Liev Schreiber: Hard, 'Adventurous' Childhood Prepared Him for Acting

"Ray Donovan" star tells Peter Travers about growing up in a squat in New York City's Lower East Sid
3:02 | 08/29/13

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Transcript for Liev Schreiber: Hard, 'Adventurous' Childhood Prepared Him for Acting
Well you grew up your child of divorce right so -- talking about parenting and about and talking about cars but. Your mother and father was -- you about five when I was four and when they first. And you living with your mom basically in a squat on the lower east. -- this -- What do you feel comfortable about describing that was a different time just -- feel safe in the world to me. Well it was a different time he's been you know people let their kids walk out on the street. Back then even little kids it's hard to imagine that in. In the early seventies. People just didn't think the way they do now. My mom was very bohemian. Person didn't really value. Worldly things that much so squats were kind of romantic adventures that are movement. She drove a -- so I was alone a lot during the day in. You know when people like you bring it up I think -- -- had a scary childhood but it. I always think ahead of -- adventures wonderful child. We'll show -- to toughen you -- doing its. Yeah you know that's between my therapist in me -- yes yeah I'm that person okay permanent just how -- indulge yeah. I know that I have issues around that -- But I think the thing. That. That I am most grateful for about it. Was I think if I had such an identity crisis growing up as a child that it made me a wonderful candidate for the theater. You mean massive schizophrenic that's right yes. Think we've Massachusetts it is such a gift for an actor to have that to do us. But where you spend a lot of time watching when you're alone -- I think that's what I do. I think I spent the tremendous amount of time watching not to -- -- number -- watch brands. During -- me when I was small living in -- -- We know that I stay in the house that sat in the window box and I watched -- watched -- people on the street I watch people play but you watch here you know there was -- -- -- from our house. Who spent hours just looking. And when you do that enough you start to feel outside. Rather than inside which is something that I think is common to a lot of actors. And there is the the other is the assumption about -- is that they want to be up on a pedestal that they want everyone to look at them pay attention. But I think it's a much subtler. Thing going what they really want they want to be inside. They want to be like everyone else. The problem this is because they spend so much time observing every one else -- practicing being everyone else. It tends to put them someplace. Other than all of the people you -- It doesn't put you in a bubble that puts him in Bosnia that.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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