'Smash's' Anjelica Huston on John Steinbeck playing Santa Claus and Marlon Brando's influence

anjelica-huston-jan-2012-gi.jpg Zap2it: You grew up around so many legends, who stands out for you?

Anjelica Huston: I grew up with a lot of interesting people like Carson McCullers and Arthur Miller and a lot of very interesting people who weren't necessarily Hollywood. There was a Japanese samurai who came over to Ireland (where her father lived in a castle in Ireland), and who, according to my father, was only allowed to cry three times in his life. It was extremely diverse. I met John Steinbeck. He was so kind and funny and sweet and affable and dear. I was 7 or 8 when he played Santa Claus for us. He used to write lovely letters. John Steinbeck used to sign his letters with a pigasus -- a pig with wings.

Zap2it : Who influenced you?

Anjelica Huston: Marlon Brando. I was maybe 10 or 11 or 9. My father was about to make " Reflections in a Golden Eye." I felt, even as a child, he held himself apart. He didn't necessarily join in. He spoke to me a lot. He was having some worries about the movie and working out whether he wanted to do it. He gave me a tortoiseshell ring, and it was stolen along with a medal Steinbeck gave me along with some things that were my mother's. They were irreplaceable.

Zap2it : Had you considered following your mom as a ballerina?

Anjelica Huston: Living in Ireland, there was no ballet. I did Irish dancing. I was proclaimed too tall to be a dancer.

"Smash" airs Mondays on NBC.
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