PBS Newshour: Jeff Daniels shows his folk-country roots with original song

Posted by Colleen Murray on February 4, 2016 News | Press | Videos | No comments

PBS Newshour
BY MARY JO BROOKS  November 4, 2015 at 1:56 PM EST

Jeff Daniels performs his original song “Wicked World” at the Acorn Theatre in Three Oaks, Michigan on Oct. 23. Video shot by Reid Riddell and edited by Steve Mort.

Jeff Daniels has appeared in more than 50 Hollywood movies that range in scope from Woody Allen’s “The Purple Rose of Cairo” to “Dumb & Dumber” with Jim Carrey. He starred in the Tony Award-winning play “Gods of Carnage” and won an Emmy for his portrayal of a news anchor in the HBO series “The Newsroom.”

But many people don’t know that Daniels is also a prolific songwriter. He started writing songs just after college when he moved to New York and told the NewsHour that music kept him sane during all the craziness of looking for acting gigs.

Even now, songwriting still keeps him balanced, he said. “Jim Carrey and I talked about this on the set of ‘Dumb and Dumber’ — he sculpts and paints to stay sane. I write,” he said. “We’re like sharks: we gotta keep moving, we gotta keep creating.”

The other thing that Daniels said keeps him balanced: his deep Midwestern roots. Born and raised in Chelsea, Michigan — a rural town of 5,000 people an hour west of Detroit — Daniels and his wife Kathleen made a decision early in his career to forego a life in Los Angeles or New York. Instead, they raised three children in a lakefront home just outside Chelsea.

For more on Jeff Daniels, watch the PBS NewsHour tonight. 


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