Sept. 16, 2005: Alan Alda reveals how his mother's mental illness helped him develop an acting skill

Alda said he would study his mother's eyes to see if she was having a schizophrenic episode, and over time, he said, he learned to focus well on actors playing opposite him.
1:11 | 01/17/18

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Transcript for Sept. 16, 2005: Alan Alda reveals how his mother's mental illness helped him develop an acting skill
His mother was a paranoid schizophrenic. She thought people trying to kill which she thought I was trying to kill. One of the things you saying your book is I think he could have very you you have to admit to those feelings. You do you can hate people you love I mean that goes on all the time of course that you need to do a month here I did I did because I felt they didn't have a mother. In those days. It was this honored to have any kind of mental illness in the family. And she suffered from night we suffered from not being able to talk about it everybody and I never talked about it with my father. It never came up. But inside the young older. These difficult experiences. Helped him develop a skill that would soon become central to his Korea. In order to survive. I had to watch very carefully what was happening what. What was that look in her right wishing wishing telling me about something that was really taking place it was as a psychotic fantasy. And I think eventually that was helpful to me as an actor because. When at one stage. Focused on the other person.

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

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