Desktop Icons: An Interview With John Lithgow

Becoming an icon doesn’t happen overnight. It takes perseverance and drive. And knowing how you work best.

Creative connections and relationships inspire and fuel my own work, and they’re one of the key reasons I thrive in New York City. I interviewed a variety of creative friends about how they work – from what time of day they’re most productive to what are their biggest distractions and inspirations.

– Barry Goralnick

John Lithgow

Actor/Writer

Barry Goralnick: How do you know when you’ve hit on something good?
John Lithgow: Can’t sleep at night.

BG: Most productive time to work?
JL: If it involves writing anything, it’s got to happen before about 2:00 in the afternoon. But if it’s acting, nighttime. Acting requires a lot less thought.

BG: Music on or off?
JL: If I’m writing, I can’t even hear the traffic outside of the building. It’s got to be penumbral silence.

BG: Biggest distraction?
JL: My wife. Mostly for the good.


Reeves Desk Lamp (pictured here); Davy Desk Lamp (pictured above): Barry Goralnick for Currey & Co.

BG: Current inspiration?
JL: Oh, boy. Politics has got my mind on fire.

BG: What is your work uniform?
JL: Schlubby jeans, sneakers.

BG: What do we have to look forward to from you next?
JL: Two series: Perry Mason on HBO and The Old Man on FX, plus a sequel to my best selling satire book from this past fall, Dumpty: The Age of Trump in Verse.

Photography by Maura Sullivan.

Click here to read more from the Desktop Icons series.

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