It's always very strange to see actors out of costume, dropping character, and sitting in front of you for a Q&A. This is especially true of an actor like Ed Harris, who has such a distinctive voice and presence that it's pretty odd to see him begging Kleenex from the audience so he can remove the fingerprints off his latest award. The man who seems so cool and collected in front of the camera (think of A History of Violence, Nixon, Gone Baby Gone, or any film where he's been unflappably tough) admitted that he lacked social skills, and was dreading the dinner to follow because he never knows what to say.
Well, for not knowing what to say, he still managed to be a very entertaining presence for an hour. When asked when he realized he was "pretty good" at acting, he cited an Oklahoma City production of Camelot which had him playing King Arthur. He had no memory of the performance, but has overwhelming memories of the "roar of sound" that occurred at the end. "You spend your whole life trying to get back to that," he admitted. But thanks to that enthusiastic crowd, he knew he was in for the long haul, and couldn't go back. Harris joked about how unlikely his career had been, since "I think my high school said I should be a forest ranger. And that'd be fun. I don't know how you go about becoming one."