Q&A: Peter Dinklage

Actors usually wear a fake hunch and affect a limp to play Richard III. At New York's Public Theater this week, Shakespeare's evil king gets a makeover--he'll be played by a dwarf, 4-foot-6 Peter Dinklage ("The Station Agent"). He talked to NEWSWEEK's Marc Peyser.

How long did it take you to learn to say "Now is the winter of our discontent" without totally cracking up?

I love saying that line! I was walking downtown today and a gentleman passed me on his bike and shouted, "Now is the winter of our discontent!" at me. Only in New York.

It's cool that you're cast as Richard, but doesn't playing one of the most famous deformed guys in literature send a bad message about dwarfs?

I have a sense of humor about who I am. I wanted to see if I could bring my own physical difference to the role and personalize it. Richard uses his deformity to garner cheap sympathy, so he can get away with things. It's like a person in a wheelchair who can go to a store and shoplift because people look the other way.

That's good to hear.

We all use what we have to our advantage. I'm guilty of using my size for my career. If I wasn't four and a half feet tall, would I be getting the roles I'm getting?

I see you just signed to do a movie with Vin Diesel. I assume this isn't going to be Shakespeare.

It's a Sidney Lumet movie. It's an honor to work with someone like that.

You and Vin are always turning up on those "most sexy" lists. Will you be competing for women?


In other words, he can't compete with you?

In other words, I find that stuff silly.

C'mon, you weren't at all flattered?

When People magazine called, I sort of laughed and said, are you serious? I pretended I wasn't interested in it.

Still, it can't hurt with the ladies.

I'm not sure if I'd be interested in somebody who is interested in something like that.

Well, at Least He Stymied the Paparazzi

We knew Tiger's mind was on something besides golf when he slipped to No. 3 in the rankings. Now we know what. Last Tuesday the inscrutable Woods outsmarted the paparazzi and wed his Swedish sweetheart, former nanny Elin Nordegren, 24, in a secret $2 million ceremony at a Barbados golf resort. "This is where his focus has been for a while," explained one of the 125 guests.

Woods went to great lengths to keep a lid on the nuptials. His camp even floated stories to the tabloids that the engagement was off. Invitees were told the ceremony would take place somewhere in the Caribbean, but weren't given the exact location; Woods had them all flown in on private jets. In the end, the 28-year-old golfer got the ceremony he wanted. After a fireworks finale--or semi- finale--the couple spent the wedding night on their yacht, named, appropriately, Privacy.

Can He Really Be Sirius?

Radio gave birth to shock jock Howard Stern--and now he's vowed to destroy it. Tired of being censored by the FCC, the "King of All Media" announced this week that when his contract with Viacom-owned Infinity Radio expires in 2006, he'll go to Sirius Satellite Radio, a subscription service that has agreed to pay him and his show $500 milllion for five years of chatter. Only a small fraction of his 10 million listeners are expected to follow him to what is, in essence, the cable TV of radio. But Stern told fans on Wednesday that his move "marks the death of AM and FM radio... I guarantee it." And fans planning to pony up the $12.95 Sirius subscription fee shouldn't expect to be free of the commercials that now run in long blocks between Stern's NC-17 banter with porn stars and demicelebrities.

Taking The Glove Off

In his new video, "Just Lose It," Eminem impersonates Michael Jackson as kids jump on a bed. Word from Jacko's camp is that such loyal friends as Quincy Jones will protest this shady stunt.