John Corbett feels unfulfilled as an actor, wishes he could write instead

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John Corbett has had a steady career many of the 98% non-working actors dream of, from Northern Exposure to all three My Big Fat Greek Weddings, and significant arcs on United States of Tara, Parenthood, and all eleventy billion iterations of Sex and the City/And Just Like That. But he’s not fulfilled! It’s more nuanced than that. He was just on the Fly on the Wall with Dana Carvey and David Spade podcast, and it seems John, who’s in his sixties now, feels he made a mistake in not being more involved on the other side of the camera, like writing or producing. He sees what Emma (Emily) Stone is doing and thinks, “That could’ve been me!” I’m grossly paraphrasing that last bit, here’s what he actually said:

John Corbett would have done things differently in his career looking back.

The actor, 63, said it’s been “unfulfilling” being a TV actor and that he chose the “wrong” career path in a recent interview on the Fly on the Wall with Dana Carvey and David Spade podcast.

“Look, I’m in the fourth quarter of the football game now, in life and in showbiz. It’s just a fact. So I can reveal now I picked the f–king wrong thing to do with my life,” Corbett said.

“I’ve made a lot of money. I live in a beautiful home. People come to me at every restaurant I go in. I’m a friend of the world,” the actor continued. “But as far as a fulfilling creative work life, I didn’t write one f–king line. I didn’t write one joke to make people laugh. So it’s been unfulfilling on that level.”

Corbett mentioned Emma Stone as someone he admires as an actor who is also involved in the creative process of putting a project together, after producing the films Poor Things and Kinds of Kindness, in collaboration with director Yorgos Lanthimos.

“I’m not collaborating with the writers,” Corbett explained. “… Have you ever sat in a waiting room of a doctor’s office for like an hour and been like, ‘What the f–k?’ For me, that’s what making a movie is like, because I’m not part of any creative process.”

“I’m not a movie actor … I’m really a television actor and so that has to move quick and that guy’s got to make a million decisions. And we’re not shucking and jiving and going out for wine after,” he added. “And so I’m just at this point in my life … if something seems really, really fun, I’ll say yes.”

[From People]

All is not lost! He could still write something, or start a production company. John has options here! He says he’s in the fourth quarter of his sportsball metaphor for life; a lot can happen then. To be literal with the football: the KC Chiefs pulled off their win this year in overtime, at that game that happens on the same day as the Puppy Bowl.

On the other hand, if all this is really a veiled comment to the Sex and the City writers for their beating a dead horse, resuscitating it with half-assed magic, only to beat the poor beast all over again with the tortured Carrie/Aidan storyline — then he’s 1,000% on point there and has my sympathies.

Photos credit: Janet Mayer/ Images, BauerGriffin/ Images, JPI Studios / Avalon, Getty

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27 Responses to “John Corbett feels unfulfilled as an actor, wishes he could write instead”

  1. Mil says:

    Well, as you said, write. He’s not old, what’s the hold up?

  2. Grant says:

    God, he was so bad on And Just Like That. Maybe it’s not his fault entirely, but his storyline is so cringe and actually made me feel bad for Carrie.

  3. The Robinson Group says:

    Him and Bo Derek, make a nice looking couple.

  4. Get Real says:

    I’d feel unfulfilled too if I were starring in that AJLT shite

  5. Flower says:

    TBF he has done very well from two ICONIC roles. I really liked the MBFGW films.

  6. Nibbi says:

    Dude has always been sexy as hell and I saw this header pic and was like welp, he’s still, STILL got it, and then I remembered he’s with Bo Derek and was like damn, SHE’S still got it even more.

    I feel like he needs to suck it up and not use his age as a barrier. He’s well-placed and well-known, surely he could figure something out on terms of creative project.

  7. Ameerah M says:

    So…basically he’s a working actor. Because MOST working actors don’t get to be part of the creative process – at least when it comes to TV and films. It’s literally just a job: you audition, get hired, learn your lines, show up, and then go home. Acting isn’t all that glamorous UNLESS you’re famous. And even then…it’s still not that glamorous lol.

    • Mika says:

      Yeah. It is silly to expect that you get to do something you are not trained for. That’s like being in marketing and sulking about not being able to create the product. It’s not your job!

  8. Amy Bee says:

    Makes you wonder why he agreed to go back to AJLT if he feels this way?

    • Flower says:

      All about the Benjamin’s – he needs to pay the bills, but the goal is always to have a writing credit because that’s what gets you Seinfeld levels of wealth.

      • Ameerah M says:

        Hmmm…not really. A producing credit is what gives you Seinfeld wealth. Larry David was co-creator of Seinfeld. That is what gave him that level of wealth. Not writing. Writers don’t actually make that much money – unless they also have a producing credit.

      • Mika says:

        If you really want Seinfeld wealth from writing, the best way to do it is to go back in time to the 90s, when TV was making money.

    • Thinking says:

      Money. I’d take the money. At some point, we all do.

  9. frankly says:

    If you’re still saying “shucking and jiving,” then maybe you should stay away from writing. Your time has passed.

    • AMB says:

      Interesting point. As a 61-year-old myself I don’t consider life anywhere near over, and if he’d been curious, as a working actor he’s had a million opportunities to explore other aspects of the business.

      So, sadly, I suspect he may just be kind of … lazy. Using that particular idiom reinforces that impression.

      • Agreatreckoning says:

        Yea. Agree. It’s almost as if he’s explaining away his failure to launch as a writer. If he had a passionate for it, he would do it.imo Enjoy him as an actor. Nothing is stopping him (that I’m aware of) from being a writer/producer/whatever. It seems like the only thing stopping him from actual writing, is, himself.

  10. AmyB says:

    Loved John Corbett in United States of Tara, Northern Exposure in the original SATC series (sorry but anything past that is just not in the same ballpark and don’t get me started on how BAD And Just Like That is lol). But as others here have suggested, if he really feels this way, why the hell did he agree to return as Aidan??? I always felt that Carrie should have wound up with Aidan, in the first series, but looking back, she did not deserve him and she and Big deserved each other. Looking back from a current perspective and not being the 20-something girl I was watching SATC in its first run on HBO, her character is so God damn awful.

  11. NJGR says:

    Unlike some of us, he has enough money to retire someday. No sympathy.

  12. Thinking says:

    He looks good still.

    I think he was just stating facts haha. After a certain point in the career process, people are pretty blunt. Most of us want to be fulfilled creatively, but we then … don’t… when we realize stability and money are better haha.

    I wouldn’t want to claim I was part of the creative process for some of Sarah Jessica Parker’s shows either. Seems safer to say I did it for the money haha.

  13. Eurydice says:

    Yeah, one starts reflecting when one reaches a certain age. Further reflection might show that the reason he didn’t become a writer or a producer is because he didn’t want to at the time. But, if he wants to now, he’s got the connections and can give it a try.

  14. Janice Hill says:

    My first thought was the same as everyone else’s: What are you waiting for? But I did notice that the first thing he does is express gratitude for what he has in his life as the result of his acting career. Thank goodness for that. I can still have my secret crush on him. Wait! Did I just say it was a secret?

  15. Thinking says:

    He probably treats acting as simply a job. There seems to be some expectation that if you are in the arts that you have to treat it as this wondrous, glorious thing. But I wouldn’t be surprised if some actors detach or treat acting in the same way accountants or bankers treat their professions. Hugh Grant comes to mind when I think of someone treating acting as simply a job. Maybe that’s how they stay sane.

    • Ameerah M says:

      MOST actors treat it like a job. Because that’s what it is. I was a working actor for about 10 years. People have this idea that all actors view it as this lofty thing. When really that only applies to about 10-15% of the work you get to do. Most actors are doing commercials, guest spots, walks-ons, etc. You get hired, you show up, do the lines and go home. Most actors don’t get the chance to do really creative works – though everyone is pursuing that. John’s career has been fairly accurate in regards to what acting looks like for the average working actor- he has just been more successful in regards to the project he’s been hired for.

  16. read the room gurl says:

    I mean, same. I don’t feel fulfilled either, but really, who does? The world is f-cked up and no one’s doing what they want except for oil billionaires I guess.

    It’s a bit tone deaf to make this kind of comment with the economy as it is tho.

  17. Agreatreckoning says:

    I’m now distracted by the visual of Glen Powell being a love child between Alan Ruck & John Corbett. Which I know isn’t true. At all.

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