The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on January 28, 1996 · Page 53
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 53

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Salina, Kansas
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Sunday, January 28, 1996
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Page 53
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D.B. SWEENEY 'Push your luck' A CTOR D.B. SWEENEY owns two racehorses, buys lottery tickets every day and has sat hi a legendary Hollywood poker game with Mel Tormg and Elliott Gould. On television, he plays the luckiest man alive. So when Sweeney philosophizes about fate and fortune, he has experience. "Push your luck," he advises. "If you see a pretty girl in a bar, say something." If your luck is good, "magic can happen." And if it's bad? "You deal with her boyfriend when he gets out of the bathroom." Sweeney, 33, a veteran of 15 movies, is now starring in his first TV series, Fox's Strange Luck. The smart drama airs Fridays before The X-Files and, like X-Files, is a cult hit: Among its fans are critics and Internet surfers who rave about its film- noir style and the mystical, music-video-like scenes that propel each story. Sweeney plays Chance Harper, sole survivor of a plane crash that killed 106 people, including his mother. Blessed (or cursed) by great luck, Chance now finds himself saving suicide jumpers or discovering piles of cash. It's an eerie existence that puts him in the right (or, sometimes, wrong) place at the right time. But as Sweeney sees it, fate isn't always so mysterious. "You get a lot of speeding tickets and you say, 'I'm so unlucky!' No, you're not. You're speeding. Slow down." As for good luck: "You have to set the table for it. To have a great party, it's important how you light the room, where you put the chairs. The same is true if you want good luck. The room of your life needs to be hi order If you want magic to enter it." Sweeney once hoped to play big- league baseball. But as a 17-year- old on New York's Long Island, he injured his knee. Bad luck? "No — if I hadn't hurt my knee, I might never have gotten into acting." His lucky break came with the 1984 Super Bowl. As an actor, he'd made a commercial for the Army that aired just before the kickoff. The next week, major directors called Sweeney's agent, all asking, "Who was that kid?" He ended up starring in Francis Ford Coppola's 1987 movie Gardens of Stone. "When I was growing up, playing sports, there was a sign in the locker room with that cliche: 'Luck is when preparation meets opportunity.' That is absolutely true. You have to identify your shot and be ready for it." Gnu MM: Daniel Bernard (childhood nickname: Danny Boy). MORE ADVICE FROM SWEENEY ncdnnes: Strange Luck. Moritc Gardens of Stone, Fire In the . Sly, Memphis Belle, Cutting Edge, Eght Men Out, Roommates. ftrsoak He's single. • Don't seek conflict... "When you play on a team, you learn that there will always be five guys you like, a bunch of guys who are OK, and five you despise. The trick to getting along in any system is not to worry about the five you despise." • ... and don't force harmony: "A dumb baseball manager tries to heal a team by having the two guys who hate each other room together. It's better to room them at opposite ends of the hall." • At the racetrack: "Bet the horse with the stupidest name. People who know nothing about horses always bet the cool names, so the odds for those horses are artificially depressed. You get better odds on a horse with a stupid name." • For aliens: "In Fire in the Sky, I played a guy who's abducted [on a UFO]. Now, everywhere I go, people tell me how they were abducted. I have advice for aliens who abduct humans: Keep 'em, because we're sick of bearing their stories!" C3 Sweeney will write or call one reader who seeks advice on a particular topic. Write toy Feb. 4 to "Straight talk," RO. Box 3455, Chicago, HI. 60654 (fan: 312-661-0375; e-mail: tatk@usaMekend.com). Zaskw is an advice columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times Features Syndicate. NEXT WEEKEND • The hit TV drama ER gives us one view of the emergency room; find out what it's really like • 'Eat Smart': Jean Carper spices up your life PUBLISHER: Brette Popper • EDITOR: Marcia Bullart • EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT: Charles Gabrielson • VICE PRESIDENTS: SIM Agresta, Dave Barber, Carol Kemer-Odtfs, Beth Lawrence, Totey Lyden, Thomas Meisel •j.iiiiiiiiiB mod caring AtUate/Coach special report: Kathleen McCleary (editor!, Abigail Cox (design), Richard Vega (reporter) Managing Editor: Amy Esman Senior Associate EdKors: Dan Olmsted, Brenda Turner Associate Editors: Carol Cturman, Constance Hug, Lome Lynch. Jim Sexton Copy Chief: Tom lent Copy Edtton Terry Davidson Byrne Make A Difference D»> Edftor. Pamela Brwm Assistant Editor! Gayte Jo Carter Reporter/Researcher Myron B. Pins Editorial Assistant: Franco Salvoza rujT-n'imiin'Miiiiiii/1.1 jean Carper, George Foreman, Florence Griffith Joyner. Tom McNJchol, Jill Nelson, Tabitha Soren. Elizabeth Marshall Thomas. Jeffrey Zastow BEO Art Director: Pamela Smith Assistant Art Director: Day Audi Photo Edtton Sara Elder Technology Manager: TrevaStose Office Staff: Kate Bond, Monica Dyer Howe BEBEH Editorial: Dierck Casselman, Amelia Stephenson, Vm Narayanan Advertising: Dean Abbott, Casey Shaw .i.i.n.tmuiji.ijjiJM 535 MadisonAve., New*fk,NA 10002 «USA WEEKEND EIIlEaa lOOO WHson BM.,Arting|on,va. 22229-0012 B0331 1-800-487-2956 • b.to. too 1*0.MR 18 USA WEEKEND- Jan. 26-28, 1V96

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