Billy Campbell

Most sailing ships take what they call trainees, who pay to be part of the crew. The Picton Castle takes people who are absolutely raw recruits. But you can’t just ride along. You’re learning to steer the ship, navigation; you’re pulling lines, keeping a lookout; in the galley you’re cooking.

Some of the best auditions I’ve ever had have been when my agent called and said, ‘They want you 20 minutes ago, in an office in Century City, to see you for something.’ I’m not sitting there thinking for a week and a half, before I’m supposed to go in front of a network president to do something. That just gives you time to be nervous.

On land, you can walk away from people, from unpleasant situations. But when you’re on a ship for 14 months with 49 other people, if you don’t resolve your issues it literally could mean – and this would be an extreme circumstance – the sinking of the ship. You learn a lot about other people. You learn a lot about yourself.

The first trip I remember taking was on the train from Virginia up to New York City, watching the summertime countryside rolling past the window. They used white linen tablecloths in the dining car in those days, and real silver. I love trains to this day. Maybe that was the beginning of my fixation with leisurely modes of travel.