NEW YORK – Until former FBI honcho W. Mark Felt went public on Tuesday, Hal Holbrook had been the face of Deep Throat.

The actor – who brings his “Mark Twain Tonight!” to Broadway starting Monday – played Watergate’s mystery man in “All the President’s Men,” a role Robert Redford cajoled him into taking.

Q: Did you have anyone in mind when you played Deep Throat?

A: I never attached much importance to who it was. The backstory I created was that of a man who had served several presidents. … His decision had to be a moral one. He’d been driven to the point where he had to choose between allegiance to his president and his country.

Q: It’s still unclear whether Felt’s motives were that pure.

A: I don’t want to comment on Mark Felt. From what I’ve read, we don’t know enough about his motivations. … It’s a hot story. Maybe sooner or later, why Mark Felt did it – whether it did have any moral basis or not – only on that score will I be interested.

Q: You’ll always be linked to Deep Throat. How do you feel about that?

A: It’s a role I played, that’s all. I read the script and I said, “There’s nothing here.’ (Redford, a friend) said, “Hal, this role will be remembered more than any other part of this film, I promise you.’ I finally agreed to do it.

Q: Did Felt do the right thing going to reporters?

A: I read the stuff about it because I played the part, but I don’t want to become a savant about this, I’m an actor, that’s all, I’m just an actor, period. Just. An. Actor. Period.

Q: What would Mark Twain make of all this?

A: Oh, God. I don’t know. He had so much to say about so many things.


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