Martin's Way


At 72, Martin Sheen still sees life as ‘filled with endless possibilities’.

‘Each day I wake up, there’s a new adventure’, he says. ‘It’s not always a welcome one [but] I found out that the more I embrace the difficult things, the more joyful my life is.’ He explains that accepting ‘the cup as offered, not altered’ gives him a chance to grow, which in turns makes his life satisfying and happy.

It is an insight that offers a window into one of the most storied careers in Hollywood, marked by such iconic films as Badlands (1973), Apocalypse Now (1979), Wall Street (1987) and The Departed (2006). 

But it is in small-budget independent films such as The Way where we may see more closely what drives Martin Sheen.

He explains that while all the characters were already themselves when they started out, they needed confirmation. ‘They didn’t have confidence in who they were’, he says. ‘Nobody really feels that they’re good enough, you know. We are all seeking confirmation of ourselves, looking for confidence.’

According to Martin, the confirmation that we ultimately seek is that we are loved. ‘Not for anything we did, so we can’t earn it, and not that we deserve it, but just by being human, we are loved. And we can’t lose it for anything that we do.’

‘It is a long, arduous journey’, he says. ‘It is difficult. You get stronger the longer you stay at it. And then you don’t worry about the physicality after a while. You gradually become more focused on the spiritual, without knowing that it’s happening, really. That’s what’s allowed to occur.’


Martin’s way (Australian Catholics)

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