How Jeff Daniels beat his inner critic to make music

Jeff Daniels looks back on when and where his love of music began, back before his acting career even got off the ground.
Actor Jeff Daniels has been releasing music for almost 15 years. (Luke Pline)

You might remember Jeff Daniels best from projects like The Newsroom, The Purple Rose of Cairo and Dumb and Dumber. But lately, he's been taking on a new venture: making music.

When he's not busy in front of the camera, working on his next big movie or TV show, you can usually find him in his home studio in Michigan writing songs.

Speaking with q guest host Talia Schlanger, Daniels says that he's well aware of the actor-turned-musician cliché, which made it a challenge for him to step out on stage. It's something that fuelled his inner critic, but he was able to quell that voice by adopting a technique from acting. 

"It's beating the stage fright. That's what it's about, beating that judge," says Daniels. "We talk about it in acting, where you got to fire the judge. The judge is the one going, 'You know, you're just an actor. You know you can't really play the guitar. You know that, don't you?' You know that little voice? You got to get rid of him. And that's where you have to put on that character."

He'll be playing Hugh's Room along with the Ben Daniels Band, featuring his son Ben, in Toronto on Friday, July 27.

Listen to the full interview with Jeff Daniels above, where he looks back on when and where his love of music began, before his acting career even got off the ground.

Produced by Vanessa Nigro


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