Henry Winkler & ‘DWTS’
July 4, 2011 by Post Team
Henry Winkler & ‘DWTS’, The actor also opens to THR about her new book, “I’ve never met an idiot on the river,” his passion for fly-fishing.
Thirty-eight years after he slipped on his leather jacket to play the Fonz, Henry Winkler remains one of the guys in the entertainment world. He has just finished shooting Here Comes the Boom with Kevin James in Boston, and the third season of Royal Pains U.S. begins June 29. Next month is for England to promote the release of Hank Zipzer latest novel, his series of young adults in a child with dyslexia. With a calendar, what Winkler does to relax? The boy in the city of New York goes fly-fishing in Montana.
Winkler writes about his passion for the life of fly-fishing in his new book I’ve never met an idiot on the river (Insight Editions, May 31). Memoirs of a hand, part travelogue, part meditation and overcoming adversity, and the book is illustrated with beautiful photographs of the wilderness of Montana Winkler. Winkler talks about how he became a passionate fly fisherman in his forties, how he helped win the confidence to start a second career as author and taught him about perseverance and patience.
Winkler told The Hollywood Reporter by telephone from Boston about the book, his new co-star in the Royal Pains and the way they would only be dancing with the stars, if Ron Howard agreed to be his partner.
THR: Photographs of the Montana wilderness in the book is fantastic. Hard to believe you’re an amateur.
Winkler: I’m so dyslexic that I’ve never changed a camera button. The only difference is the focal length – sometimes a close, medium or wide – and then sees what I have when I get home.
THR: One of the great things about the book is how it relates to their efforts to become a more skillful fly fisherman in the fight against dyslexia, which were not diagnosed until they were 31. I wondered if the repetition and rhythm of fly-fishing is especially attractive for a person with dyslexia.
Winkler: That’s interesting. I never thought of that before. I like to think of it as a challenge, not a disability. The repetition of the same, the sound of water, it seems to be totally exhausting. Anything that bothers him is completely washed from his body. I see fly-fishing, a washing machine for your brain. My technique is still ugly as sin. But somehow get the fish.
THR: It’s almost as well known for raising awareness of dyslexia as they are for performance.
Winkler: Acting has been my dream since I was seven. It makes me very happy. I love my job. That L-o-v-e. Outside of my children, I am most proud of is the books [series Hank Zipzer]. I never thought it would be a writer all my life. You tell a child that is loose, etc, is not up to their potential, says it long enough and often enough it is like a boy who calls himself [Winkler writes that is how people felt interprets his dyslexia as a] child.
THR: But we learn in the book how fly-fishing has given you confidence.
Winkler: It’s true. The first time I was asked to write books that not even consider the idea. I told Alan Berger [Winkler CAA agent] who made the suggestion to me there is no way I could never write a book. Two years later made the same suggestion and had improved in the river and I said yes. I will try this. I’ve written 17 novels with my partner Lin Oliver. We just handed in the first novel of a new series from Scholastic [about a bullied boy who planned for the fall] – which is 18 – and then my first adult book is this book for 19.
THR: You’ve also reinvented himself as an actor; it can be hard to do when you’ve played an iconic character like the Fonz. Did you ever imagine you’d be able to do that when he finished the happy days?
Winkler: No, I did not. It is true I was in a TV show that was popular for a long time and then go to an audition and people say, “You’re a great actor. You’re the Fonz” For 10 years I had to bob and weave to know what was going to do. I can understand how people can fall into the edge of the earth when a popular TV shows. How disheartening it is. Two words to live your life: persistence and gratitude.
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