03-21-2011 08:13 AM CET - Arts & Culture

Henry Winkler: Dedicated Actor and Philanthropist

Press release from: TheCelebrityCafe

Henry Winkler, the actor best known for playing Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli in the television series “Happy Days”, continues his illustrious television and film career with the release of his next film Here Comes the Boom.

In a recent interview with TheCelebrityCafe.com, Winkler spoke about his inspiration to work with children’s charities and receiving an Order of the British Empire for his work.

“The thing about dyslexia is that you never outgrow it; you just learn to negotiate it. It’s been a part of my everyday life for some time now. The campaign started about a year ago at 10 Downing Street in England. And the campaign was really influenced by the book series that Lin Oliver and I write. It’s about a little boy, Hank Zipzer, who has dyslexia, and he’s a very imaginative boy. The series is also very popular in England, and I go on tour there for the books.”
Although Winkler has proven his talent acting in both films and television over the decades, he talks about maintaining his career to continue his success.

“June 30, 1970 was when I first started. I graduated from the Yale school of drama and I was part of a repertoire theater. I think that the key is to really prepare yourself and train. I used to have this image of being a forest ranger and my career was a baby pine tree and my job was to keep it grow for the next 75 years and keep it healthy and strong. You also have to believe that you’re relevant in the business because this belief in yourself is a key factor in a career.”

Showing dedication to his line of work, Winkler discusses how he got involved in Here Comes the Boom and the preparation he’s done for his role.

“It was very simple actually. I went to Adam Sandler’s star ceremony on Hollywood Boulevard. Adam asked me to say a few words and Kevin James said a few words. We then had a delicious buffet. That afternoon, Kevin James called me on the telephone and said, “Didn’t we have a good time?” And he asked me to be in his film and I agreed. It came as a major surprise. Since I’m not very musical, I’ve recently been taking guitar lessons and learning rap to prepare for the role.”

Winkler also discusses his experiences with the director, Frank Coraci, and provides commentary on the relationship between actors and directors.

“What Frank has is a wonderful sense of humor. He knows the technology, and he also has an overview, an understanding of human nature and a warmth. As a director you’re the parent, the tyrant, the disciplinarian, and the mediator. He sees each person on the set as an individual to bring the best out of everybody. My metaphor is: as a producer, it’s like holding sand in your arms. As a director, you try to get a hundred people and all that sand into one box. And as an actor, I get to play in the sand.”

When asked about plans after filming the next season of Royal Pains and the film Here Comes the Boom, Winkler talks about releasing a new novel he co-wrote and even a book of photographs he took during a fishing trip.
“I just want to continually have the great time that I’m having at the moment. Lin Oliver and I just finished a brand new novel for a brand new series. This spring, a book of photographs that I took while fly fishing for trout is coming out. “

Henry Winkler’s interview can be viewed at http://thecelebritycafe.com/feature/interview-henry-winkler-03-16-2011 .

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