Actor Tim Robbins says ‘1984’ made him give up television

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Actor Tim Robbins says ‘1984’ made him give up television

BOGOTA, Colombia - Academy Award-winning actor Tim Robbins says his experience directing a play based on George Orwell’s “1984” has prompted a life choice as personal as it is political: He’s living without a TV.

“I have done an experiment for the past three years: I got rid of my television. One of the things Orwell talks about in the book ‘1984’ is this thing called ‘the two-minute hate,’?’’ Robbins told reporters in Bogota on Monday.

“People go in front of their television screens and they yell at the person they object to politically. I realized I had been doing that for two hours every day during [the administration of George W.] Bush. I said, ‘I’ve got to stop hating.’?’’

Robbins’ Actors Gang production of “1984’’ is among nearly 200 works being performed during this year’s biennial IberoAmerican Theater Festival in Bogota.

The production was adapted by Michael Gene Sullivan from Orwell’s 1948 dystopian novel about a totalitarian society where surveillance is pervasive, language is a weapon of suppression and TVs are used to spy on people.

Robbins says he’s inclined to disconnect from all forms of mass communication and jettison his cell phone, which can easily be used to track one’s movements.

“If you have a phone, they can find you whenever they want,’’ he said. “I personally would like to live on a farm with a rotary phone.’’

Robbins’ “1984” has previously appeared in festivals in Europe, Hong Kong, Australia and the United States.
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