Peter Gerety interview: ‘Working Man’
“I love being a character actor,” admits Peter Gerety about the label often given to veteran actors known for a variety of smaller, scene-stealing roles.
Gerety, who turned 80 this year, has featured on stage and screen in various lead, supporting and recurring roles since he was just 13 years old. “I love it, love it, love it,” he says. “All my life, I’ve never been more proud than when people call me a character actor.” Watch our exclusive video interview with Gerety above.
In “Working Man,” Gerety stars as Allery Parkes, a factory worker in a small Rust Belt town, who defiantly shows up at work every day after the plant is closed. The film co-stars two-time Oscar nominee Talia Shire (“The Godfather, Part II” and “Rocky”) as Allery’s devoted wife Iola and Billy Brown (“How To Get Away With Murder”) as Walter, a passionate former co-worker who befriends Allery.
Reviews have been positive for “Working Man,” scoring a 73 at Metacritic and certified fresh with an impressive 93% at Rotten Tomatoes. The movie has been praised for first-time writer/director Robert Jury‘s moving screenplay and direction, as it paints a compelling picture of a man finding a sense of purpose amidst the socio-economic despair lingering in his Rust Belt town as well as his own personal grief and loss that is stoically bubbling beneath the surface.
Gerety relished the challenge of portraying Allery’s emotional vulnerability in a predominantly non-verbal way, because during much of the first half of the film, his character barely utters a word. “When you see my character Allery in the very first 40 minutes of the movie practically, I’m basically just walking and there’s no dialogue and I’m not saying anything and I’m not revealing anything,” he says, “and you think, OK this is a depressed man, this is a man who’s suffering from guilt, from grief perhaps.”