Aidan Quinn talks about being Irish

Irish actor Aidan Quinn, who was raised in Chicago and Rockford, as well as in Dublin and Birr, County Offaly in Ireland, gave an in-depth interview to the Chicago Tribune about his career to date and being from Ireland.

Quinn is best known for playing Alfred Ludlow in "Legends of the Fall".

Quinn who stared in Irish movies "Michael Collins" and "The Playboys", has a slew of other movies under his belt including "Avalon," Benny and Joon," "Desperately Seeking Susan" and Music of the Heart."

His most recent movies, "A Shine of Rainbows" and "The Eclipse" are both set in Ireland.

Quinn said working beside his friend Liam Neeson has been very special to him.

He also said he "loved working with Meryl Streep twice."

Quinn said being from Chicago is very like being from Ireland.

"I think there's a down-to-earthness with Midwesterners and with people from the Midlands — which is where my family is from — in Ireland. It taught me very early not to take the highs too seriously and not to be brought down too much by the lows either and to take things with a sense of humor."

Quinn told the story of how he got into acting, " When I was 19 I was working as a roofer and there I was with a joint in one hand and a pint of whiskey in another at 7:30 in the morning as our feet were dangling over a 26-story building looking out over Lake Michigan. I remember passing both back to the guys that had handed them to me and saying, "I can't do this. I had an epiphany that I wanted to become an actor. I went home that day, picked up the Chicago Reader and saw an ad for Byrne Piven's acting class and I joined the class and that's how everything started."

Quinn is married to the actress Elizabeth Bracco, sister of actress Lorraine Bracco. The two met in 1984 at a restaurant and later co-starred in "Stakeout." They married in 1987 and have two daughters, one diagnosed with autism.