Interviews

Interview With Hollywood Veteran Delroy Lindo

On the screen, in the pool, or even in the kitchen, he always gives a command performance.

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Delroy Lindo
Fred Hayes / ABC / Getty Images

In a recent episode of The Good Fight, attorney Adrian Boseman became the maître cuisinier of his cooking class when his magnificent rendition of a crème brûlée brought applause from his instructor—before he was subpoenaed, of course. In his home kitchen in Oakland, CA, however, veteran actor Delroy Lindo found the task of portraying a chef in front of his harshest critics—his own blood—to be his most challenging role.

“The first time my wife left town, my son was dreading having to eat my cooking,” recalls Lindo. The Tony-nominated actor eventually won him over with a finely seasoned fish, rice, and shallot preparation that he calls his signature dish. “Now his face doesn’t twist up when I’m going to be cooking for him. So I’m passable. I know my way around the kitchen.”

Tall, bald, and with his noticeable booming voice, Lindo has been one of Hollywood’s most recognizable supporting actors for decades, and is now enjoying TV success starring in the hit CBS all access show. At age 64, his appearance has changed very little since his acclaimed 1994 role in Crooklyn. He considers eliminating red meat his fountain of youth—and swimming.

Depending on time and schedule, Lindo will breaststroke, backstroke, and front crawl one to two miles a day, five days a week, keeping him strong both physically and mentally. “I’ve always felt that the thing that is in my control is the maintenance of my body—my physical and mental abilities,” Lindo says. “I am acutely aware that if I’ve had a good physical workout before I start working, then I absolutely feel sharper and more prepared to work.”

Born in England and a diehard Manchester United soccer fan, Lindo started off as a runner during his early acting days, working up to six-mile runs in Central Park till the wear and tear took its toll. “The knees are not what they used to be,” he says. His in-home training sessions in Oakland consist of cardio work on the elliptical, as well as what he calls “yoga-based exercises.” But it’s the pool, at his local YMCA or any location when traveling, where Lindo does his best work.

“I find it very Zen,” says the actor. “I know there’s a lot of people who find it boring to get in a pool and swim laps. I don’t. I find it rewarding.”

While some hit a heavy bag or even a happy hour to cope with a rough day at the office, Lindo hits the pool when it’s not going so well. Lindo, who received praise for his performances in Malcolm X, Get Shorty, Ransom, and The Cider House Rules, couldn’t quite recall off the top of his head the project he was working on many years ago. He does remember it was in New York City, that it wasn’t going so well, and he needed to let off some steam.

“It had been, to say the least, extremely challenging,” Lindo recalls. “After speaking with a friend, I went to the pool. It didn’t make everything right with the world, but it certainly had a healing effect where I could get up the next day and go back to work with less of the negative residue.”

The first season of The Good Fight is available for streaming at cbs.com/allaccess.

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