BACKSTAGE: He's Really A Very Nice Man

Jordan Lage wants you to know that he’s not a low-life.

It’s easy to understand why folks might think of the actor that way after his many performances playing less-than-upright figures in many of the plays of David Mamet such as Glengarry Glen Ross and Speed the Plow in New York and as a mob boss in Ride the Tiger at Long Wharf Theatre a few seasons back. Now he’s back as, yep, another smarmy-yet-mesmerizing character: Garfield, the corporate raider, in Other People’s Money, which plays Nov. 23 to Dec. 18 at New Haven's Long Wharf Theatre.

“I hope it doesn’t reflect on me personally,” laughs Lage from his home in Chelsea. “I play nice guys, too — but the villains are a lot more fun to play.”

And why is he so often cast this way?

“Hey, look at me. I’m a big guy. I give off maybe an air of — well, I like to think of it as confidence. But maybe people see something dark or mysterious and maybe that’s why some think I can do characters as nuanced and complex as the doughnut-loving ‘Larry the Liquidator’ [in Other People’s Money.] These are not one-note bad guys. They’re a bundle of charm, slickness, bluntness and cut-throatness that people gravitate to. It’s not unlike Donald Trump in real life: Men who can’t seem to get a complete control of their id and the stuff keeps tumbling out of their mouths. Sometimes it’s shocking. Sometimes it’s amusing. It’s always fascinating.”