is luck made or found? (peter dinkelage)

photo: peter hapak for the new york times

A few weeks ago, The New York Times Magazine ran Peter Dinklage Was Smart to Say No, a story about Peter Dinklage, the 4-foot-5 actor who, after years spent saying NO to playing stereotype elves and leprechauns – and consequently often living in poverty – won both a Golden Globe and an Emmy for his character  Tyrion Lannister in HBO’s Game of Thrones. A quote from Dan Kois’ interview with Dinkelage really made us think:

“I feel really lucky,” he said, then added, “although I hate that word — ‘lucky.’ ”

When I asked him why, he mulled it over for a moment, looking away. Then he focused back on me.

“It cheapens a lot of hard work,” he said. “Living in Brooklyn in an apartment without any heat and paying for dinner at the bodega with dimes — I don’t think I felt myself lucky back then. Doing plays for 50 bucks and trying to be true to myself as an” — here he put on a faux snooty voice — “artist and turning down commercials where they wanted a leprechaun. Saying I was lucky negates the hard work I put in and spits on that guy who’s freezing his ass off back in Brooklyn. So I won’t say I’m lucky. I’m fortunate enough to find or attract very talented people. For some reason I found them, and they found me.”

It made us wonder if there’s much difference between being ‘lucky’ and ‘fortunate’, and if our luck, or blessings, are made –  with fierce persistence –  or just….found…

…or if life is always a unpredictable mix of the two.

Peter Dinkelage in Elf

new line/courtesy everett collection

photo: Peter Hapak

Related posts: ‘replace fear of the unknown with curiosity’
gandhi: ‘our beliefs become our…destiny.
alexander calder’s breakthrough year
recession jokes
reminder: it’s not what you know…
it might be your lucky dayx

2 Responses to is luck made or found? (peter dinkelage)

  1. Jeanne Meyers 04.30.2012 at 9:33am #

    gamblers’ say “better players have better luck”

  2. jody 04.30.2012 at 7:30pm #

    just musing on it is rich enough…the mystery…perhaps less about the answer and more about the question…i do find his perspective compelling, thoughtful and heartfelt…thanks, always, thanks!

Leave A Comment

Feeling Inspired?

If the Improvised Life is a source of creativity, inspiration, ideas and change in your daily life, please consider becoming a Friend with Benefits. A little bit goes a long way towards helping us publish fresh AD-FREE content each day.