William Christopher would read classic poetry in its original Greek while he was on the set of M*A*S*H

"I find the beauty of ancient Greek poetry exciting."

Let's be clear: William Christopher isn't exactly like Father Mulcahy on M*A*S*H, but there are some moments that make you wonder whether the two men might have been brothers in a past life.

According to an interview with the Tucson Citizen, Christopher liked to pass the time between takes on the set of the series by reading ancient Greek poetry in its original language.

Christopher said, "In this transistor life of acting I pick up Homer, which is almost 3,000 years old, and recall that Alexander the Great always carried a copy of the Iliad."

He explained, "Lord knows I enjoy nothing more than reading Homer in ancient Greek. I'll be reading the Iliad for 20 years now." The actor continued, "I find the beauty of ancient Greek poetry exciting. As you read it, you don't really feel hooked up to time."

He added, "That gives me a feeling of the continuity of life. It's cumulative and proves to me that some things in life do last." 

It's a fairly existential take from Christopher, whom audiences believed to be pastoral because of his believable portrayal of Father Mulcahey. However, the actor was quick to dispel those rumors, Homer aside. He said, "People often believe I am thinking deep thoughts when I look off into space. It's not that at all, but I don't like to disillusion them. What they mistake for a spell-binding, enigmatic stare is actually fright on my part. I put that stare to good use in improvisation sessions during acting classes. People thought I'd seen the light." 

He continued, "I used the same stare on my teachers in school. They believed I was deep into the subject they were teaching when actually my mind was as blank as a mind can be — which is never totally blank, you know."

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5 Comments

CaptainDunsel 1 month ago
I suppose I could pick up Homer in the ancient Greek as well. But it would be sort of like the Indian chief in "Blazing Saddles".
[Holding up the Torah and speaking loudly to the tribe] "I have read this book!"
[softly and aside to Avram] "Did not understand one word."
McGillahooala 1 month ago
I suppose when reporters are constantly shoving microphones in your face, you become pretty adept at giving them long, convoluted, almost unbelievable stories to get them to shut up.
15inchBlackandWhite 1 month ago
Greek is a very interesting language. Words have many more subtle shades of meaning in Greek as opposed to English.
Jimtypes 1 month ago
Women don't seem to believe us men when we tell them " my mind is a blank". But it is absolutely the truth.
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