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Into It: Stephen Tobolowsky

The famed character actor and cast member of NBC's 'Heroes' tells us what he's reading, watching, and listening to.

... Reading?

I am reading Barnaby Rudge by Charles Dickens. The little back story behind it is that about 12 years ago, as I was sitting in my dressing room or my trailer doing a movie, I realized I was playing a lot of Tetris. So I vowed that I would only read George Eliot or Charles Dickens when I was working. Now I'm in the weird Dickens, the one people don't read. Jane Austen is next, and also Victor Hugo. When I'm at home, I read Science magazine, horse books, and books on male menopause [laughs]. I ride horses, so [I read books on] how to be a horseman.

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... Listening to?

I'm listening to Brahms and Chopin solo piano music because I play the piano and I'm always trying to find something simple enough to play that I like. On the rock 'n' roll spectrum, I'm listening to Nine Inch Nails. I'm really stuck on Fragile. Also, I am listening to – and, again, this is all over the spectrum – a lot of bluegrass. I'm listening to old country music – the purer the better. Bill Monroe, [Earl] Scruggs, Alison Krauss's modern version of the old stuff.

... Watching?

I just recently got a new collection of Truffaut movies that I love – like early Truffaut. And then, of course, a collection of Seinfeld and Monty Python that I kind of sprinkle in there. I've seen some terrible superhero movies. The genre stinks. If it's good, it sort of follows the old rules of heroism and it becomes a melodrama. Like X-Men 2 – pretty darn good. When I read all these comics as a child, I took them very, very seriously – which is why Batman Begins was so seriously good. It was taken as seriously as the 10 Commandments.