'It's a background I understand': Paul Giamatti used academic upbringing to prepare for The Holdovers

Paul Giamatti used his family's teaching background to help bring his curmudgeonly character to life in 'The Holdovers'.



Paul Giamatti comes from an academic family
Paul Giamatti comes from an academic family

Paul Giamatti drew on his academic upbringing for his role in 'The Holdovers'.

The 56-year-old star plays grumpy history teacher Paul Hunham in the 1970s-set film and he used his family background in the profession to help him bring the character to life.

Paul told Parade magazine: "My father was a professor and President of Yale University.

"My mother was a teacher and my grandparents were all teachers. Everyone in my family is a teacher or academic so it's a background I understand."

Giamatti attended elite schools like the students in the movie and used his experiences as preparation for the part.

The 'Billions' actor said: "I didn't board there, but I went to a prep school like the one in the movie. Part of my preparation for the role was thinking about my past and people that I knew in the past.

"My character is a disciplinarian, a hard-ass; he's kind of a square guy. And he has lots of grotesque physical problems that put people off. He is not a beloved teacher."

Paul previously revealed that he considered going into academia before the sudden death of his father A. Bartlett Giamatti from a heart attack in 1989.

The 'Cinderella Man' star said: "I thought about going into an academic life. Though I don't think I would've been suited for it.

"It's because my dad died suddenly that I became an actor. His death threw everybody for a loop. I had just graduated. He died before I knew what I was going to do with my life."

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