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Donal Logue juggles filming in 3 countries, 3 centuries

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By Luaine Lee
McClatchy-Tribune News Sevice
  • Logue as Lee Toric in "Sons of Anarchy."

    Prashant Gupta / FX

    Logue as Lee Toric in "Sons of Anarchy."

  • Logue plays King Horik in "Vikings."

    History Channel

    Logue plays King Horik in "Vikings."

  • Donal Logue is Gen. Donovan in"Copper."

    SteveWilkie / BBC America

    Donal Logue is Gen. Donovan in"Copper."

Though actor Donal Logue is working on three TV shows simultaneously, set in three different centuries, filmed in three different countries, he doesn't depend on his acting career.
The Canada-born actor has had his share of feckless days, but now he's wisely diversified. "I have a trucking company and have a hardwood company out of Oregon.
"Last year I delivered loads to L.A. in an 18-wheeler, sold my first novel, did three TV shows.
"I tell my kids (boys, 12 and 14) you can do whatever you want. When the front door's closed on you, you go around the back, break a window, and you get in if you have to."
Logue, who spent seven years as the young dad on "Grounded for Life," is playing the Boss Tweed-like character on BBC America's "Copper," which is filmed in Toronto and began its second season Sunday night.
Of Irish descent, he identifies strongly with the role. "When the Irish showed up they were the most wretched people that anyone had seen because at that time in history, during the famine they were dying by the millions," said Logue, who was a history major at Harvard.
"They showed up in the U.S. so destitute they were the Cambodian refugees of the mid-19th century. And they were Catholics in a world controlled by Protestants, so there was a lot of anti-papist feeling.
"Now 40 million to 50 million Americans identify with being Irish, but at the time it was more of a scourge than a badge of honor.
"What I get to play is the guy in this narrative fiction who says, 'It's our time. It starts now.'"
Logue also co-stars in "Sons of Anarchy," which is filmed in L.A., and in "The Vikings," which shoots in Dublin. While he says he's grateful for the opportunity, he understands it could all end tomorrow.
"Seventy-two hours in any direction can change your life," he said.
"I've been sober a long time. I quit drinking 22 years ago and I'm always thinking you can always make a weird decision in life ... It's just how to beak ruts."
He has a history of breaking ruts. The biggest came when he was 25 and found himself drifting. "I was sitting in El Centro, doing drugs, listening to heavy metal on this boom box -- a mobile home with lawn furniture in it, and someone said, 'Hey, bro, somebody said you went to Harvard.' I said, 'Yeah, I did.'
"I realized I was supposed to be the guy who left this town on the Mexican border. ...
"So I said enough is enough. I'm done with it. That was May of 1991 and it changed my life."
Logue, now 47, said he was working as a janitor in L.A. "Then of course, the universe opens," he said, "and someone says, 'You should talk to this casting director.'
"She says, 'We're doing this movie "Sneakers" and having a tough time casting this one part of a mathematician.'
"I went in and just nailed it. You get a few windows of opportunity -- just recognize them."
Story tags » Television

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