His familiar face might strike you and even send you back in time to his breakout performance in the famous 1990 film Ghost, where he played the villain who took Patrick Swayze away from his love, Demi Moore. It would be a shame to know Tony Goldwyn for just that role.
The acclaimed actor who has played some 60 parts (not including his theater work, which earned him an Obie Award), starred in his first movie in 1986 (Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI) and eventually went on to appear in several hit films, such as The Last Samurai, Tarzan, and Kiss the Girls, as well as top TV shows, including The Good Wife, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and the HBO miniseries From the Earth to the Moon.
Goldwyn is also an accomplished director who has completed 14 projects—two of which he produced—since his directorial debut in 1999 (A Walk on the Moon). He most recently finished directing and producing the feature film Betty Anne Waters, a legal drama starring Hilary Swank and Sam Rockwell due in theaters this fall. And to top it off, the 49-year-old just joined the cast of Broadway Theatre’s musical revival Promises, Promises, which will open this April.
When Goldwyn isn’t working on a TV, film, or theater project—a passion he may have inherited from his Hollywood lineage, which includes legendary producers Samuel Goldwyn and Samuel Goldwyn, Jr.—he loves being with his wife and kids at home, which is guarded by an heirloom sitting on his living room window sill. Read on to find out what it is and why it may have 40-year-old lipstick stains on it.
Tell us how you came to own this precious object.
“This Buddha head was in my mother’s house when I was growing up. She had inherited it from her great aunt. My attachment to this Buddha is not really spiritual, although she is definitely part of my spirit. I suppose she is actually a ‘he,’ but I always thought of her as a feminine goddess.
She stood impassively in the dining room throughout my childhood and well into my adult years (until my mother passed away). The goddess was an almost sentient presence in our home. My brother and I used to play games with her, putting my Mom’s make-up on her and dressing her up in funny clothes. A Buddha in drag. I bet there are probably still lipstick traces on her.”
How do you live with your heirloom?
“The head is in our living room at home. It sits in the bay window overlooking our front yard.”
Who in your life has most influenced your personal style and taste?
“I would say that my mother most influenced my personal aesthetic. She was a painter and came from a literary family in New York. Her taste was very eclectic yet classic and elegant. Most of the art and furniture in our home growing up was very personal—not simply decorative. Things were functional yet each item had a story, be it a chair or a drawing on the wall.”
[Fill in the blank] Whenever I look at __“my children”___I can’t help but smile.
“They just make me laugh.”
What’s the best part of your day?
“This would be a toss-up between going to work (where I can’t believe I get paid to do what I do) and coming home after (where I feel a deep sense of belonging).”
What was the most memorable gift you’ve ever given or received?
“When my wife and I had been dating for about a year, I bought her a necklace of freshwater black pearls. I was still in college and it seemed not only extravagant but a huge statement about our potential future together.”
What was your last purchase that you believe (or hope) will mean something to you 10 years from now?
“I bought my wife a painting for her birthday. This is how we buy art. Not for any estimated value but because we believe we will always want to look at it, particularly if it’s associated with a specific point in our lives.”
Tell us whose heirloom you’d like to read about next below.