life. It asked things of me that no one had ever asked of me and really gave me some focus in life. And I love the process now.