Amy Thone
EVENT: She's playing Lady Macbeth in Seattle Shakespeare's production of "the Scottish play."

What's the cruelest thing you've ever done? "I can't tell you because I'm embarrassed--it was pretty cruel, and I was young."

Did it involve physical violence, or just emotional violence? "Emotional. Well... um... also, I guess you could call it structural violence. But no physical violence, I'm too much of a weenie."

Define "structural violence." "I did something to someone's property. And that's as far as I'm going to go."

To their car? "I'm not going to go any further. I was a pretty cruel child. I think children are more in touch with their natural cruelty. Because they haven't added on that sort of editorial moral sense. They don't understand consequences."

How old were you when you did this cruel thing you won't tell me about? "Old enough probably to know better, but maybe not--well, clearly not--probably 12."

We'll forgive you for something you did when you were 12. "No, I actually have shame about it."

Shame can only be overcome by breaking through it. "Maybe to my therapist. You're just looking for sensational news."

Not much that anyone did when they were 12 could be that sensational. "I'm sure it's not."

But you won't tell. "Uh-uh."

Is your own daughter cruel? "No, not yet. She's still in the Garden of Eden."

What will you do if she's cruel to you? "Oh, I'm sure she will be--it's not if, it's when. I'll be savagely hurt. But it's a normal part of separating from your parents. One of the risks you take."

What would be the cruelest thing she could do to you? "Hate me."

How would that hate manifest itself most painfully? "By disappearing from me."

What's the cruelest thing you ever did to your mother? "Threw a frying pan at her head and screamed, 'I hate your fucking guts!' I lied to her for years--the basics."

Interview by Bret Fetzer

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