Award-winning actor Stanley Tucci -- best known for his roles in Big
Night, Kit Kittredge, and Julie & Julia -- will be
appearing in The Lovely Bones this fall. But at the top of his career,
Tucci experienced the devastating loss of his wife, Kate Tucci, to cancer.
WebMD the Magazine asked him about his life in acting, the loss of Kate,
and his thoughts on parenting, food, and staying healthy.
You'll soon be seen playing child murderer George Harvey in the film
adaptation of the best-selling novel The Lovely Bones. As a father of
three, was this a difficult character for you to try on?
It was the hardest thing I've ever done. I can't bear to watch anything
where kids are getting hurt. I was up in the air about [accepting the role],
but it's a beautiful story and I knew I was in good hands with [director] Peter
Jackson, who was so respectful of the material. It was a challenge, and I like
a challenge. I'm glad I did it.
Forget fiction and reel life, real life can be plenty dark (as Jaycee
Dugard's recent news story underscores). How do you keep your kids safe, and
how much do you tell them to instill a healthy sense of wariness, without
living in fear?
A little fear is OK. It's important for children to understand what they
should and should not be afraid of. I worked closely with an FBI guy [for
The Lovely Bones], and he would tell his own kid: "See that guy over
there?" He'd pick 'em out, and tell them exactly what to look for. But
ultimately, we all have to keep a close eye on our children.
Let's focus on the joys of fatherhood now: Describe your proudest
My proudest moment is when I actually get the school lunches packed in time!
I'd rather be a sous chef at Lutesse than pack those darn school lunches!
As your 50th birthday looms, would you swap places with a younger version
I'd like to be 30 again, but not mentally or emotionally -- just
Are you a health nut, in a health rut, or do you fall somewhere in
I believe in eating. I eat a lot. I drink wine. I love martinis. I
eat meat and fish and pasta … I also exercise six days a week. I run on the
treadmill, do sit-ups, and do yoga. So it's about striking a balance. You've
got to earn good food and good drink.
You've won two Golden Globe Awards, an Emmy, plus many other accolades.
Is acting therapeutic for you? And is the experience more cathartic on
On stage it's just more tiring! It's a different energy. I guess acting used
to be therapeutic for me when I was younger, but then you have kids, you gain
maturity, you see the world as a more complex place, even as you simplify your
own life … I don't require the same energy now to act; I guess I don't need to.
But I just love it.